Author: Peter Tyzack
London, October 1881. When Inspector Everett Parsons is recalled from leave following the assassination of a prominent politician he imagines himself joining his colleagues in a nation-wide investigation. Instead he is assigned to the murder is General Latham, the former commanding officer of an infantry regiment recently returned to London after years spent fighting native tribes in Africa. The general has been stabbed with a Zulu spear. Parsons finds a strained atmosphere in the regiment. Colonel Cordell, the new commanding officer, has failed to gain the respect of the other officers; and his recent marriage to Venetta, a passionate young Frenchwoman, is already failing. Lady Cordelia Arbuthnot, a wealthy and aspiring wife is embittered by her husband being passed over in favor of Cordell; and Captain Simpson, a young officer recommended for the highest bravery award, seems intent only on drinking himself into oblivion. Only Regimental Sergeant Major Whitehead's rigorous discipline holds the regiment together. Latham's reputation as a womanizer and the evidence of several eye witnesses enables Parsons to make an early arrest. But when more deaths occur he begins to question the evidence. At first the motive for the murders seems clear, but as new facts emerge Parsons starts to uncover a conspiracy and a trail of deceit that reaches from the House of Lords to the plains of Africa. Set against a background of British colonial expansion, "Death Wore a Redcoat" is a story of avarice, lust and betrayal; of ambitious men and women, and of the common soldiers who are regarded as little more than an expendable expedient.
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