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Traitor in the Ice (Daniel Pursglove #2)

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Whispers haunt the walls and treachery darkens the shadows this captivating historical novel for readers of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor's Ashes of London and Kate Mosse. Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead. Home to the Montagues, Battle has caught the paranoid eye of King James. The Catholic household is ru Whispers haunt the walls and treachery darkens the shadows this captivating historical novel for readers of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor's Ashes of London and Kate Mosse. Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead. Home to the Montagues, Battle has caught the paranoid eye of King James. The Catholic household is rumoured to shelter those loyal to the Pope, disguising them as servants within the abbey walls. And the last man sent to expose them was silenced before his report could reach London. Daniel Pursglove is summoned to infiltrate Battle and find proof of treachery. He soon discovers that nearly everyone at the abbey has something to hide - for deeds far more dangerous than religious dissent. But one lone figure he senses only in the shadows, carefully concealed from the world. Could the notorious traitor Spero Pettingar finally be close at hand? As more bodies are unearthed, Daniel determines to catch the culprit. But how do you unmask a killer when nobody is who they seem?


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Whispers haunt the walls and treachery darkens the shadows this captivating historical novel for readers of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor's Ashes of London and Kate Mosse. Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead. Home to the Montagues, Battle has caught the paranoid eye of King James. The Catholic household is ru Whispers haunt the walls and treachery darkens the shadows this captivating historical novel for readers of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor's Ashes of London and Kate Mosse. Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead. Home to the Montagues, Battle has caught the paranoid eye of King James. The Catholic household is rumoured to shelter those loyal to the Pope, disguising them as servants within the abbey walls. And the last man sent to expose them was silenced before his report could reach London. Daniel Pursglove is summoned to infiltrate Battle and find proof of treachery. He soon discovers that nearly everyone at the abbey has something to hide - for deeds far more dangerous than religious dissent. But one lone figure he senses only in the shadows, carefully concealed from the world. Could the notorious traitor Spero Pettingar finally be close at hand? As more bodies are unearthed, Daniel determines to catch the culprit. But how do you unmask a killer when nobody is who they seem?

30 review for Traitor in the Ice (Daniel Pursglove #2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maureen ( NOT RECEIVING NOTIFICATIONS)

    *3.5 stars* Book #2 in the Daniel Pursglove series transports the reader to the year 1607, and sees Daniel being ordered to Battle Abbey, in Sussex, in order to infiltrate the Catholic Viscountess Montague’s home, and discover those traitors to King James 1, recusants who continue to worship in secret, aided by priests smuggled in from abroad. Benet, the last pursuivant sent to Battle, to expose the treachery in the Montague home, never returned, and now it’s up to Daniel himself to infiltrate the *3.5 stars* Book #2 in the Daniel Pursglove series transports the reader to the year 1607, and sees Daniel being ordered to Battle Abbey, in Sussex, in order to infiltrate the Catholic Viscountess Montague’s home, and discover those traitors to King James 1, recusants who continue to worship in secret, aided by priests smuggled in from abroad. Benet, the last pursuivant sent to Battle, to expose the treachery in the Montague home, never returned, and now it’s up to Daniel himself to infiltrate the inner workings of the Abbey and carry out his own secret investigation, and also discover what happened to Benet. He’ll soon discover that everyone has a secret at Battle Abbey. Well written and meticulously researched, it has a real sense of time and place that makes it a must for fans of historical fiction. Daniel makes for an interesting and likeable character, who has you rooting for him right the way through. The storyline itself, though mainly interesting and exciting, did tend to drag a little at times, but nevertheless an enjoyable read. *I was invited to read Traitor in the Ice by the publisher and have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Daniel Pursgrove number 2. 3.5 rounded up. 'Hark, hark! The dogs do bark, The beggars are coming to town: Some in rags, some in jags, And some in velvet gowns' - a rhyme that may well be heard on early 17th Century streets as resentment of James I's favourites grew,the current being Robert Carr. It's the Great Frost of 1607-8 and in Battle Abbey, Sussex, in the icy cold a man is attacked and left for dead This proves to be an agent of the King. On 5th November 1607 Daniel is trying to extricate himse Daniel Pursgrove number 2. 3.5 rounded up. 'Hark, hark! The dogs do bark, The beggars are coming to town: Some in rags, some in jags, And some in velvet gowns' - a rhyme that may well be heard on early 17th Century streets as resentment of James I's favourites grew,the current being Robert Carr. It's the Great Frost of 1607-8 and in Battle Abbey, Sussex, in the icy cold a man is attacked and left for dead This proves to be an agent of the King. On 5th November 1607 Daniel is trying to extricate himself from the crowds celebrating the Kings deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot a few years earlier. he's heading for Rotherhithe to meet kings man Charles FitzAlan. His new mission is to go to Battle to see what treachery lies therein, his role to go undercover to see if there's a conspiracy in the household of leading Papist Lady Magdalen, Viscountess Montague, can he outfox the vixen lady? Is the legendary and extremely elusive Spero Pettingar, 'The Devil', holed up there, a man who keeps cropping up but leaves no trace? As with the first novel this book is meticulously researched with great attention to detail. In my opinion, there's too much detail, it overloads and distracts from a complex plot and causing you to 'take your eye off the ball'. It also means that it builds slowly as you wade through it all. However, what it does achieve is a colourful and genuine feeling of atmosphere and which allows you to easily picture scenes. It's especially good on superstitions and I like the inclusion of The Night Creeper. It's certainly a dramatic story, a dark tale of rebellion and treachery, menace, murder and betrayal, capturing all the tension of religious and other divisions which leads to genuine danger. A multitude of secrets are lurking at Battle which makes for intriguing reading, there are people masking their true selves making it hard for Daniel to ferret out the truth. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, it helps somewhat to have read the first instalment. Daniel's character is very likeable. Lady Magdalen is also well done as is the portrayal of James I's court. The ending is a bit of a puzzler, I'm not sure what to make of it. Although this is without doubt well written, with the tone and vivid language of the time spot on (I especially like 'addlepated clotpole'!) it's ultimately too long with what feels like everything but the kitchen sink thrown in. This is a good series but it needs to be pared down for much more exciting reading . With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Headline for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Clemens Schoonderwoert

