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A Plague of Angels (Sir Robert Carey, #4)
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A Plague of Angels (Sir Robert Carey #4)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  385 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
In 1592, dashing courtier Sir Robert Carey took up his northern post as Warden of the West March in order to escape the complications of creditors and court life. Trouble, however, dogs his heels wherever he goes. And where he goes in autumn, after the summer's misadventures in Carlisle, is back to London upon a summons from his father.

Carey is on difficult terms with his

Paperback, 268 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 1998)
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May 11, 2016 Phrynne rated it it was amazing
This book starts with a very flattering introduction written by Diana Gabaldon. I can understand why she likes it so much because there are certainly similarities between this and her Outlander series. Both authors love to write ghoulishly about medical treatments and also about the lack of plumbing and the alternatives thereto. They also both know how to write heroic, daring and totally charming male characters.
I am hooked on this series and therefore find no fault with it. I enjoyed the change
Oct 12, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
The year is 1592 and Sir Robert Carey is called back to London from his post on the Scottish Borders to help look for his brother Edmund who has gone missing. As well as his servants, Robert brings his Sergent Henry Dodds with him and much of their time in London is described by Dodds who does not take well to the hustle and bustle and thieving ways of the locals, despite the grandeur and luxury enjoyed by the Careys and their peers. Edmund has got himself mixed up in a plot involving fraud with ...more
Jamie Collins
This is my least favorite of this series so far, although it’s still quite good. I especially enjoyed seeing London from the point of view of Sergeant Dodd. The biggest problem, I think, is the incidental appearance of famous figures, something I rarely find enhances a historical novel but rather makes it feel contrived.

Unusually, Carey’s viewpoint is never presented in this story, which takes place in London. It’s mostly told from the point of view of Dodd, who is simultaneously awed and disgus
Oct 30, 2009 Deirdre rated it really liked it
A fitting and rollicking climax to Chisholm's quartet of novels about Sir Robert Carey. This yarn brings him south from his usual stamping ground to London and a vivid picture is painted of Elizabethan London riddled with plague, coney catchers, intelligencers, footpads and alchemists. Along the way, she weaves a few famous figures into her tale providing delightful libels of Robert Greene and Will Shakespeare and an interesting spin on the mystery surrounding the activities of Kit Marlowe, Ingr ...more
Sep 19, 2016 Rhode rated it really liked it
Shelves: historic-fiction
As Diana Gabaldon's glowing, fangirly intro notes, this is fantastic historic fiction in many ways. The historic details are right - you can smell, see, taste and walk along in London circa 1590-something. The characters are alive and realistically human. The action moves briskly along, but never stoops to obvious plot devices (in fact at one point where every other historic book would have gone in a certain direction, the character thinks to himself "huh, this is too obvious" and swerves.) And ...more
Apr 03, 2013 May rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite (so far) of the Sir Robert Carey mysteries and that's saying quite a lot, as I love this series. The action moves to London, but what makes this book the shining star of the series is the crisp and complex plot, the sharp and witty dialogue, and the fully fleshed out relationships between the main protagonists. The period detail is, as always, impeccably researched and detailed, but smoothly incorporated into the book, so you never feel like you're being lectured about mediev ...more
Robert Scott
Jul 06, 2015 Robert Scott rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2013 Dianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great novel in this fast-paced Elizabethan murder-mystery series. Sir Robert Carey is summoned to London by his father to find his missing brother. He is accompanied by Sergeant Dodd. The plot is intricate and the historic detail accurate. Much of the enjoyment comes from Dodd's reactions to London, as he is forced to abandon his comfortable homespun clothing for fashionable clothes, and his reiving instincts have to be controlled when he sees the sleek dairy herds and views the gold dis ...more
Jun 15, 2016 Cissa rated it really liked it
A nice twisty plot set in Elizabethan times, with great atmosphere evocative of the era. There are wheels within wheels, and lots of ambiguous characters, and the plot takes us from the aristocracy down into the lowest level of prisons.

I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 mostly because i did not care for the depictions of either Marlowe or Shakespeare here. Neither was especially nuanced, and they were clearly complicated people.

