This set of six books from the author's Marc Edwards Mystery Series could be called history with a side of mystery, or possibly the reverse, but I decided the former is more accurate. The underlying element is Canadian history, specifically the period from 1839 to 1841, during which the foundations of what the author terms "responsible government" were laid. A key element of this was the alliance between the English Reformers of Upper Canada and the French Rouge party of Lower Canada. This is the history. The mystery element is added with fictional events that (if real) would have threatened or foiled the historical process. Several of the recurring characters in these stories are actual historical figures, but Marc Edwards and Constable (eventually Detective Constable) Horatio Cobb are fictitious. Their investigations add a lively and often interesting human element. Cobb in particular is an amusing figure, with his habit of apt malapropisms and determination to uncover the truth by creative means. On the whole, I enjoyed this collection. In addition to the entertaining whodunits and courtroom dramas, I was moved to read up on some of the history of Canada that I had forgotten or (I admit) was unaware of. A worthwhile reading experience, altogether. Note that these stories fall in the middle of the series, so references to earlier books may be slightly mystifying. Readers familiar with the geography of Toronto would probably have a better appreciation of some details than those unfamiliar with this city.
(reviewed 49 days after purchase)