Book Review: Hue & Cry: a Hew Cullen Mystery: Book 1 by Shirley McKay (three stars)
‘May I observe,’ Hew said pleasantly, ‘that if you mean to use that cudgel on my horse, then I shall have to wrap it round your neck. Which would prejudice our friendship, don’t you think?’
Intricate, engaging historical fiction. Readers are deeply immersed into sixteenth-century Scotland, without the impossible to decipher dialects which often plague such stories. Humor.
‘Remind me, Giles, why we are friends.’
‘You for the sake of my wit, and I for the sake of your sister.’
Everyone has their own agenda and, even when they’re trying to help one another, they are often at cross purposes. Pretty normal. Like at Bard, most of McKay’s action is off stage and described by witnesses.
Sadly, it is the way of our world that we perceive corruption in the purest heart, and see wickedness where it was never meant.’
Lame denouement. It’s only rationale is that it connects to an actual historical event. Still, it was a too convenient solution to Hew’s dilemma.
Stay awhile and show yourself. Else I must think you like the king who sweeps us up and sets us down like pieces on a board but does not really care how he disposes us.’