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The King's Evil (Christopher Redmayne, #1)
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The King's Evil (Christopher Redmayne #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  293 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Christopher Redmayne is a true Restoration man. After destruction wrought by the Great Fire, he is also one of the architects working to restore London to its previous splendor. This novel is a historical drama centered on the turmoil of restoration England.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 2000 by Headline (first published August 5th 1999)
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Dec 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Fun, engaging and historically informative, I especially and gratefully appreciate how Edward Marston, how the author allows the friendship between the two main protagonists, between Christopher Redmayne and Jonathan Bale to progress slowly, organically, and yes, even at times much painfully (and therefore realistically, considering their vast and at first almost insurmountable differences both socially and religiously), that there is not some sudden deus ex machina enlightenment of sudden compa ...more
Stevie Carroll
I had mixed feelings about this one. The mystery was interesting enough, but I couldn't quite believe in Christopher as a man of his time. Not a series that I'm desperate to keep following.
P.D.R. Lindsay
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it

‘The King’s Evil’ is a reprint of the first of the Christopher Redmayne novels, a historical mystery series set in Restoration England. This is one of Edward Marston’s five historical series and each series has a devoted readership. I’m particularly fond of the Victorian Railway Detective, Inspector Robert Colbeck, and the Elizabethan stage manager, Nicholas Bracewell. Marston has a solid grip on his craft and all his books are well written, well researched and a most enjoyable read.

‘The King’s
Vicky Thomasson
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed Marstons work before (I absolutely love the Elizabethan theatre series) so was looking forward to sinking my teeth into this. I wasn't disappointed, it is a well written novel laced with action and mystery. I love the two unlikely heroes, Christopher and Jonathan and I thought Henry was brilliant. Those who enjoy Historical fiction and action will love this.
Joanne Wood
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To be honest it's more 4and a half but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. An enjoyable mystery and characters I rather liked but the solution, while feasible, was a bit of a stretch from the information we had.
I shall, nevertheless, be moving on to the next book with all speed. lol
John William Boundy
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable book, good pace, well developed plot. Look forward to the rest of the series.
Bleargh. Life is too short to read this book.
Karen Brooks
The King’s Evil is the first in a series by Edward Marston (who wrote the marvellous Nicholas Bracewell series set in Elizabethan England) set during the Restoration and the early years of Charles II’s reign. The year is 1666, immediately after the Great Fire has decimated London and rebuilding is commencing. The book introduces the reader to young and aspiring architect Christopher Redmayne, while the series follows his fortunes and misfortunes. Though blessed with great talent, Redmayne’s grea ...more
Carole Moran
Sep 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This series by Marston is an excellent read. There are six books in this series; this is the first. Set in England's Restoration period, after Cromwell's death and with King Charles II on the throne, the hero Christopher Redmayne relentlessly pursues murders and uncovers mysteries. Redmayne is a Cavalier architect who is doing his part to rebuild London after the Great Fire of 1666, and with the assistance of an able Roundhead constable, Jonathan Bale, is an engaging character with an outrageous ...more
Apr 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable nonsense, set during the Restoration, featuring a rather too-good-to-be-true architect and all-round Mr Perfect, Christopher Redmayne and Constable Honest Bluff, Jonathan Beale. Regardless, the plot is simple and entertaining enough without falling into the usual sallacious detail beloved of such as Rose Tremain (Merivel and Restoration come to mind). Thankfully, Charles II is a peripheral character this time, although I daresay much more will be seen of the simpering female characters ...more
Nov 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I like mysteries that are set in a time and/or place with which I am totally unfamiliar. This book is set in London after the Great Fire. Christopher Redmayne is a budding architect who wants to be a player in the rebuilding of London. He teams up with Jonathan Bale, a constable, to solve a murder. I felt the "feel" of the book and the settings transported me to a long ago and far away place. I like learning things about what life was like at that time and in that place. I rec ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally well-written historical mystery, with believable characterisations. Marston's style is flowing and easy to devour, and blessedly free from the tedious pseudo-historical flourishes beloved by many historical fiction writers! The setting of Restoration London is interesting, and there are some similarities with the Chaloner mysteries, but Marston is more historically accurate in terms of his depictions of Puritan life in particular. Interesting for both mystery lovers and history ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book because it is a light read and is not too demanding on the little grey cells. The sense of period and place is not as good as other authors (Gregory or Sanson for instance), but it is an easy read with likeable characters. The protagonists of the story give a feel for the social and political extremes of the time - the Royalist gentleman, the Roundhead parish constable and his Quaker neighbour as well as the hedonism of the wealthy of Restoration London.
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
A decent enough read, closer to a 3.5 rating. An okay plot and characters with a good take on post-Cromwell London. One area that was somewhat annoying was the author's style when relating conversations among characters. Rather than "s/he said..." or "...Christopher exclaimed..."
the author used the phrase "...the other said" or "...the other uttered"
This occurred throughout the novel. I found it to a tad bit distracting.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the idea of a detective series set during the Restoration period, and was intrigued by the setting of this novel in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London. However, all the characters are rather two-dimensional. I'd also been hoping for more period atmosphere and a touch more humour.
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
A pleasant enough way of whiling away a few idle hours, it is evident that the author has conducted a lot of research into Restoration London. The characters failed entirely to grab me, though I did want to see how the story ended. Would I read another in the series? Yes I would. A great way to while away a long train journey.
James Mortimore
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
This book took me a while to get into - so much so it was one of the rare books I considered leaving half way through. Im pleased I persevered and it ended up being a decent read. Wouldn't hugely recommend it and certainly wouldn't go out way to read other novels by the same author but gripped me intermittently.
Wayne Farmer
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical and Detective buffs
A brilliant read - I couldn't put it down. I loved the background of the Great Fire of London that started the book and the insight into how they went about starting to rebuild afterwards. The characters were well done and overall well written - looking forward to reading the rest of Marston's novels.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Stilted dialogue and boring characters. I made it to the distracting use of dynamite (famously invented by Nobel in the 19th century) to fight the Great London Fire of 1667 before I gave up. If the author can't bother to do basic historical research, they shouldn't bother writing historical fiction. And I can't be bothered to read it.
Kelly Lachmund
I would definitely read another one of this series because the characters intrigue me. The dialogue had a tendency to grate on my nerves. I suppose it was the way it flowed that bothered me. Overall, it was a decent book.
Jul 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
I liked this very much. I appreciated the effort to make the phrasing closer to what people would have used in 17th century England, but I also enjoyed the story.
Jennifer Everard
Always enjoy this sort of fiction. Set just after the great fir of london. Quite lightweight reading but ok.
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good start to this series
Aug 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
clunkily written and uninvolving. 1.5 stars
Mar 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Enjoyed, but dynamite in 1666?
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting mix of characters, from different backgrounds, who end up working together, for a common goal. If you like Marstons other series, such as The Railway Detective, you'll enjoy this.
Dee Green
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Like Marston's other books, this is a quick, fun, and entertaining read.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
I found this book simply boring, not anything else I can say. So need less to say I couldn't finish it.
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable start to a series based in Restoration times. Edward Marston is a good writer of historical mysteries.
Shanna Stirling
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book from the first page. I had never read anything by this author before and now have two more of this series to read.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

A pseudonym used by Keith Miles
AKA A.E. Marston

Keith Miles (born 1940) is an English author, who writes under his own name and also historical fiction and mystery novels under the pseudonym Edward Marston. He is known for his mysteries set in the world of Elizabethan theatr
More about Edward Marston

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