Books by M.J. Trow

THE BLACK HILLS by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 7, 2020

"Trow's latest meanders a bit but provides juicy portraits of several historic figures."
Victorian sleuths get a request from controversial Gen. George Armstrong Custer for help. Read full book review >
BLACK DEATH  by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2019

"The mystery is twisty, unpredictable, and ultimately satisfying."
As the plague grips London, Christopher Marlowe tries to solve the murder of a theatrical rival. Read full book review >
THE RING by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2019

"The fifth Victorian whodunit from the prolific author of the Kit Marlowe and Lestrade mysteries offers Dickensian portraits of period archetypes and a shrewdly layered puzzle."
Could the body in the river be that of the missing tea heiress? And why are so many of the interested parties lying? Read full book review >
THE ISLAND by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2018

"Although Trow (The Angel, 2016, etc.) puts modern slang into the mouths of his 19th-century characters and seems less consistently interested in history than in his other series, he's still good for a witty and clever tale."
Two Victorian private eyes find their fourth case—or rather it finds them—in New England. Read full book review >
ELEVENTH HOUR by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2017

"Fans of Trow's charismatic playwright hero (Secret World, 2015, etc.) will welcome deeper insight into his complex character in this bawdy, witty, and mostly historically informed eighth adventure."
Elizabethan theater, intrigue, dark arts, and the man of many talents who takes on all three. Read full book review >
TRAITOR'S STORM by M.J. Trow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 1, 2014

"Trow (Silent Court, 2012, etc.) brings back Marlowe for another bawdy and loosely historical caper. Scattered anachronisms and inaccuracies don't detract from this Tudor undertaking nearly as much as the hero, who remains something of a cipher."
Christopher Marlowe finds inspiration and intrigue in the threat of a Spanish invasion. Read full book review >
SCORPIONS' NEST by M.J. Trow
Released: May 1, 2013

"Kit has charm, and the English College full of exiled priests makes for an interesting setting, but there are almost as many conspiracies as hourly Masses."
Christopher Marlowe spies on the papists favoring Mary, the Scottish queen. Read full book review >
A BRIEF HISTORY OF CLEOPATRA by M.J. Trow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2013

"The author writes in a conversational, rarely pedantic style, freely quoting authors such as Joann Fletcher and Stacy Schiff, and the book is a painless primer leading up to the Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt Cleopatra film."
Not so much a biography of the queen as a basic history of the rise of Rome. Read full book review >
WITCH HAMMER by M.J. Trow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

"Marlowe (Silent Court, 2012, etc.) makes an agreeable guide to Elizabethan life, and it's fun reading quips between him and Shaxsper that will later appear in plays."
Christopher Marlowe, scholar, spy and aspiring playwright, adds sleuthing to his resume. Read full book review >
SILENT COURT by M.J. Trow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 1, 2012

"History buffs amused by the conceit of Marlowe's many professional hats can have the additional fun of pouncing on minor historical anachronisms. For those who aren't ardent fans of the era, however, the latest from Trow (Lestrade and the Ripper, 1999, etc.) might as well be ancient history."
Christopher Marlowe's role in history is rewritten. Read full book review >
DARK ENTRY by M.J. Trow
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Readers enamored of the customs of the time are most likely to welcome this mystery of manners. The less historically well-informed may struggle to keep up with the details that make all the difference."
Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe's college years turn out to have included a bit of amateur detection. Read full book review >
LESTRADE AND THE MIRROR OF MURDER by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2001

"Cameos by Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Walter Dew, amateur spiritualist Arthur Conan Doyle (though Holmes himself is absent), and John Buchan, who at the fadeout is preparing to turn the whole mess into a much better novel than this one."
Nearly 40 years after the suicide of Emperor Theodore III, Abyssinia is back in the news—or at least on the blotter for Supt. Sholto Lestrade (Lestrade and the Dead Man's Hand, 2000, etc.). The demise of Captain William Orange and his three nieces when the broken traces of their carriage send them hurtling to their Maker is only the beginning of a rash of suspicious accidents, each of them marked by sudden death and the presence close by of a broken Abyssinian mirror. Sherlock Holmes's old police foil traces the fatalities from King Edward VII's 1906 empire back to the dusty colonial adventure, during which Intelligence Captain Charles Speedy disappeared soon after claiming to have discovered a secret beyond price. Now the tune Speedy used to whistle forms the rickety backbone for a murder plot as far-reaching (ten victims) as it is improbable. His trademark obtuseness and shameless puns and malapropisms to the fore, Lestrade wades through the gore and the political complications (from the twilight of Queen Victoria's empire to young Princess Victoria's impending marriage to Alfonso XIII of Spain) to confront the most unlikely killer in his 14 adventures so far available in the Colonies. Read full book review >
LESTRADE AND THE DEAD MAN’S HAND by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

