"How can you lose money growing a crop everyone wants with labour that costs next to nothing?"
In 1671 there are fortunes to be made in Barbados, owning slaves and planting sugar cane. But drought, floods, locusts and his own incompetence have brought Hubert Umfraville down and caused him to flee the island in the most humiliating fashion. Now back in England, he hopes to restore his fortunes through extortion. In Barbados he has discovered a secret that people here may pay him to keep quiet about.
When his body is found in the orchard of the house he has just rented in Essex, there is no shortage of suspects. Has his intended blackmail victim preempted him? Or has one or other of his old crimes caught up with the failed plantation owner?
John Grey, Essex magistrate and husband of a famous London playwright, finds himself investigating what seems to be the well-merited death of a former slave owner. But as the list of suspects grows, and even encompasses a member of his own family, Grey is forced to question the nature of justice and what any of us is entitled to do to gain our freedom.
'The combination of some of the darker themes from history together with one of the most entertaining narrators in crime fiction makes this an excellent read' Classic Mystery Blog
L. C. Tyler was born in Essex and educated at Jesus College Oxford and City University. His comic crime series featuring author-and-agent duo Ethelred Tressider and Elsie Thirkettle has twice been nominated for Edgar Allan Poe Awards and he won the Goldsboro Last Laugh Award with Herring in the Library. His latest crime series is set in the seventeenth century and features lawyer John Grey.
He has lived and worked all over the world, but has more recently been based in London and Sussex.
To find out more about L. C. Tyler visit www.lctyler.com or follow him on twitter @lenctyler.