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  • Location: London

The Infidel Stain (Avery & Blake 2)

The Infidel Stain (Avery & Blake 2)

Why a Booktrail?

1840s: Blake and Avery who we met in The Strangler Vine, are now on the trail of a murderer in 1840s London…amidst politics, printing and porn.

  • ISBN: 978-0241146255
  • Genre: Crime, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Following on from the events in India of The Strangler Vine in which they searched for the poet Xavier Mountstuart, Blake and Avery are now back in England. Captain Avery lives in Devon and is visiting London when he finds Blake in less than pleasant surroundings and not looking too healthy.

Blake tells  him that the former head of the East India Company’s Secret Department has passed on their details to Viscount Allington who is concerned at the recent murder of two printers in  the city. He has little faith in the newly formed police and so requires more expert help to discover what happened to them and why.

Victorian London awaits them but they will have to delve into the very darkest corners of the city’s underbelly to even try and see the light

Travel Guide

Victorian London. Not quite as exotic as the Indian setting of the first book but very much detailed and equally evocative.

Every cobble of the alleyways, the dark corners of the bars and other establishments as the duo navigate their way around can be experienced.

Blake and Avery have many an obstacle in this case – especially since they are now relatively famous ever since their jungle adventures were immortalised in a painting by B R Haydon. Blake still dresses like a poor man but it’s his experiences of the slums of the East End of London that will prove useful.

Literary London

Happily he is related to the poet William Blake, and so as he wanders London’s “chartered streets” a lot of literary London comes to light. This is the London of Charles Dickens and other literary figures such as Henry Mayhew, the founder of Punch magazine. We walk right into the heart of publishing at the time – an industry and a city which was going through a time of reform and revolution and at the centre of it all was the humble but mighty powerful printed word..

“The printers who have died are seemingly those who produce the more salubrious reading matter for the masses.”

And this is a London of two very different classes – the haves and the have nothing at alls – Lord Allington wants to support social reform but has very old fashioned ideas of things such as childbirth since the bible tells him one thing and his mind another. Victorian hypocrisy is on every street corner.

It’s  this London of contrasts, restraint, reform and chaos that we walk and see through the eyes of Blake and Avery.

Streetview Maps

1) The Strand
Where the printer's shop is near
3) Hanover Square
Avery lives here

Booktrailer Review

Susan @thebooktrailer

Another fascinating adventure with the duo Blake and Avery. A bit Sherlock and Holmes which is no bad thing and this book is so vivid that it would make a wonderful period drama. I would love to meet this duo for real and I feel I’m getting to know them now in this second book and so really hope there are more to come.

It’s like walking around a literary playground where publishing is in its infancy and you could very easily bump into Charles Dickens. Well, I wanted to stay a while so I read this slowly and pictured each vivid and perfectly evoked scene.

A great crime solving duo with great banter between them and the fact they were the butt of jokes following their first Indian adventure made for a very personable team.

Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:

Twitter: @mjcarter10

Web: mj-carter.com

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