(From the publisher):
Christmas, 1669. In the grip of the coldest winter for years, the River Thames is frozen from bank to bank and London celebrates with a traditional frost fair held on its broad back. Revellers come from far and wide to enjoy the spectacle: an ox is roasted, booths set up and entertainers employed to amuse the crowds enjoying the holiday atmosphere.
Among the throng is ambitious young architect Christopher Redmayne, escorting Susan Cheever, the daughter of one of his clients with whom he hopes to further a romantic attachment. By chance they meet Christopher's good friend, Constable Jonathan Bale, attending with his family. As the adults talk, Bale's sons skate around them. But their competitive nature spells trouble when the youngest slides on to thin ice and is in danger of crashing into the freezing water below. Christopher and Jonathan save the boy but make a disturbing discovery - the frozen corpse of a man embedded in the ice. Their day at the fair is cut short.
The dead man is identified as Italian fencing master, Jeronimo Maldini. Stab wounds to his back indicate murder. Bale vows to investigate but Christopher sees no reason to involve himself further in criminal matters. However, he is unprepared for the next development: his brother, Henry is accused of the crime and thrown into jail. On the night Maldini disappeared, Henry was heard by witnesses threatening the Italian after a violent argument. Worse, Henry was so drunk that he has little recall of his actions. Now he faces execution if Christopher cannot prove his innocence. The architect must risk all he holds dear, both professionally and personally, to uncover the truth...
Original title: The Frost Fair
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Historical
Fiction→ Historical→ European→ British Isles