The Pictou Triangle
by Jean Lucas
Trafford Publishing

"She had asked him to... cover up any echoes of William's illicit empire."

This romantic historical and mystery novel is a companion to Lucas' novel, An Edinburgh Lady. Set shortly after the time of slavery in Britain and during that of Empire, the story's main character is dastardly William Mackenzie, a Scottish transplant. His past of slave-trading for Britain and then the US, rum-running, and smuggling, has enabled him to settle in Jamaica for seventeen years. Loneliness inspires him to move to Halifax, and marry young Delia, unhappily. Delia's father, Judge Fogo, who discovers William's criminal past, dies in a convenient accident, and the twists and turns commence.

An innocent man named Robert Thomson is set up for the deed by William, and is sent into exile. A fish-drying station in Newfoundland is a base for an amnesia victim, Angus Ritchie. The station is also a base for William's smuggling efforts. During an attempt by Thomson to expose William, he meets Angus, who is working under the name of "Barney." The wronged man suspects that Barney may know something that will be useful in bringing William to justice. Ultimately, in threads reminiscent of those in a Dickens' novel, William and Delia separate, other characters' family members meet or are reunited. William meets a certain, perhaps appropriate, resolution.

The fiction and romance are counter-balanced by many historical references, including the figures of Thomas Dudgeon, the abolitionist William Wilberforce, Baron Stafford, and others. This book will be of particular interest to those who enjoy early-modern to contemporary British and Canadian history, as well as to mystery aficionados.

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