Rook, Rhyme & Sinker
Review: After Simon Railes, an old chum of Ernie Bisquets', is found dead, drowned in a lock on Regent's Canal in Camden Town, Railes's solicitor tells Ernie that he has a package for him, the contents of which initiate a new adventure for the East London Adventurers Club in Rook, Rhyme & Sinker, the second mystery in this series by R. Michael Phillips.
Ernie opens the package to reveal a small, carved ivory figurine. He doesn't know what to make of it, but his associates, Nigel and Lily, do: it appears to be a Lewis chessman, a rook. What is so surprising about the piece is that all known Lewis chessmen are accounted for … thus this appears to be a new discovery. A clue to its origin is also included in the package, a mysterious rhyme. "Well, this couldn't get any more interesting even if the Queen herself walked in and poured us tea," says Nigel. Of course it has to be authenticated, and with most of the known chessmen on display at the British Museum, the group takes it there … at which point Nigel is proved wrong as things do, indeed, get more interesting.
For those who haven't read the delightful first entry in this series, a little background information is required for new readers, which is presented in a short prologue that outlines the origins of and purpose of the East London Adventurers Club. The storyline in Rook, Rhyme & Sinker involving the mystery of the rook's origin — and of Simon Railes's death — is cleverly devised, and uses as its foundation the real Lewis Chessmen, a collection of 78 pieces of carved walrus ivory and whale teeth. There is a considerable amount of humor and good fun included along the way, mostly derived from the contrast between former thief Ernie Bisquets and his new, ever-so-proper colleagues but also in the manner in which the case is resolved. This is a series that definitely deserves a wider audience.
Acknowledgment: R. Michael Phillips provided a copy of Rook, Rhyme & Sinker for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Along Came a Fifer …
Asylett Press (Trade Paperback), June 2009
ISBN-13: 9781934337622; ISBN-10: 1934337625
Between Good and Evil
Sunbury Press (Hardcover), January 2016
ISBN-13: 9781620066607; ISBN-10: 1620066602
Location(s) referenced in Rook, Rhyme & Sinker: London, England
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Rook, Rhyme & Sinker by R. Michael Phillips — An Ernie Bisquets Mystery
Publisher: Asylett Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 2011
List Price: $14.75
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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