    This exciting English historical crime novel is the 2nd volume of the, so far, in my view very promising "Daniel Pursglove" series. Before I actually will come to my review, I would like to mention that at the beginning of the book you'll find a piece of the 'Thanksgiving Act' or 'The Observance of 5th November 1605', which will play a significant part in this tale and series. At the back of the book you'll notice an Author's Note, followed by explained pieces with the titles, 'Behind the Scenes o This exciting English historical crime novel is the 2nd volume of the, so far, in my view very promising "Daniel Pursglove" series. Before I actually will come to my review, I would like to mention that at the beginning of the book you'll find a piece of the 'Thanksgiving Act' or 'The Observance of 5th November 1605', which will play a significant part in this tale and series. At the back of the book you'll notice an Author's Note, followed by explained pieces with the titles, 'Behind the Scenes of this Novel' and 'Night-Creeping', and a very well documented Glossary will compliment this great read. Wonderful storytelling from this excellent author does this book great credit, the characters are very believable and lifelike in this story of religious persecution, treason, betrayal and death, while the dark and dangerous atmosphere in England, during the reign of the paranoid 'Scottish' King James I, come splendidly off the pages. This book is set in the winter of the years AD 1607-1608, and its mainly set in and around Battle Abbey, Sussex, home to the Catholic Viscountess Montague, Lady Magdalen, along with some important exploits in London, Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, and some other places. In this tale Daniel Pursglove, a reluctant pawn within the schemes and plots of a certain Charles FitzAlan, is sent to Battle Abbey in an attempt to infiltrate this place, and to find out what's going on there within this nest of Catholic vipers, at least seen from the eyes of the Protestant rulers of the Kingdom, with at the heart of this suppression the Protestant King James I and his powerful bloodhound, Henry Cecil, and the aforementioned, Charles FitzAlan. What is to follow is a wonderful and intriguing historical crime novel, and at the same time its a mystery what the murders are concerned, but most of all its a tale about spying out each other, and all that in an effort with on the one hand to catch and bring to justice the Catholic recusants, and on the other hand to try to evade capture by the Protestant suppressors, by rescuing and helping Catholic priests and sympathisers escape by secret means. Highly recommended, for this is certainly a worthy sequel and so I look very much forward to the next instalment, but what this book in concerned I like to call it: "A Truly Entertaining Traitor Crime Story"!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore

    My thanks to Rachel Quin at Headline for a widget of this book via NetGalley. While a second in series, Traitor in the Ice was my introduction to the Daniel Pursglove series of historical mysteries by K.J. Maitland, a book I found to be an intense and engrossing read with excellent historical detail and atmosphere. Our story opens in Jacobean England, specifically in the winter of 1607, two years after Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot was foiled and he was hanged, drawn and quartered. Everyone was expec My thanks to Rachel Quin at Headline for a widget of this book via NetGalley. While a second in series, Traitor in the Ice was my introduction to the Daniel Pursglove series of historical mysteries by K.J. Maitland, a book I found to be an intense and engrossing read with excellent historical detail and atmosphere. Our story opens in Jacobean England, specifically in the winter of 1607, two years after Guy Fawkes’ gunpowder plot was foiled and he was hanged, drawn and quartered. Everyone was expected to swear the Oath of Allegiance and those who didn’t would have their property forfeit and worse. Catholics and those of other faiths had to practice their religion in secret while ostensibly subscribing to the oath. In this background, Daniel Pursglove is charged by Charles FitzAlan, a confidant of James I to go to Battle Abbey, the residence of the formidable Lady Montague, a practicing Catholic, and a place where Catholic priests are known to be hidden. Not only that, they may be hiding plotters against the King, perhaps one of the conspirators of Fawkes’ plot. The man previously sent to investigate the house has been found dead, apparently in an accident, but most likely murder. But how Daniel is to find his way into Battle Abbey and find answers is left to him. Once he does (by both wit and luck), he finds a vast household with some hints of mysterious goings on and more than one person with secrets. But which of them are related to the mystery he is there to solve? And what could the secret be that the previous man uncovered that led to his death? Meanwhile, the village outside the Abbey is troubled by a night creeper who roams the village at night shrieking and banging on doors; small animals like chickens are found missing in the morning and pigs and even a cat dead. But what is this night creeper—an animal, a spirit or a human being? Alongside in London, we also follow goings on around court, with Richard Fairfax, the son of the man who raised Daniel, and his friend Sir Christopher Veldon try to improve their standing at court, while Richard’s young cousin Oliver looks on. This was a historical mystery with a great deal of substance in terms of its historical detail, setting and atmosphere and I enjoyed it a lot. We get a good sense of the broader historical developments in the period, the scenario at court and in London (from James' temperament to court politics, the decadence and dissipation, and the hostility against Scots among the general populace) and also the smaller details of everyday life (pleasant and unpleasant). The author's historical note at the end of the book also helpfully points out the historical characters and real-life events that she wove into the book. The atmosphere in the book is also really well done. Maitland manages to put across the tensions that were rife at the time, also reflected in life at Battle Abbey. Lady Montague continues to practice her faith, and priests reside at the abbey while others are smuggled in and out. Everyone must tread carefully and everything done in secrecy. There is a constant threat of ‘leopards', men trained to search suspicious homes thoroughly and uncover priestholes and hiding places. Servants and those in the lower rungs are especially worried for Lady Montague is no longer young, and without her protection, their position will be even more precarious. While not impacting the Abbey, the night creeper and the terror he is creating among villagers adds to this. And this fraught atmosphere is made worse by the great frost of 1707–1708, which was so extreme that trees were exploding from the cold. (This was something I’d never heard of before but on looking up I found that this has also been happening recently, in fact last month in Texas, because of sap freezing and contracting, and produces sounds like bullets being fired.) The mystery too, was an interesting one; not a whodunit as such but one where Daniel must pick up clues and information as he goes and discover who was responsible. There are many with secrets and he must piece together whether and how they link up. There is also a broader storyline of a traitor (the additional Fawkes conspirator) that FitzAlan is attempting to trace out, and Daniel’s own background and story which runs across the books, and which also has additional threads of mystery. Because of this, it makes more sense for the books to be read in order. I didn’t read the first book before this, and while that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book as such as the mystery was more or less complete, with the broader storyline, while one can follow along, one does get the feeling that one is missing something. But a very enjoyable read overall, with an interesting mystery and wonderful historical detail. 4 stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    K.J. Maitland's Traitor in the Ice is a gift to readers of historical fiction who are interested in the real politik of Jacobean England. Too many historical mysteries are basically romance novels in disguise with a minimum of period detail and a maximum of longing glances and stolen kisses. The Daniel Purseglove series, of which this is volume two, explores Protestant-Catholic tensions in James I's England. Neither faith is depicted monolithically. Some Catholics hope to bring down James and re K.J. Maitland's Traitor in the Ice is a gift to readers of historical fiction who are interested in the real politik of Jacobean England. Too many historical mysteries are basically romance novels in disguise with a minimum of period detail and a maximum of longing glances and stolen kisses. The Daniel Purseglove series, of which this is volume two, explores Protestant-Catholic tensions in James I's England. Neither faith is depicted monolithically. Some Catholics hope to bring down James and restore the country to Catholicism, actively plotting against the king. Some want to practice their faith, but refuse to participate in anti-Protestant politics. Some occupy an uneasy middle ground, helping the network of clandestine Catholic priests, some of whom would welcome James' murder. There's even an outlier toying with the idea of an anti-Protestant Catholic-Jewish alliance. As I said, an outlier. The mystery here is complex with lots of players—though it's not hard to keep track of who is who. Solutions come piecemeal, and at the end questions remain—which provides motivation to keep an eye peeled for volume three. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is the second mystery by K.J. (Karen) Maitland, featuring Daniel Pursglove, who first appeared in, “The Drowned City.” We are back in Jacobean England, in the winter of the great frost, of 1607/8. Like the previous in the series, Maitland, as always, does a great job of setting the feeling of place and time. You really feel you are in the places she describes, whether that is London, or the remote location of Battle Abbey in Sussex. The novel begins on the 5th November, 1607, a year after t This is the second mystery by K.J. (Karen) Maitland, featuring Daniel Pursglove, who first appeared in, “The Drowned City.” We are back in Jacobean England, in the winter of the great frost, of 1607/8. Like the previous in the series, Maitland, as always, does a great job of setting the feeling of place and time. You really feel you are in the places she describes, whether that is London, or the remote location of Battle Abbey in Sussex. The novel begins on the 5th November, 1607, a year after the failed Bonfire Plot. Guy Fawkes is dead, but peace does not reign in the kingdom. King James and the Scots are resented, the Kings Pursuivant is dead on his way to deliver a report from Battle Abbey, a house that is suspected to be heart of the Catholic network, with suspected priests and spies smuggled in from the coast and one of the suspected gunpowder plot conspirators not yet run to ground. Pursglove is sent to infiltrate Battle Abbey, home of Lady Magdalen, and discover who killed the Kings Pursuivant, as well as uncover the Catholic conspiracy network. This is a historically accurate mystery, with a great sense of location and setting. Flames sputter, the cold is bone deep and secrets, and murder, are in the air… If you intend to read this, I suggest you do start with the first in the series, just to be introduced to Purslove and the other characters. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    For me, the success of The Drowned City was due to 3 main things: 1) the intensity of the atmosphere- the detailed description and incredible sense of place 2) the clever and compelling plot 3) the fascinating character of Daniel Pursglove, reluctant investigator for the crown. Two of those threads were evident again in this novel, but the snail pace of the plot meant that I kept putting the book down and having to talk myself into picking it up again. The potential tension was smoothed utterly f For me, the success of The Drowned City was due to 3 main things: 1) the intensity of the atmosphere- the detailed description and incredible sense of place 2) the clever and compelling plot 3) the fascinating character of Daniel Pursglove, reluctant investigator for the crown. Two of those threads were evident again in this novel, but the snail pace of the plot meant that I kept putting the book down and having to talk myself into picking it up again. The potential tension was smoothed utterly flat by the lack of urgency. As a reflection of a moment in time, it was interesting, but ultimately lacking in vitality. I'm not sure I'll continue despite my interest in the main character. ARC via Netgalley

