"John Redfyre is on the case in this new series!"
Reviewed by Leanne Davis
Posted July 8, 2018
Detective Inspector John Redfyre is happy with his place in
His aunt badgers him into going to an evening concert
where he is a bit nonplussed when it looks like his aunt
has also arranged a blind date for him. John thoroughly
enjoys the concert including the brilliance of the young
female trumpeter. When she falls down a flight of stairs
after the performance, John has to start work
immediately. When another young woman is killed that
same night, John has to determine whether the two cases
are related. As he starts his investigation, another
young woman is murdered and the situation becomes even
Redfyre will traverse the complexities of Cambridge
politics as well as the class conflict as he seeks to learn
the identity of the killer. He survived the great
war only to wonder if he would survive the quagmire of
Barbara Cleverly has started a new series with FALL OF
ANGELS. What starts with a possible attack becomes more of a
puzzle when young women from various walks of life start
dying. John faces the possibility his aunt is involved
in this puzzle.
Ms. Cleverly's story is complicated, holding the
interest of the reader. While I enjoyed the character of
John Redfyre and the story, the resolution of the mystery
left me feeling somewhat disappointed. Sometimes it's
hard to see the validity of an old fashioned motive when
dealing with more modern sensibilities.
England 1923: Detective Inspector John Redfyre is a
godsend to the Cambridge CID. The ancient university city
is at war with itself: town versus gown, male versus
female, press versus the police force and everyone versus
the undergraduates. Redfyre, young, handsome and capable,
is a survivor of the Great War. Born and raised among the
city’s colleges, he has access to the educated élite who
run these institutions, a society previously deemed
impenetrable by local law enforcement.
When Redfyre’s Aunt Hetty hands him a front-row ticket to
the year’s St. Barnabas College Christmas concert, he is
looking forward to a right merrie yuletide noyse from a
trumpet soloist, accompanied by the organ. He is
intrigued to find that the trumpet player is—scandalously
—a young woman. And Juno Proudfoot is a beautiful and
talented one at that. Such choice of a performer is
unacceptable in conservative academic circles.
Redfyre finds himself anxious throughout a performance in
which Juno charms and captivates her audience, and his
unease proves well founded when she tumbles headlong down
a staircase after curtainfall. He finds evidence that
someone carefully planned her death. Has her showing
provoked a dangerous, vengeful woman-hater to take
When more Cambridge women are murdered, Redfyre realizes
that some of his dearest friends and his family may
become targets, and—equally alarmingly—that the killer
might be within his own close circle.
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