Death in Delft by Martin Brack is the first in a new series. Set, not surprisingly in Delft in 1671 the plot is based around 3 young girls who have been abducted, one turns up dead and our hero Master Mercurius a protestant protest who is also a secret catholic, is called on by the mayor to try to solve the murder and find the two remaining girls before they are killed.
As a crime novel this might be quite standard fare though well executed, what makes this more interesting is the rich imagery of 17th century Delft, the currents of repressed religion post reformation and the insertion of the painter Johannes Vermeer and the scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek who discovered protozoa into the plot. The novel is in the form of a journal by Mercurius and has a dry humour running through his dialogue with the reader.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this, I’ll give the next one a go.