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Traitor in the Ice is the second book in the author’s historical crime series featuring intelligencer Daniel Pursglove, the follow-up to The Drowned City. In Traitor in the Ice we learn a little more about Daniel but much of his past still remains a mystery. In fact, some of it is a mystery even to himself. ‘I didn’t even know the year of my birth, much less the name my father had given me, if indeed any man had ever owned to being my father.’ What we do know is that he’s quick-thinking, handy wi Traitor in the Ice is the second book in the author’s historical crime series featuring intelligencer Daniel Pursglove, the follow-up to The Drowned City. In Traitor in the Ice we learn a little more about Daniel but much of his past still remains a mystery. In fact, some of it is a mystery even to himself. ‘I didn’t even know the year of my birth, much less the name my father had given me, if indeed any man had ever owned to being my father.’ What we do know is that he’s quick-thinking, handy with a lockpick but often, for reasons connected with his past, has to restrain his own violent instincts. ‘Killing a man was easy; forcing himself to lower the dagger was not’. In addition, his previous actions have given others a hold over him meaning he has little choice but to accept dangerous tasks such as his current mission.  And there is one particular person whose hatred for Daniel is very personal in nature. ‘He [Daniel] always comes back. A cockroach, a rat and a stinking malignant will always return, until you cut them into pieces and destroy them’. I must say I do like the way the author is drip-feeding us nuggets of information about Daniel’s past. The discovery of the Gunpowder Plot and the ruthless despatch of the conspirators has only increased the sense of paranoia around the Jacobean court and in the country. Sent to try to uncover the fate of a previous intelligencer, by a combination of luck and quick-thinking Daniel successfully inveigles his way into the household of Battle Abbey. Once there he undertakes a lot of surreptitious exploration of the Abbey, which is conveniently situated close to the coast. He is surprised to find evidence of Catholic worship taking place in plain sight, making him convinced Viscountess Montague must have a protector in high places. Talking of people in high places, surely no historical novel set in the period is complete without an appearance by one of the Cecil family; in this case it’s Robert Cecil. I actually felt some sympathy for him having to deal with the increasingly bizarre behaviour of the petulant King James I whose current obsession is the mass planting of mulberry trees. And although not central to the plot, I enjoyed the occasional glimpses into life in the Jacobean court. There is one fantastic scene depicting a particularly lavish banquet at which servers bear trays of ‘confections and cakes, roasted birds and small beasts re-dressed in their own feathers and fur, or artfully stitched together by the cooks to create piglets with cocks’ wings and heads, or salmon with rabbit legs and scut tails’. However, underneath all the outward display of excess and pleasure-seeking, there flow dark undercurrents of intrigue and political powerplay. Traitor in the Ice is full of impeccably researched historical detail, everything from food and drink to social and religious customs. I thoroughly recommend reading the Author’s Note which reveals how many of the characters and events in the book are situated in historical fact, such as the Great Frost of 1607 which forms the backdrop to the book and inspires its title. I also loved that the glossary goes beyond brief definitions, for example explaining the role that kingfishers played in a Tudor and Stuart household or revealing more information about Sussex’s rival to the Loch Ness Monster. Of course, there’s also a mystery to be solved which turns out to be a whole lot more complicated than first imagined involving, amongst other things, priest holes, ‘leopards’ and buried treasure. I thoroughly enjoyed Traitor in the Ice. As well as featuring some fascinating characters, such as the mysterious Cimex and Viscountess Montague’s ward, Katheryne (described as a combination of ‘virgin, nymph and witch’), it has a great sense of time and place. Plus the author leaves plenty of deliciously enticing loose ends to be picked up in future books (I hope).

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    A Traitor in the Ice is the second novel in a series set in Jacobean England. Daniel Pursglove is ordered to Battle Abbey in Sussex in order to expose the treachery in Viscountess Montague’s home and to investigate an unexplained murder. This is a dark story with tales of treachery, murder and betrayal. It is exquisitely written and meticulously researched with great attention to detail. The author captures the era so well and highlights this dark and menacing period of time. Set during the Grea A Traitor in the Ice is the second novel in a series set in Jacobean England. Daniel Pursglove is ordered to Battle Abbey in Sussex in order to expose the treachery in Viscountess Montague’s home and to investigate an unexplained murder. This is a dark story with tales of treachery, murder and betrayal. It is exquisitely written and meticulously researched with great attention to detail. The author captures the era so well and highlights this dark and menacing period of time. Set during the Great Freeze of the 1600s it is atmospheric and the descriptions of the scenery are beautiful, conjuring up beautiful imagery and quote worthy sentences. Daniel Pursglove is such an interesting and likeable character. Although we learn a lot about his background in book one, he continues to be a man shrouded in mystery and I want to learn so much more about him. There is a multitude of characters in the story and a lot of different things happening and it does get a little confusing keeping track of who is who. My only other grumble is the slow pacing and there is so much detail in here the plot sometimes gets lost in the background. I could have done without the chapters set at court, my interest lay with the Daniel Pursglove chapters and the murder mystery investigation. This book could be read as a standalone, but reading the first book helped me familiarise myself with Pursglove and his background and why he is coerced into doing what he does. The ending left me a little baffled and definitely needs another book to explain some of the unanswered questions and I can’t help but feel I missed something. A must read for fans of historical fiction and readers who enjoy delving into detailed and well researched works of fiction. TWISTED IN PAGES BLOG