A hundred years ago, the London Underground was no safer than it is today, especially for the women found dead in the dangerous new cars. Since transit cops never solve crimes, even in 1895, it's up to Scotland Yard's Inspector Sholto Lestrade, in this 11th of his 16 cases first published in the UK (Lestrade and the Guardian Angel, 2000, etc.), to take the case in hand without much help from the Railway Police—or any from Lestrade's archrival Sherlock Holmes. Read full book review >
LESTRADE AND THE MAGPIE by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2000

The tenth of Lestrade's 16 cases (Lestrade and the Gift of the Prince, 1999, etc.) begins with a belated murder, as Captain Paul Dacres, the fiancé of Lestrade's daughter Emma reported missing in action three years ago, summons Emma to a meeting, only to turn up very recently dead. Other murders follow more smartly, however, forcing Lestrade into every role from an applicant for public hangman to an extra on a lubricious historical film before Emma caps the madness by going as missing as her fiancé. Read full book review >
LESTRADE AND THE GIFT OF THE PRINCE by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2000

Lestrade And The Gift Of The Prince ($19.95; Jan.; 208 pp.; 0-89526-523-3) No sooner is Prince Albert in his grave (courtesy of a slyly amusing prologue that casts his royal widow's friendship with John Brown in an interesting new light) than murder strikes Victoria's household when servant girl Amy Macpherson is killed at Balmoral Castle. In this ninth of his sixteen appearances, Sherlock Holmes's old adversary, Supt. Sholto Lestrade, presides over the politically delicate investigation—and a dozen indelicate jokes about what a Scotsman wears under his kilt. Read full book review >
LESTRADE AND THE BROTHER OF DEATH by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1999

There's no rest for Sherlock Holmes's old foil Sholto Lestrade. The seventh of his sixteen adventures (Lestrade and the Deadly Game, p. 1091, etc.) sends the doughty inspector, convalescing from a broken leg he got in exiting the Titanic, to his fiancée Fanny Berkely's peaceful home in Surrey - only to shatter the peace with a series of threatening letters linked to an attempt on the life of Fanny's father, and to a more successful attempt on a fellow copper. Read full book review >
LESTRADE AND THE RIPPER by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

Lestrade And The Ripper ($19.95; Sept.; 288 pp.; 0-89526-311-4): As if his hands weren't full enough with the depradations of Whitechapel's gift to history, Inspector Sholto Lestrade (Lestrade and the Deadly Game, p. 1091) has to contend with the unsolved murder in a Brighton hotel of psychic researcher Edmund Gurney—and the investigations of that meddlesome incompetent, Sherlock Holmes. Read full book review >
LESTRADE AND THE DEADLY GAME by M.J. Trow
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 1999

The Games are afoot—the 1908 London Olympics, that is. But England's pride in hosting the Games is threatened by a series of murders that begins with an apparent suicide: the shooting of 2nd Lt. Anstruther Fitzgibbon inside a locked room. Regardless of the evidence, Fitzgibbon's father insists that it's murder, and since father is the Marquess of Bolsolver, he soon has the ear of Supt. Sholto Lestrade. Long reviled by Conan Doyle as the police detective even dumber than Dr. Watson, Lestrade leaps at the chance to connect Fitzgibbon's death with the stabbing of Hans-Rudiger Hesse, a German political journalist in London to cover the Games, and the poisoning of yachtsman William Hemingway. And Lestrade's instincts are all too sound, as the sequel will show: a total of nine murders, eight of the victims trained athletes. Why would anyone want to cut off the flower of English youth, and why did the killer interrupt the chain to kill unathletic Rudi Hesse? The episodic nature of the case makes Lestrade slog through a ream of red herrings and circumstantial details to get to the answers. Trow adds cameos by G.K. Chesterton, Gen. Robert Baden-Powell, and Lytton Strachey—but not by Sherlock Holmes, whose very existence Lestrade denies. Understated humor and brisk pacing are the main draws in this fifth of Trow's sixteen Lestrade mysteries, first published in the UK in 1990. Hard-core Holmesians need not apply. Read full book review >
MAXWELL'S HOUSE by M.J. Trow
Released: July 13, 1995

Trow takes a break from his series of pastiches about Inspector Sholto Lestrade (The Supreme Adventure of Inspector Lestrade, 1985, etc.) for this low-key whodunitthe first in a new seriesthat begins with the discovery of schoolgirl Jennifer Hyde, strangled in an abandoned house close by Leighford High. Up-and-coming Chief Inspector Henry Hall is on the case, but historian Peter Maxwell, the Head of Sixth Form, isn't satisfied about the official inquiryand feels guilty that he ``wasn't there for Jenny.'' So Maxwell, despite the warnings of his buddy Geoffrey Smith, an English master with an ear for dialogue from old movies, starts to poke around on his own. By the time he's done he'll have been poked back good and properaccused of interfering with Jenny's best friend, suspended from his position at Leighford, terrorized by a bullying inspector, charged with rape, beaten and kicked into the hospitaldown but definitely not out. Good strong background on unspeakable Leighford, though the parade of familiar devices (blustery parents, secret diary, unseemly liaison with the married man) makes you understand why you don't often hear about the teachers who've made it big as detectives. Read full book review >