Review: Death Makes No Distinction by Lucienne Boyce

I'm thrilled to share my thoughts on Lucienne Boyce's gripping novel, Death Makes No Distinction, today. It's a fast-paced mystery that has you reading into the wee small hours. My thanks also to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources (and my apologies to the author for the late posting of this review).


Death Makes No Distinction is the third instalment in Lucienne Boyce's Dan Foster Mystery series. And although I'm unfamiliar with the first two novels (something I'll have to rectify!), I caught up quickly with Bow Street Runner, Dan Foster, and his turbulent personal and professional life. Ms Boyce provided just enough backstory detail to give us a brief summary, which worked really well. 

Dan is very much a no-nonsense character, but he knows his place and he's not there to play the games of those in high society – unless he is compromised to do so. At first, I found it hard to warm to him, but his character grew on me. I found his approach to the two murdered women, on which the novel focuses, realistic. 

When the abused body of a young woman is found behind a tavern, fingers point quickly at her ’profession’, and the accompanying attitude that it was a risk of her trade. Yet Dan spots signs that here lay a woman who had fallen on hard times, who had had no choice in the end. 

But before he can investigate properly, he is called away to assist his rival, John Townsend, with the investigations into the murder of Louise Parmeter, a socialite and writer of memoirs. Louise had been the lover of the Prince of Wales and other nobles, so her missing manuscript pointed to a personal attack. Yet a stolen earring and necklace pointed at robbery, something that Dan can't quite agree with. He defies Townsend's orders and conducts his own enquiries, which prove to be hugely disagreeable to some noble families.

As Dan's search takes him deeper into the murky world of rich lords – wastrels – Townsend traps him into a deal he did not see coming, and despite Dan's anger, he has no choice but to play along. When a stranger targets Dans’ family, the force pulls together and with the help of a group of street urchins, any real damage is averted.

Dan's investigation eventually reveals Louise's murderer, much to Townsend's surprise. It was a clever twist I didn't see coming at all, and very well executed (no pun intended). 

Death Makes No Distinction is a gripping mystery, full of authentic detail of the time, and I found myself immersed in the story and setting. My only criticism would be that the case of the poor murdered woman behind the tavern seemed somewhat brushed over and resolved too quickly near the end. I'd have liked to see a little more focus on that murder, too, just like the title implies.

Overall, an engaging mystery revealing the social differences of the day. I'll be looking for the other books in the series. Highly recommended.

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Death Makes No Distinction: A Dan Foster Mystery

Two women at opposite ends of the social scale, both brutally murdered.

Principal Officer Dan Foster of the Bow Street Runners is surprised when his old rival John Townsend requests his help to investigate the murder of Louise Parmeter, a beautiful writer who once shared the bed of the Prince of Wales. Her jewellery is missing, savagely torn from her body. Her memoirs, which threaten to expose the indiscretions of the great and the good, are also missing. 

Frustrated by the chief magistrate’s demand that he drop the investigation into the death of the unknown beggar woman, found savagely raped and beaten and left to die in the outhouse of a Holborn tavern, Dan is determined to get to the bottom of both murders. But as his enquiries take him into both the richest and the foulest places in London, and Townsend’s real reason for requesting his help gradually becomes clear, Dan is forced to face a shocking new reality when the people he loves are targeted by a shadowy and merciless adversary. 

The investigation has suddenly got personal.


Purchase Links: 

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About the Author:

Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. After gaining an MA in English Literature (with Distinction) with the Open University in 2007, specialising in eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land, in 2012, an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas. 


Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016. The second Dan Foster Mystery, The Butcher’s Block, was published in 2017 and was awarded an IndieBrag Medallion in 2018. The third in the series, Death Makes No Distinction, was published in 2019. In 2017 an e-book Dan Foster novella, The Fatal Coin, was trade published by SBooks. 

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes, a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. In 2017 she published a collection of short essays, The Road to Representation: Essays on the Women’s Suffrage Campaign

She is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

She is currently working on the fourth full-length Dan Foster Mystery, and a biography of suffrage campaigner Millicent Browne. 

Lucienne was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol.

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Social Media Links:  

Twitter: @LucienneWrite


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