  10. 5 out of 5

    bookishcharli

    Book two is just as well written and researched as book one in the series and that is evident in the attention to detail that is paid to the time period while writing the book and what was available at that time. Daniel’s character growth is evident in this book, you can’t help but really like him and want him to succeed. Thank you Headline and Netgalley for inviting me to read this one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melisende

    Great second in what is promising to be a fab historical fiction series set in Stuart England.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Julie Morris

    It is not necessary for you to have read the first book featuring Daniel Pursglove for you to be able to understand and enjoy The Traitor in the Ice, it works perfectly well as a standalone novel, although it would give you a little more background on how Daniel has found himself in the position he currently occupies as a spy for someone close to the throne. For those of you who have read The Drowned City, which is set in Bristol during the flood of 1606, the author has whittled out another frea It is not necessary for you to have read the first book featuring Daniel Pursglove for you to be able to understand and enjoy The Traitor in the Ice, it works perfectly well as a standalone novel, although it would give you a little more background on how Daniel has found himself in the position he currently occupies as a spy for someone close to the throne. For those of you who have read The Drowned City, which is set in Bristol during the flood of 1606, the author has whittled out another freak weather event to form the backdrop of this book, the Great Freeze of 1607. For me, the weaving of an entertaining murder mystery with real life, little known historical events makes for the perfect novel, because I love to learn things as I am entertained. The main setting of the book is the town of Battle, close to the coast in East Sussex, and its famous Abbey, which purports to be a hotbed of illicit Catholic activity at a time when this was illegal. Other chapters take place in London around the court of James I. Clearly, a huge amount of research has gone into this novel and the fictional element of the murder mystery is embedded firmly in historical fact about the life of Viscountess Montague and her sheltering of Catholic priests during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I, when the Protestant faith was given prominence across the country. The book absolutely oozes with the tension and fear of persecution that stalked the steps of Catholics during that period, the constant threat of raids, capture, torture and execution for anyone accused of preaching the Catholic faith or harbouring anyone who did. This was particularly heightened during this period immediately following the failed Gunpowder Plot, when suspicion was rife that further attempts on the life of the King were being planned. The author has captured this oppressive fear and suspicion perfectly here and the book will have you on edge from beginning to end. Amidst the task Daniel has been given to gain information about what role Battle and the Montague are playing in the Catholic cause at this time, he comes across a series of murders which appear to be linked with the Crown’s efforts to infiltrate Battle and discover its secrets. It quickly becomes clear, though, that the solution is not that straight forward and Daniel has to separate the truth from the false trails that the killer has attempted to lay to divert attention away from his actions. The author explores many interesting topics whilst weaving this tale of mystery and intrigue; the lives lead by servants in great households at this time; how the Catholic priests remained hidden and moved around the country and the Continent; how faith was practised in secret; the folk tales and superstitions of ordinary people at the time; the tensions and competition in James’s court between the Scots and the English nobility; the strange practice of night creeping. All of it is absolutely fascinating and I was captivated by every aspect. The book is very detailed and I suppose some readers may find that the level of description slows the plot somewhat. However, for me it works absolutely brilliantly if you come at it from the perspective of it being as much a historical novel as a murder mystery and that it is balanced as such. The detail and description is important to the book as the action, if you look at it this way, and the historical information gleaned is as rewarding as solving the puzzle of the murders. This is what makes it such a special and rewarding read for me, the sublime blending of historical fact and real people with fictional characters and the mystery plot. Just a delight. Whilst tying up the particular conundrum of who has committed the murders in this book and why, the author has left enough questions hanging to tantalise the reader with anticipation for the next book. There are particular questions left about who is really controlling Daniel and why, whose side they are on, and what is their ultimate goal. Also, the fate of one character is left curiously unresolved and I, for one, have no sooner closed this novel than I am hankering for the next. Write faster please, Ms. Maitland! Daniel is a character I have completely fallen in love with for his skills, cunning and sense of honour, and I am also enjoying learning more about this period of history, which is one I have not studied in much detail. I already await the hardback of this book arriving to grace my library, and I can’t wait for book three. Highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction and murder mysteries alike.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Headline Review for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Traitor in the Ice’ by K. J. Maitland in exchange for an honest review. This is Book 2 in Maitland’s series of historical mysteries set in Jacobean England featuring reluctant intelligencer Daniel Pursglove. Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead. While the Gunpowder Plot had been foiled two years previously, King James remains paranoid. He is especially suspicious about B My thanks to Headline Review for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Traitor in the Ice’ by K. J. Maitland in exchange for an honest review. This is Book 2 in Maitland’s series of historical mysteries set in Jacobean England featuring reluctant intelligencer Daniel Pursglove. Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead. While the Gunpowder Plot had been foiled two years previously, King James remains paranoid. He is especially suspicious about Battle Abbey, the home of Lady Magdalen, the Viscountess Montague. It is a Catholic household rumoured to be sheltering men loyal to the Pope. Yet proof is needed and a man recently sent to spy on them has disappeared without sending his report. 
Daniel Pursglove is ordered to infiltrate the household at Battle and find proof of treachery. He manages to be given a place after he convinces the Dowager and her advisor, Richard Smith, that he is a sympathiser. He soon discovers that nearly everyone at the abbey has something to hide. No further details to avoid spoilers. While most of the novel is told by Daniel, there is the occasional chapter that follows events elsewhere including at the Court of King James. ‘Traitor in the Ice’ had plenty of intrigue and action and proved a compelling read. I always know that I am in safe hands with K.J. (Karen) Maitland given the combination of her excellent storytelling, well realised characters, and her vivid recreation of the historical setting. In addition, her dialogue has the formality of the period which further enhanced the sense of immersion in the early 17th Century. After her Acknowledgements Maitland again presents a ‘Behind the Scenes of This Novel’ giving details of the background and various historical figures and events featured in the novel. Among these was that the winter of 1607-08 was notable for its extreme cold weather that saw rivers freezing over, including the Thames. There is also a glossary of unusual terms used. Overall, I found this an excellent work of historical spy fiction. Its Epilogue contained a teaser that left me looking forward to the next adventure for Daniel Pursglove. Highly recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Headline for an advance copy of Traitor in the Ice, the second novel to feature Daniel Pursglove, in winter 1607. Daniel Pursglove is sent to Battle Abbey in Sussex, home of Lady Magdalen Montague, to investigate rumours of Catholicism and treason. It is dangerous work, because the last man sent was murdered. When he gets there he finds he not only has to unmask a murderer, but the secrets every inhabitant seems to be hiding, including the person kept hidden fr I would like to thank Netgalley and Headline for an advance copy of Traitor in the Ice, the second novel to feature Daniel Pursglove, in winter 1607. Daniel Pursglove is sent to Battle Abbey in Sussex, home of Lady Magdalen Montague, to investigate rumours of Catholicism and treason. It is dangerous work, because the last man sent was murdered. When he gets there he finds he not only has to unmask a murderer, but the secrets every inhabitant seems to be hiding, including the person kept hidden from the staff. Could it be Spero Pettingar, the elusive gunpowder plot plotter? I enjoyed Traitor in the Ice, but it is a bit of a mixed bag for me because I haven’t read its predecessor. This novel is obviously episode two in what can be described as a serial novel and it assumes that the reader has the backstory. As I don’t have Daniel Pursglove’s backstory I was reliant on the snippets provided and they are insufficient to truly explain where he comes from and what his motivations are. He’s a man of mystery to me. It also means that I had no idea what the epilogue meant. The novel is self contained when it comes to the hunt for the murderer and that I found interesting and quite compulsive. It was very well done with several twists and turns an unexpected perpetrator and an age old motive. I found the emotions involved realistic and understandable. The spying and intrigue, i.e the ongoing thread, is less comprehensible. It is told from various points of view and while I got the gist it is not quite clear where each character slots in or where the thread is going. Needless to say it’s all about bigotry and persecution with both sides holding extreme views on how to gain ascendancy. And then there’s something about Daniel Pursglove that makes him special and perhaps protected. Where does he fit in to all these machinations? This is a beautifully written novel, which brings the period to life. It is, however, also a long novel, which sacrifices plot impetus to details of everyday life in a forbidden Catholic household. Traitor in the Ice is a good read that I can recommend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I don’t have very much to say about Traitor in the Ice, the second Daniel Pursglove book, by K J Maitland. It is set during the Great Frost of 1607-8 in England, when the Thames and many other rivers were frozen solid, but the countryside was the hardest hit. I preferred the first Daniel Pursglove book, The Drowned City. It is a dark historical novel, describing life in England under the new king, James I of England and VI of Scotland. Daniel is continuing his search for the mysterious Spero Pett I don’t have very much to say about Traitor in the Ice, the second Daniel Pursglove book, by K J Maitland. It is set during the Great Frost of 1607-8 in England, when the Thames and many other rivers were frozen solid, but the countryside was the hardest hit. I preferred the first Daniel Pursglove book, The Drowned City. It is a dark historical novel, describing life in England under the new king, James I of England and VI of Scotland. Daniel is continuing his search for the mysterious Spero Pettingar, suspected of plotting another conspiracy to kill James and reinstate a Catholic monarch and is sent by the Secretary of State, Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury, to Battle Abbey, near Hastings, in Sussex, a Catholic household, suspected of sheltering Catholic priests. Daniel is an interesting character, needing all his determination and courage to discover what has been going on at Battle Abbey. It’s made even more difficult as it seems that everyone has something to hide, not just their politics and religious dissent, but also murder. A little bit more of his background is revealed in this second book, but he still remains a mysterious figure. And Spero Pettingar is an even more mysterious character, who is he – is he hiding at Battle Abbey? And will Daniel uncover all the secrets concealed within the Abbey? But I enjoyed K J Maitland’s Author’s Note and information she gives in ‘Behind the Scenes of this Novel’ more than the novel. The details of her historical research are fascinating, with information about the real people behind her characters, such as Lady Magdalen, Viscountess Montague who did live at Battle Abbey. And the Glossary at the end of the book is also most helpful explaining a lot of the terms in the book I hadn’t come across before. However, the book failed to hold my interest throughout as the wealth of detail she has put into the novel slows the action down and took away much of the suspense and tension – I felt like I was drowning in description. And at times I wasn’t really sure what was happening, especially at the end of the book – the Epilogue is mystifying. My thanks to Headline Review for a review copy via NetGalley

