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A Famine of Horses by P.F. Chisholm

A Famine of Horses (1994)

by P.F. Chisholm

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
188690,405 (4.05)15
  1. 00
    Memoirs of Robert Cary, Earl of Monmouth by Monmouth (juglicerr)
    juglicerr: Robert Cary or Carey is the author of the memoirs, and the protagonist of the swashbuckling mystery series by P. F. Chisholm. He was first cousin to Queen Elizabeth I, being the son of her aunt Mary Boleyn Carey Stafford.
  2. 00
    Mary Boleyn: The Mistress of Kings by Alison Weir (juglicerr)
    juglicerr: Robert Carey, hero of the swashbuckling series of mysteries by P. F. Chisholm, was grandson of Mary Boleyn
  3. 00
    The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers by George MacDonald Fraser (Scorbet)
    Scorbet: The Steel Bonnets is about the history of the Marches, and gives a background to the adventures of Sir Robert Carey.

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Tudor England of the 1590s’. Chisholm steeps her story in so much 16th-century atmosphere and historical detail.

The quality of the story is superb. PF Chisholm has a fine grasp of the character’s traits.

They are all so very human and compelling. Sergeant Dodd for one is the epitome of the dour northern with a wry sense of humour and an intelligence rivaling Sir Robert Carey's.

Most of all it’s a damned enjoyable romp for anyone who likes historical fiction.

( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
When it comes to Rakish Elizabethan heroes, traipsing around the Scot/English border my bar has been set stratospherically high by Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond. Whilst Sir Robert Carey doesn't quite get there, Chisholm has written a very fun and engaging historical/mystery novel.

Robert Carey - gilded popinjay of the Elizabethan court - is taking up a new post as Warden up at the border. But there's more to his beruffed dandy than meets the eye; dealing with dynastic feuds, old flames, and a dastardly heist will put Carey's mettle to the test. Not to mention the resentful lord whose job he just took...

Chisholm has done her research: The only anachronisms in A Famine of Horses are the kind designed to assist readers without breaking the spell. There are no out-of-place idioms here, but nor does she dive head-first into the accents and sytnax of the time. The result is easy-to-read but flavorsome dialogue that is a pleasure to consume.

Carey himself is devilishly beguiling, and Chisholm's light touch injects plenty of humour into the rollicking yarn.

Indeed, there are jokes, romance, danger and a splash of derring-do - none of it pitched to insult the reader or add a tick to some genre checklist. I felt the story grew organically, propelled by a coterie of engaging and three dimensional characters I look forward to meeting in future novels.

  patrickgarson | Dec 28, 2014 |
Wonderfully adventurous historical mystery, set among the Border Reivers in the reign of Elizabeth I. Sir Robert Carey, a courtier of the Virgin Queen returns to the Scots borderlands where he was raised to take a position as a Deputy Warden for his not terribly bright but terribly well connected brother in law. A terrific collection of characters help or hinder Sir Robert in trying to discover why Jock of the Peartree and his men are stealing, buying, borrowing all the horses in the north and why Jock's son Sweetmilk has been found dead in a copse.

This was such fun! I just so enjoy books where the history is accurate and interesting but the story doesn't bog down in it. I will be looking out for the rest of this series with anticipation. ( )
  bunwat | Mar 30, 2013 |
Excellent start to a potentially good series. Interesting characters, authentic atmosphere and enough medieval vocabulary to keep the learning curve moving upwards. ( )
  jamespurcell | Mar 17, 2012 |
This is a great book. It really gives a feeling of being there in the later part of the 16th century. The characters are interesting and it is fun that the author uses a person that was there in those times and was actually a Deputy Warden. The author did a great job resurching for this book and it ties together very nicely. Besides the mystery part of it, it is a great read to anyone who is interested in English history during the time of Elizabeth I. It is a very exciting book from beginning to end! ( )
  TracyK1 | May 17, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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To Melanie, with many thanks
First words
Sunday, 18th June 1592, noon

Henry Dodd let the water drip off the end of his nose as he stared at a trail in the long sodden grasses.
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Book description
Take place Sunday, 18th June 1592, noon, to Saturday, 1st July, morning.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802732526, Hardcover)

In the year 1592, Sir Robert Carey comes north to Carlisle to take up his new post. He has wangled his appointment to be nearer his true love. And of course, he can use the money....

Rich in atmosphere and packed with vivid real and fictional characters, few novels are as well imagined or as much fun as this romp through roguish courtiers, rival gangs, rustling, treason, and high ambition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Carlisle in 1592 is one of the most dangerous parts of Queen Elizabeth's kingdom, where the law of the Scots gives way to the law of the English, often leaving gaps where there is no law at all. Sir Robert Carey, the new deputy warden of the West March, must solve a murder and avert a minor civil war.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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