Still- this was an entertaining book in an entertaining series, w
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2008 Alison rated it really liked it
A rollicking good book, full of twists and turns and fascinating characters, including the real-life poets Greene, Marlowe, and Shakespeare (who, if Chisholm is anywhere near right in her conjectures, is NOTHING like we expected). I'm also glad I'm alive now and not then, with the threat of plague and baths once a year being the norm.
Nov 07, 2010 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Great period detail, parts made me laugh out loud, interesting plot twists, three-dimensional characters. Patricia Finney, writing as P.F. Chisholm, manages to intertwine real historical characters (Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, among others) with fictional characters in a believable and humorous way.
Frankly, this was a little overstuffed. The dominant POV of Dodd was an effective way to avoid yet-another-Elizabethan-London description, but was exaggerated to the point of making Dodd seem stupid at times. Marlowe was a little too villainous, and the key villain himself a frustrating combination of untouchably politically powerful and totally politically vulnerable. My least favourite so far.
May 26, 2014 Frances rated it really liked it
I think this is the best one I have read so far. From laughing out loud to trying to figure out complicated plans of the villain in the piece. I also look up every character mentioned on Wikipedia and she has nailed them historically from the father to the sons to the nobity at the time even to the father's mistress. The author knows her history.
Irvin B Robinson
Oct 01, 2015 Irvin B Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another satisfying read

Same folks different and very interesting plot.
Sgt Dodds character is more fully developed here and he is placed in circumstances that are uncomfortable for him dressed as a courtesan and forced to talk Southern to be understood--he longs for the border in the wild North of England
We get to meet Sir Robert's dad and brother too.
Mar 04, 2014 Patricia rated it it was amazing
The adventures continue!! Sir Robert Carey is called home to London from the Scottish border to help with a family problem. He bring the amazing Sargent Dodd with him...and he will need someone to have his back: London is a corrupt and dangerous place. These books just get better and better. Love them!
Jul 05, 2014 Kirsten rated it really liked it
This reminded me of a great book by M.J. Trow about Kit Marlowe and his spying. Marlowe does play a role with Sir Robert Carey as he looks for his older brother around London. Divided loyalties, religious allegiances, whew!
Kathy Sebesta
Aug 09, 2013 Kathy Sebesta rated it really liked it
Set in the time of Queen Elizabeth and peopled with her court, this is a reasonably well-plotted mystery that may have a few more red herrings than might be considered fair. The characterizations are good. I'm going to finish reading the series.
Feb 19, 2016 Sally rated it it was amazing
This series just gets better and better. I feel I know the characters like friends and Sergeant Dodds is definitely my favourite! Have gone straight on to the next one which is something I rarely do as I more often feel like a change of style at the end of a book.
Dec 02, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
I loved this one since we got to meet m ore of Sir Robert's family and also because Sergeant Dodd gets a bigger piece of the action in this one. Honestly, someone should make a TV series of these (PBS Mystery maybe?) because the mysteries are solid AND they are funny - the perfect combination!
May 06, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it
Robert Carey and his cast of "characters" make for a good read.
Lois Donaghy
Mar 15, 2016 Lois Donaghy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the fact that this story was told more from the point of view of Sergeant Dodd. A country man's view of the excesses of London during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Ruth Gilbert
Nov 23, 2016 Ruth Gilbert rated it it was amazing
I loved this. They just get better and better.
Kim Archer
May 10, 2015 Kim Archer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books and Sir Robert and Sergeant Dodd!
May 20, 2015 Gmaharriet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the 4th book in a series so-far of 6 books about Sir Robert Carey. I liked the change of setting to London, and the POV of Sgt. Dodd, and the addition of some of Sir Robert's family.
Sep 03, 2014 Vince rated it liked it
Not my favorite book of the series.
May 06, 2010 scarlettraces rated it it was amazing
whips along like a top. a sharp, funny top. i don't know whether we're ever going to get more sir robert, but i'd really really like some... maybe even a happy ending with elizabeth?
May 19, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
love the series and author and wish there were more coming but I do believe she took another direction or perhaps a break from elizabethan times
good read
Lexie Conyngham
Aug 21, 2015 Lexie Conyngham rated it it was amazing
Many, many laugh-out-loud moments particularly as the characters develop: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though if I read many more fictional portrayals of Christopher Marlowe I may go quite mad!
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Other Books in the Series

Sir Robert Carey (8 books)
  • A Famine of Horses (Sir Robert Carey, #1)
  • A Season of Knives (Sir Robert Carey, #2)
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  • A Murder of Crows (Sir Robert Carey, #5)
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