  16. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Traitor in the Ice is the second book in KJ Maitland’s new historical crime series set in the early 1600s during the reign of James I of England and VI of Scotland. The first, The Drowned City, introduces us to Daniel Pursglove as he searches for a mysterious Catholic conspirator known as Spero Pettingar in the aftermath of the failed Gunpowder Plot. That book is set in Bristol just after the devastating Bristol Channel Floods of 1607; Traitor in the Ice takes place the following winter – a part Traitor in the Ice is the second book in KJ Maitland’s new historical crime series set in the early 1600s during the reign of James I of England and VI of Scotland. The first, The Drowned City, introduces us to Daniel Pursglove as he searches for a mysterious Catholic conspirator known as Spero Pettingar in the aftermath of the failed Gunpowder Plot. That book is set in Bristol just after the devastating Bristol Channel Floods of 1607; Traitor in the Ice takes place the following winter – a particularly cold winter referred to as the Great Frost. In these freezing, icy conditions a man has been found dead in the grounds of Battle Abbey in Sussex. The man was one of the King’s agents, sent to infiltrate the Montague household at Battle to try to root out those with Catholic sympathies. Lady Magdalen, Viscountess Montague is believed to be sheltering Catholic priests within the abbey walls, but the agent has been killed before having the chance to send his report to London. A replacement is needed, so Daniel Pursglove finds himself summoned by the King’s man, Charles FitzAlan, once more and sent to Battle to find evidence of treachery. He quickly discovers that almost everyone in the abbey has something to hide, but when more murders take place Daniel begins to wonder whether he is on the trail of the elusive Spero Pettingar at last. One of the things I liked about the previous book in this series was the setting; I knew nothing about the Bristol floods and found the descriptions of the city in the aftermath quite eerie and otherworldly. The frozen landscapes of Sussex described in this second novel are equally atmospheric: the ‘withered brown bracken, each frond encased in its own ice-coffin’; the pink light of dawn ‘sending sparks of light shivering across the frost’. It’s the perfect setting for a murder mystery and Maitland weaves her usual mix of superstition and legend into the plot, adding to the sense of time and place. I was particularly intrigued by the practice of ‘night-creeping’, which Maitland explains in more detail in her very comprehensive author’s note at the end of the book. I had hoped to learn more about Daniel Pursglove in this novel, but that doesn’t really happen and he is still very much a man of mystery by the final page. Although it’s not essential to have read the previous book first, I was pleased that I had as it meant I was familiar with at least some of Daniel’s background and wasn’t quite as confused as I might otherwise have been. I do like Daniel, though, and enjoyed following him through his investigations. However, I had the same problem with this book that I had with the first one: there was just too much happening! The chapters set at Battle Abbey alternate with others set at court where through the eyes of two cousins, Richard and Oliver, we watch the rise to power of the King’s new favourite, Robert Carr. We also see Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, working to maintain his own influence over King James, while in the streets and taverns of London violence is brewing between gangs of local youths and the Scottish courtiers who are newly arrived in the city. All of this is very interesting, but too much for one book on top of the murders and the Catholic conspiracies! With a tighter focus on just one or two threads of the plot, I think this would be a much stronger series. Anyway, I did enjoy this second novel overall and will be looking out for a third one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    The Assignment A mystery set in 1607 Jacobean England. Daniel Pursglove is summoned to investigate the death of an agent Benet. In order to catch the murderer he must infiltrate the home of the Montagues. The Montagues are a house of Catholics. In this house he is looking for traitors to the throne of King James. Daniel must solve the murder, but how? Everyone is a suspect and everyone has a secret. It is the middle of a long cold winter. The book is a mystery but it has a lot of historical detai The Assignment A mystery set in 1607 Jacobean England. Daniel Pursglove is summoned to investigate the death of an agent Benet. In order to catch the murderer he must infiltrate the home of the Montagues. The Montagues are a house of Catholics. In this house he is looking for traitors to the throne of King James. Daniel must solve the murder, but how? Everyone is a suspect and everyone has a secret. It is the middle of a long cold winter. The book is a mystery but it has a lot of historical detail and sometimes I got a little bit lost in it all. I did enjoy reading about a historical period I know nothing about. It was a good mystery and even though I did not read book one I still enjoyed the book. I wonder about how it ended there were some things I would have liked a bit more closure on. Thanks to K.J. Maitland for writing a good mystery story, to Headline Review for publishing it, and to NetGalley for making it available to me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jo-anne Atkinson

