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John Grey Historical Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of John Grey Historical Mystery Books

A Cruel Necessity (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Masterpiece of Corruption (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Plague Road (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fire (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The name ‘John Grey Historical Mystery’ refers to a series of novels written by L.C. Tyler. The books follow a lawyer living in the seventeenth century who solves mysteries with the help of his childhood friend.

+The Story

The John Grey Mystery series is set during the time of Oliver Cromwell. The books chronicle the life of John Grey. As a young lawyer, John is very naïve. He knows little of the world.

His only care is whether or not he will attend Lincoln’s Inn to complete his studies. Things go awry when a spy is murdered. The situation normally wouldn’t have so directly affected John Grey. But then he meets John Thurloe, a spymaster working for Cromwell, and everything changes, not only John Grey’s plans but his life.

The John Grey Historical Mystery series is set in 1650s. The period finds John nurturing some noticeably puritanical opinions and attitudes and that isolates him from the inhabitants of his village, most of whom are pretty easy going.

Because of his naiveté, John Grey makes a lot of mistakes and his decisions are rarely right. But that is what makes him a fun protagonist, with his fumbles and gambles leading him through one fiasco after another.

Following the success of the Elsie and Ethelred series, no one would have expected L.C. Tyler to go the route of historical fiction. But that is only because many of the author’s fans do not realize the love and passion he has for fiction.

Some of his most loyal followers might be aware of the short story he wrote set in the twelfth century, the first work of fiction he ever published. Others have simply chosen to appreciate Tyler’s take on the seventeenth century.

That particular period has always appealed to Tyler because of the freedoms that were on offer. Because of the lack of a moral compass, anything and everything was acceptable. Corruption was rife and it was an open secret that public offices were available for purchase.

In fact, business was rarely done without the involvement of a bribe of one sort or another. There was little in the way of loyalty. Cromwell’s republic was definitely an unstable entity.

Tyler takes advantage of all the chaos and mayhem of the time. Though, some people do not appreciate the approach he has taken to representing Cromwell. Whereas most historical buffs are content to paint Cromwell as a true villain and usurper, Tyler is a little kinder.

Tyler doesn’t shy away from giving Cromwell the credit he is due for putting in place a stable government, encouraging religious freedoms and calling for tolerance. Tyler doesn’t excuse or gloss over Cromwell’s actions in the John Grey Historical Mystery series.

Rather, he makes an effort to ignore Cromwell the statesman, instead giving attention to Cromwell the individual who, as a private person, had a love for music, practical jokes and family. Tyler doesn’t think that judging the figure using twenty first century standards of morality makes sense.

It was a different time and Tyler treats it as just that.

Fans of Tyler’s earlier work will notice that the John Grey Historical Mystery series is a tad bit more serious than the Elsie and Ethelred books. Sure, there are jokes to be had but Tyler doesn’t gloss over the darker aspects of the world of espionage that John Grey explores as he comes into his own.

Even though the novels are set centuries in the past, Tyler creates parallels with the present day. Tyler has also admitted to making more of an effort to do research for the John Grey series, which he did not require while writing the Elsie and Ethelred books.

+The Author

L.C. Tyler was born in Southerland in Essex. The student of Jesus College and City University worked in the civil service for a number of years before becoming Chief Executive of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health.

The author made the leap to publishing after his first manuscript was accepted by Macmillan during a program they were running to attract new talent. Since then, Tyler has written a number of mystery novels, taking many accolades home for his troubles as a result.

+A Cruel Necessity

At Eight Years of Age, all is not well in Cromwell’s English republic, not with all the eyes looking to Charles Stuart’s Court in Exile. Talk of a restoration stalls when a Royalist Spy is killed.

Even though the Local Magistrate is in no hurry to carry out an investigation, John Grey is determined to see justice done. However, the young lawyer doesn’t know who to trust or what madness he has become embroiled in.

This novel, the first in the John Grey Historical Mystery series, is set in a relatively dark time. The English Civil Wars are over but all is not well with Cromwell’s rule. Despite the tense atmosphere, L.C. Tyler finds the time to inject humor into the story.

John Grey takes center stage. The young lawyer is very naïve. His actions, though well-intentioned, throw him into conflict with men and women that have little patience for his ideals. But John Grey is intelligent and he isn’t completely helpless.

From the likable hero to the amusing dialog and clever twists, there is a lot to love about this book.

+A Masterpiece of Corruption

John Grey’s plans to return to his studies are complicated when he receives an invitation from the Sealed Knot. Grey doesn’t know what to think. He has no intention of joining the group and sees fit to tell them as much in person.

However, his decision to answer the invitation ends in disaster when john learns that there is a plan to kill Oliver Cromwell. The invitation wasn’t meant for the young lawyer to begin with.

But he soon finds that he is too deep to extricate himself from the awkward scenario. John doesn’t want to betray his father, who is a long time Royalist in exile and the person for whom he was mistaken. But he would rather not permit or even assist in Cromwell’s murder.

This book is a little too complicated in some places. But it succeeds because of its humor and Tyler’s plotting as he throws John Grey into an impossible situation.

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