A Just and Upright Man by R J Lynch
A romance/crime novel set in the northeast of England in the 1760s. While so much historical fiction focuses on the rich and powerful, RJ Lynch prefers to write about those at the bottom of the social pile — the agricultural labourers, miners and domestic servants from whom most of us are descended.
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Paperback 340 pages
Book 1 in the James Blakiston series of romance/crime novels set in the northeast of England in the 1760s
Shortlisted for the Historical Novel Society’s 2015 Indie Prize
An absolute gem, R.J Lynch’s tale put me in mind of Winston Graham’s Poldark. Janis Smith
This novel is on a par with Thomas Hardy’s meaty offerings of country life and the hardships of the less well off: those beholden to the super-rich of their day Francine Howarth, Romance Reviews Magazine
It is 1763. James Blakiston, overseer of Lord Ravenshead’s estate and a newcomer to the Durham parish of Ryton, is determined to solve the mystery of old Reuben Cooper’s murder – but he has no idea how to go about it. As enclosure threatens to make the poor even poorer, Blakiston follows one misguided hunch after another. The only thing that he can really be certain of is his love for the beautiful and spirited Kate Greener – a love he is determined to resist, for Kate is the daughter of a penniless labourer and Blakiston has in any case not recovered from being thrown over by the woman he believed loved him.