    Daniel Pursglove has been handed a new mission. He is to infiltrate Battle Abbey, home of the Viscountess Montague, to find evidence of treachery. The Abbey is house steeped in Catholic worship, from the Holy Well to priest holes. However Daniel finds more that just Popish plotting taking place, the village is scared of a night-crawler and a route for Catholic priests is established. This is the second book in Maitland's new series set in the early days of James I's reign. Like the first in the s Daniel Pursglove has been handed a new mission. He is to infiltrate Battle Abbey, home of the Viscountess Montague, to find evidence of treachery. The Abbey is house steeped in Catholic worship, from the Holy Well to priest holes. However Daniel finds more that just Popish plotting taking place, the village is scared of a night-crawler and a route for Catholic priests is established. This is the second book in Maitland's new series set in the early days of James I's reign. Like the first in the series the setting makes more of the book. Here the book is set during the Great Frost when the country was in the grip of ice for months on end and the descriptions of this are central to the feeling s aroused by the narrative. Again Maitland does have sections which are bound up with folklore and supernatural practises but not so much that they detract from a very atmospheric historical tale.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Mendzil

    I’ve enjoyed reading Traitor in the ice. Very atmospheric, drawing you into the story and the mystery behind the characters. As with all good historical fiction, with well described scenes it makes me grateful that I’m living in 2022.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    1607 Daniel Pursglove is sent to Battle Abbey to infiltrate the home of the Catholic Montagues to discover traitors to King James.Also to discover what happened to pursuivant Benet and what did he unearth. But it would seem secrets abound along with the dead. An entertaining and interesting well-written historical mystery. With its varied characters. A good addition to the series. An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    I had not read the first book in this series, and I think I would have found this book a lot easier if I was already familiar with the main character. Also, my knowledge of history around the time of the Gunpowder plot is very poor, so I struggled at times to understand exactly what was happening. The content was at times confusing for someone who is new to this area of history. I also found it extremely confusing the way it kept changing from one time frame to another. I really enjoyed the main I had not read the first book in this series, and I think I would have found this book a lot easier if I was already familiar with the main character. Also, my knowledge of history around the time of the Gunpowder plot is very poor, so I struggled at times to understand exactly what was happening. The content was at times confusing for someone who is new to this area of history. I also found it extremely confusing the way it kept changing from one time frame to another. I really enjoyed the main plot set at the Abby, and mostly followed that part. But some of the other parts left me confused, and although I understood the ending from the point of view of who had been the murderer, I had got lost somewhere along the line, and didn't understand the significance of the rest of the ending. I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys history, because otherwise the story is hard to follow. Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    I was pleased to get the opportunity to see where Daniel went next,but unfortunately,the book didn't live up to my expectations. I found myself picking it up and putting it down a lot. The plot seemed to move slowly,though this is partly due to the attention to detail I'm sure. At times it amused me,at others I was confused as to who certain characters were. As much as I enjoyed the character of Daniel,his charm might not stretch to a third book for me. I was pleased to get the opportunity to see where Daniel went next,but unfortunately,the book didn't live up to my expectations. I found myself picking it up and putting it down a lot. The plot seemed to move slowly,though this is partly due to the attention to detail I'm sure. At times it amused me,at others I was confused as to who certain characters were. As much as I enjoyed the character of Daniel,his charm might not stretch to a third book for me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline sharp

    This is the second book in the historical crime novel series with Daniel Pursglove. I had really enjoyed book one so was looking forward to reading to see what comes next. I’ve only recently started reading historical crime novels and am finding them really interesting, something slightly different to the upto date reads I normally read. This novel is set in AD 1607-1608, Jacobean England, it’s two years after Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot was foiled and he had been hanged. Everyone was expec This is the second book in the historical crime novel series with Daniel Pursglove. I had really enjoyed book one so was looking forward to reading to see what comes next. I’ve only recently started reading historical crime novels and am finding them really interesting, something slightly different to the upto date reads I normally read. This novel is set in AD 1607-1608, Jacobean England, it’s two years after Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot was foiled and he had been hanged. Everyone was expected to swear an Oath of Allegiance, those who didn’t would have any property forfeited and worse. Catholics and people of other faiths had to practise their religion in secret, whilst pretending to abide by the Oath they have been forced to swear on.Daniel Pursglove is reluctantly under the orders of Charles FitzAlan who is a confidant to James I, to go to Battle Abbey, which is the residence of Lady Montague, a practising Catholic, and a place where Catholics are known to be hidden. There may also be hiding plotters against the King, possibly one of the conspirators of the Guy Fawkes plot. The previous investigator has been found dead, labelled as an accident, but it’s more than likely murder. It’s now upto Daniel to find his way into Battle Abbey and find answers. Once he manages to do this through luck and wit he finds there is a large household with some hints of mysterious goings on and more than one person with secrets. But which person or persons are related to the mystery he has been sent to solve? What is the secret that got his predecessor killed? At the same time, in a village outside of the Abbey, there is a night creeper who roams the village at night banging on doors and shrieking, some small animals such as chickens are found to be missing in the morning, pigs and even a cat is found dead. What is the night creeper? Is it an animal? A human? Or a spirit? Meanwhile in London, things are going on around court, with Richard Fairfax, the son of the man who had raised Daniel, and his friend Sir Christopher Veldon try to improve their standing at court, whilst Richard’s young cousin watches on. This is one very interesting read, there is a lot of historical detail given, which I personally found interesting mainly because some of these things were never covered in history when I was at school, so it’s interesting to learn some facts from these times. Getting to know the setting and atmosphere as to what it was like to have lived in these times. Not only do you get to see what the scenario’s at court were like in London , the hostility against the Scots, James I temperament to court politics, the decadence and dissipation. But also some of the smaller details of what everyday life was like, some pleasant and some unpleasant. You are able to pick up the tensions that were rife at that time, Lady Montague still continued to practice her faith at Battle Abbey, priests were still living there and people were smuggled in and out. But all this has to be done in secrecy. You feel the tension as you know that there is a constant threat of ‘leopards’ men who have been trained to search suspicious homes thoroughly and to uncover priestholes and hiding places. The servants and lower ringed staff are worried for Lady Montague who is no longer young, without protection they are all more at risk. Daniel has to piece together secrets that are being kept and try and work out how they link up. There us a broader storyline of a traitor another Fawkes conspirator, that FitzAlan is trying to trace out. Daniels story also is full of more threads of mystery which are being introduced throughout the books. This can be read as a stand-alone but it’s better to read these in order to get a better picture of Daniels story as it progresses. Overall this is an interesting read, along with the mystery going on. It’s good to know that the author has included a historical note at the end of the book pointing out the historical characters and real life events that happen within the book. I would like to thank #netgalley and #Headline for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    A year has passed since Pursglove's adventure among the waterlogged ruins of Bristol, and the harsh winter of 1607 finds him sent by the devious Charles FitzAlan into another hotbed of Catholic insurrection in the home of the Montagues of Battle Abbey. This time it is Pursglove's mission to discover what has happened to FitzAlan's previous spy, who is rumoured to have been murdered before he could share his secrets with his master, and to gather all the information he can about the goings on of A year has passed since Pursglove's adventure among the waterlogged ruins of Bristol, and the harsh winter of 1607 finds him sent by the devious Charles FitzAlan into another hotbed of Catholic insurrection in the home of the Montagues of Battle Abbey. This time it is Pursglove's mission to discover what has happened to FitzAlan's previous spy, who is rumoured to have been murdered before he could share his secrets with his master, and to gather all the information he can about the goings on of a household staunchly loyal to the Pope. Pursglove manages to infiltrate the Montague household in the guise of a fellow recusant, and by taking on the role of servant he soon discovers that the residents of the Abbey are not quite all they seem. Plots are afoot to further the Catholic cause, and it is possible that the answers lie within these walls to the location of the traitor Spero Pettinger, who continues to allude James I's clutches - perhaps even the man himself is hidden somewhere in the cleverly constructed priest holes in this very house. As more bodies turn up, Daniel is forced to put his many skills to use to solve the mysteries of Battle Abbey, and his task is not helped by the fact that everyone is hiding their true identity and motives... Welcome to Daniel Pursglove's second adventure as a reluctant spy for the court of James I, following on from the excellent first instalment The Drowned City. Driven by his desire not to return to the bowels of Newgate Prison, Pursglove has no choice but to take on another mission from James I through FitzAlan, and this mystery allows K.J. Maitland ample opportunity to bring Jacobean England alive... and I love it! The story splits intriguingly between London, with riotous and bawdy goings on both on the streets and in the court of James I, and Pursglove's progress trying to find out what is going on in Battle Abbey and its environs. Everything links together through delectable themes of politics and power, intrigue and spies, religion and superstition, and as the threads of the story weave together we learn a lot more about the vices of James I and the innate decency of Pursglove. But this is not all, because amongst the beautifully contrived foundations of a darned good murder mystery, Maitland blends fact and fiction in a way that really casts light on what it means to live in these times, whether you be hobnobbing it with the titled folks, or working your fingers to the bone to keep yourself out of the gutter. I was particularly struck by how much I learned about the habits and routine of a great Jacobean house both upstairs and downstairs, which shows how much minute detail Maitland incorporates in her research. And I have never before appreciated quite how significant the bad blood must have been between the English and the Scots when James VI of Scotland became James I of England, ostensibly uniting the kingdoms. It's all completely fascinating! This story had me gripped from start to finish, and there is a delicious hook into the next book in the series too that tells of turbulent times ahead for Pursglove. I cannot wait!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Martin Paul

