Troubador The Devil’s Cathedral

Released: 28/10/2021

ISBN: 9781800464452

eISBN: 9781800466753

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Devil’s Cathedral

A Mystery of Queen Anne’s London


THEATRE ROYAL, DRURY LANE, 24 April 1708. A performance of Macbeth is under way when disaster strikes and the stage becomes a scene of elemental chaos – and for Widow Trotter and her friends at the Bay-Tree Chocolate House, a new adventure begins, involving murder, poison, fire, and a rogue elephant . . .

Devoted fans of Chocolate House Treason will welcome this second novel in the Chocolate House Mysteries series, which captures all the energies of the early eighteenth-century theatre. We move among the eccentric characters of the Theatre Royal company, in Drury Lane and at the exuberant May Fair where the actors moonlight in the fairground booths.

The puritanical reformers are determined to close the theatre and abolish the Fair, and ‘accidents’ begin to happen – but Mary Trotter and her friends at the Bay-Tree are determined to expose the conspiracy, and the action reaches its climax at the Fair when the players are faced with the ultimate act of terror.

Once again, David Fairer offers the delights of the classic eighteenth-century novel, intricately weaving a murder mystery with authentic history, and bringing the London of Queen Anne to life.

Brings the theatre to life with its entertaining and colourful characters in this tale of Queen Anne's time. I enjoyed the book, and thank you netgalley and the publishers for giving me a copy of the book.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

It's 1708 and as the sun sets on the tail-end of Queen Anne's reign, turmoil hits a London theater company and its various ongoing stage projects when matters of moral, religion and spiritual ethos, egregious political shenanigans and artistic freedoms noisily collide on the day murder invites itself in its midst leaving total mayhem in its wake.....

A rollicking and fascinating tale cleverly plotted and teeming with a large cast of colorful characters, a story chock-full of life, novel ideas and lots of delicious verbal pyrotechnics that brilliantly offers us a gorgeous tapestry of a society on the brink of greatness as it
prepares itself to boldly break away from the overbearing puritanical tenets left by the tumultuous 17th century and firmly sets its sights on the much more rewarding era of Enlightenment barreling down its way.

A marvellous fictional voyage that deserves to be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever!

by NetGalley review

The Devil’s Cathedral fuses an exciting mystery with an exploration of a vital aspect of eighteenth-century London. Debates about the theatre come alive with an amazing power, violence, and contemporary relevance, and the sounds and smells of the London theatres and fairs are vividly evoked. David Fairer’s impressive scholarship is imaginatively translated into a tale that is intellectually and emotionally engaging.

by Jim McLaverty

A wonderful book, recreating all the atmosphere of 18th century theatre life, with a mysterious plot for readers to solve, and a suspenseful climax. I learned how Mayfair got its name: from the carnivalesque street fair and entertainments. David Fairer's thorough research makes the reader feel they are actually there. I particularly enjoyed the author's own renderings of typical plays of the time. A brilliant book cover!

by Katie Wales

A fascinating blend of history and fiction, with a generous dollop of suspense! A richly rewarding read.

by Rory McTurk

This is a hugely enjoyable mystery set in Queen Anne's London, with an engaging cast of characters and a vivid evocation of the sights (and smells!) of eighteenth-century life. Actors, thugs, puritans, poets, pig-roasts, dastardly deeds in the costume store, and sinister plots to wreck the theatre. Strongly recommended.
------ Amazon reviewer

by Amazon reviewer

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed David Fairer's first book, Chocolate House Treason, I was keen to read this follow-up. I was not disappointed! Using the social and cultural tensions that came to the fore at this time as his plot driver as mayhem and murder at London's Theatre Royal and May fair challenge the Chocolate House protagonists, the author's passion and knowledge for this period shines through, and I found this a totally immersive read. There is a depth and vividness that brings this world alive, with some lovely touches of humour and humanity woven into the narrative. Just loved it, as did the rest of my book group.

by Andrew Kelly

David Fairer


As Professor of Eighteenth-Century Literature at Leeds University I have spent most of my life researching and writing about the early eighteenth century and bringing it alive for students, and so this turn to historical fiction is a natural one for me. I find myself on the other side of the fence, writing from within the world that I have inhabited imaginatively for fifty years. I am inspired by the thought of bringing this fascinating period to life for modern readers.

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