    Another glorious trip to 17th century Jacobean England, with as much treachery, murder and deceit as you can take. I recently read and reviewed one of the best historical detective novels I've read for a while - "The Day of the Serpent" by Cassandra Clark. Then, by coincidence, I picked up "The Drowned City" by KJ (aka Karen) Maitland. What struck me about both books was not just the attention to detail, but the fact that the historical facts were presented so starkly, almost like a history lesso Another glorious trip to 17th century Jacobean England, with as much treachery, murder and deceit as you can take. I recently read and reviewed one of the best historical detective novels I've read for a while - "The Day of the Serpent" by Cassandra Clark. Then, by coincidence, I picked up "The Drowned City" by KJ (aka Karen) Maitland. What struck me about both books was not just the attention to detail, but the fact that the historical facts were presented so starkly, almost like a history lesson, yet still managed not to be dry or boring, and were woven in and around the story so as to appear quite the same thing. So I was very happy to be offered a Netgalley ARC of Maitland's second book in the Daniel Pursglove series, "Traitor in the Ice". It's winter, 1607, (Julian calendar) in the time of the Great Frost, and a man is struck down and killed in the grounds of Battle Abbey, home to the catholic Montague family, Fresh from his adventures in the gunpowder plot, Pursglove is sent there to find proof of treachery. King James, suspecting that the family is sheltering those loyal to the Pope, had placed an agent there who has seemingly been murdered before his report could reach London. Pursglove soon discovers that nearly everyone at the abbey has something to hide, but some, he senses, could have more than the others. Could the elusive plotter Spero Pettingar finally be close at hand? What lies behind the actions and attitudes of the Montagues and their followers? This isn't an entirely original premise for a story, having been presented several times by some very good historical detective writers, but that's OK, since what we have here is an atmospheric, skilfully drawn story, full of the suspicions, hatred, conspiracy and betrayal that 17th century England was up to its neck in. Pursglove continues to intrigue us, although there's lots more we need to know about him. His attempts to work undercover as a servant are fun. The members of the (real) Montague family are wonderful, especially Lady Montague, using her wits to survive when surrounded by treachery and treason. King James' agent, the Scot FitzAlan continues to lurk in the dark places of King James court, menacing and brusque. The story is told in the third person, as well as first-hand by Pursglove himself. As usual, Maitland offers a nice potted history at the end of the book, putting a lot of the novel into historical context, as well as a glossary of 17th century terms. Highly recommended to fans of CJ Sansom, Andrew Taylor, DV Bishop and Cassandra Clark.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Caldwell

    Contains spoilers in the last paragraph Although this is the second in the Daniel Pursglove series I hadn't read the first one, and didn't feel like I needed to. This book can be read very well as a standalone, so feel free to dive right in! It's two years after the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament. James I is still on the throne. There is a three-line whip for everyone to worship in Protestant churches, and Roman Catholics comply, or are executed. That doesn't stop Catholics from continuing t Contains spoilers in the last paragraph Although this is the second in the Daniel Pursglove series I hadn't read the first one, and didn't feel like I needed to. This book can be read very well as a standalone, so feel free to dive right in! It's two years after the Gunpowder Plot to blow up Parliament. James I is still on the throne. There is a three-line whip for everyone to worship in Protestant churches, and Roman Catholics comply, or are executed. That doesn't stop Catholics from continuing to worship in secret with the help of priests trained abroad and smuggled into the country. In the former Battle Abbey, the formidable Lady Magdalen presides over a house full of Catholics priests and other Catholics who have sought sanctuary there. After the disappearance of one spy sent to expose the truth, Daniel Pursglove is sent to infiltrate and investigate. I enjoyed this book from the get-go. Even though this was a period of history I knew little about, and there was a back-story I didn't know, KJ Maitland starts the book so well it didn't matter - I felt immediately at home with the characters and the historical era. The book is pacy and exciting. Setting it during the Great Frost of 1607-1608 is a stroke of genius, as it adds a further layer of jeopardy. Bodies cannot be buried, footsteps show up in the ice, and all the occupants of the house are effectively trapped as few dare to venture out for fear of breaking a leg or freezing to death. It is within this stifling atmosphere that KJ Maitland weaves plots within plots. Her writing is atmospheric and wonderfully descriptive. There is often a lot of detail. But pay attention - there's usually a reason for that, as the story will reveal. I was disappointed and a bit confused by the ending. How did Daniel escape the Abbey? How did he get to London in such weather? What was the meaning of the letter he received? (I wondered whether this letter might relate to the previous book). The ending is definitely setting us up for more! And I, for one, can't wait for the next instalment! Thanks to Netgalley, KJ Maitland and Headline for the e-ARC and the opportunity to review this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark taylor

    I got Traitor in the Ice (Daniel Pursglove #2) by K.J. Maitland for free from NetGalley for a fair and honest review. Once again we are in the Jacobian England, in 1607 , 2 years to the day when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the houses of Parliament, on the 5th November 1605. Where Daniel Pursglove, is coming to London to get his orders to go and investigate a number of Catholic priests and what happened to the last person called to investigate. This is the second book of K.J Maitland’s Daniel Pursgl I got Traitor in the Ice (Daniel Pursglove #2) by K.J. Maitland for free from NetGalley for a fair and honest review. Once again we are in the Jacobian England, in 1607 , 2 years to the day when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the houses of Parliament, on the 5th November 1605. Where Daniel Pursglove, is coming to London to get his orders to go and investigate a number of Catholic priests and what happened to the last person called to investigate. This is the second book of K.J Maitland’s Daniel Pursglove series, and while the novel does follow on from the first one, this is a book that can be read as standalone, as the writer adds background to the story as and when needed. What I like about these books is that it uses both the fear of a catholic taking over the British throne at the time along with the belief in witchcraft at the time. While I did not pay much attention to the Regin of James I of England or VI of Scotland. What I do know of it and have investigated because of something I have come across in the book, seems to fit in with the period. As for the writing K.J Maitland is a writer that is able to bring the characters to life in such a way that as a reader you never see anyone doing anything out of character, in the story. The one weakness in the writing is the way that the writer draws you into the novel, while some writers can bring you into the book from the start, this to me is a weakness in the writing, While this may be because I am reading an historical fiction book out of a period I normally read, or the book did not have that hook that drew me into the book as early as possible. This meant there were times when I contemplated stop reading the book however once I was gripped it was difficult to put down. Having said that once I had gotten into the book it became a page turner and had me gripped till the end. Which makes Traitor in the Ice (Daniel Pursglove #2) by K.J. Maitland, a book that is worth sticking with.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shaz Goodwin

    https://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/revie... I loved the next instalment of Daniel Pursglove’s sleuthing to uncover the mastermind behind the Gunpowder Plot (even more so than The Drowned City). Traitor on the Ice opens with an eloquent scene of the man who has extended his stay to visit the holy spring at Battle Abbey. Immediately I was immersed back in this world of deception, death and intrigue. And I have to tell you I was really sad when the story came to an end. This world became my own! Daniel i https://www.jerasjamboree.co.uk/revie... I loved the next instalment of Daniel Pursglove’s sleuthing to uncover the mastermind behind the Gunpowder Plot (even more so than The Drowned City). Traitor on the Ice opens with an eloquent scene of the man who has extended his stay to visit the holy spring at Battle Abbey. Immediately I was immersed back in this world of deception, death and intrigue. And I have to tell you I was really sad when the story came to an end. This world became my own! Daniel is called to London to be given his task at Battle Abbey and whilst waiting for the meeting, witnesses a fight at an inn where he recognises one of the fighters. I loved the thread of this plot that runs alongside Daniel’s infiltration of Battle Abbey. More plotting and arrogance! Brilliant! Daniel working in Battle Abbey is fascinating. Besides the historical detail of the way of life, the relationships and emotions involved kept me tangled up. I don’t think I’ve ever been so surprised when the reveals happen – nobody is who they seem. All the characters have something to hide (believe the blurb). So many secrets! The historical details of early 17th century are fascinating too. King James and his foibles! Oh and England trialling the growing of mulberry trees to make silk and not be dependent on France and Italy … still happening today (but with gas and not mulberry trees!). Such a fab use of words that are no longer a part of our vocabulary. Hands up, I say ‘addlepated clatterfart’ as often as I can 🙂 Traitor in the Ice is gruesome and dark. I loved the pace of the story, the characters, the time in history as well as the time of the season. Near the end we’re teased with information that made me wonder. Who is Daniel Pursglove? One thing for sure, he’s drawn me in totally and I think I might be a little bit in love with him …

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenny

    A historical murder mystery set in frosty Jacobean England. I hadn't read the book that precedes this one, which didn't really matter as I was reading this, as the murder mystery in itself is standalone. Like the mysteries of C.J. Sansom, and Susanna Gregory, there is a continuation in the main character's journey, so there were some events that were alluded to, that didn't mean much to me, but I glossed over those pretty easily. There is a bit of a split narrative, in that every now and then we s A historical murder mystery set in frosty Jacobean England. I hadn't read the book that precedes this one, which didn't really matter as I was reading this, as the murder mystery in itself is standalone. Like the mysteries of C.J. Sansom, and Susanna Gregory, there is a continuation in the main character's journey, so there were some events that were alluded to, that didn't mean much to me, but I glossed over those pretty easily. There is a bit of a split narrative, in that every now and then we see other characters in London, but I didn't really see the importance of those scenes, and actually felt they could have been left out, presumably they are to fit a wider arc than the main plot of this book alone, but they were so infrequent, and unrelated to what was going on at Battle Abbey, that I just didn't have any interest in them. I really loved the atmosphere of this, the setting in the deep winter of 1607 was really well-chosen, I liked the tension of the religious persecution, and the suspicion of the Scottish King and his court, but it was the Battle Abbey setting with the freezing cold, and the mist that kept me hooked. I thought that the description of the sounds of the trees, the smells, and the imagery of superstition and fear was really well done, and for the writing alone, I would read more of these books. For me, though, the ending was a little bit of a let-down, the culprit was someone I didn't really care about, and the hints of wider danger didn't hit hard enough for me, I didn't really understand the ending, so maybe that was something I missed from the first book, but I'm guessing I was supposed to feel suspense and anticipation for the next volume, but I just didn't really feel that. For the writing, the murder mystery (despite the ending), and a different time period for me, I give this a fairly high 3 stars, and would consider reading more.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jaffareadstoo

    Traitor in the Ice is the second book in this historical crime series which sees Daniel Pursglove, once again, on a dangerous mission. This time is he charged with the task of infiltrating Battle Abbey, home to the staunchly Catholic Viscountess Montague whose impressive home is a hotbed of recusant activity. The last pursuivant to undertake this task has been found dead, in suspicious circumstances, so it is with some trepidation that Purslove enters the fray only to find that there are more se Traitor in the Ice is the second book in this historical crime series which sees Daniel Pursglove, once again, on a dangerous mission. This time is he charged with the task of infiltrating Battle Abbey, home to the staunchly Catholic Viscountess Montague whose impressive home is a hotbed of recusant activity. The last pursuivant to undertake this task has been found dead, in suspicious circumstances, so it is with some trepidation that Purslove enters the fray only to find that there are more secrets at Battle Abbey than he could ever have imagined. Spending time again with Daniel Pursglove is a real treat especially as his unorthodox methods of investigation invariably draw him right into the centre of recusant conspiracy with, it must be said, devastating consequences. Add into the mix the country's growing resentment towards King James I, the gossip and intrigue of the Jacobean court, the inherent danger of being a Catholic in a Protestant land, and you have all the right ingredients for a lively and engrossing mystery. Intelligently written, with a real sense of time and place, we go back to a time which has been so faithfully recreated it feels like stepping off a time machine into the age of the great frost of 1607 when the country was halted by a cold which cut so deep that people froze where they lay, and the equally chilling atmosphere of Battle Abbey, with its secret passage ways and strange portents, is brought vividly to life. The dangerous world of Catholic intrigue is very much the focus of the novel, placing those would hear the forbidden Catholic mass right at the centre of the story. Battle Abbey with its hidden priest holes and dark and shadowy corners is the perfect eerie setting for an engrossing novel which plunges you deep into the dark secrets of the past.

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