Fortune’s Slave – Reviews



Morgan’s novels are a hoot, and packed to the hilt with parody, drama, luscious costumes and gruesome re-enactments. Hangings, shootings, dismemberings and a glorious lack of morality abound. Morgan is adept in contrasting her characters with their surroundings and with each other… She brings dank, disease-ridden London vividly to life, with great humour… The Countess and Alpiew are comic creations of genius. Morgan’s roller-coaster romp of a novel is a hard act to follow – The Herald

A genuinely funny book is always a joy, whatever the genre and subject, and this fourth outing for Ashby & Alpiew is certainly a joyous affair… Take one burglarious dwarf in brightly-colored attire, two prisons, Daniel DeFoe, coffee houses, a hypochondriac Dutchman and a gang of dust-covered urchins, and you have Fidelis Morgan’s latest tale. This is not a period often portrayed in books, so it all has the added dimension of being original, even if this is the fourth in the series. As usual, the characters are dynamic and well depicted, the situations larger-than-life, and there is plenty of humor of a frequently risqué—but never crude—style. London of 1699 is brought to life in all its muck and glory, complete with a note at the back in case readers think that certain things are made up. This series seems assured to appeal to more people than just those who usually enjoy historical crime; the humor alone seems to ensure this. Do we really have to wait a whole year for book five? –

A robust period romp that brims with authenticity. This is the fourth to feature the Countess and her maid, a duo of spirit, wit and surprising sleuthing skills. – Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Comically flirting with history, Morgan takes us on a highly visual romp through Restoration London. – Nottingham Evening Post

The fourth in the Restoration Comedy series featuring the crumbling Countess Ashby de la Zouche, her buxom maid Alpiew, and old friends Godfrey and Pigalle, is a real treat. …a wonderful chaotic romp through Restoration London and its dangerous neighbour, Southwark, as our intrepid duo tries to work out what is going on and to save their own skins… There is a tremendous cast of characters, drawn from the aristocracy, financiers, women who shop, tradesmen, and outrageous criminals. They are all memorable. Restoration London is vividly described in all its glorious and gruesome detail. Whilst I thought the humour in its predecessor, The Ambitious Stepmother, was a little over-obvious in its bawdiness, here it is perfectly pitched for me. Fortune’s Slave is a very funny novel with a breathless pace and complex plot, great characters, and realistic locations. It is a delight to read: a real tour de force. Very highly recommended. – Reviewing the Evidence

The author makes wonderful use of the descriptive nature of archaic language and the book is rich on the details of the times. Although the novel depicts a time when life had no soft edges, it is written with a great sense of fun and modernity. -Impact Magazine (Ireland)

Morgan is marvellous at capturing the sense of newness and possibility, not to speak of the filth, the disorder, and the stink of a city becoming modern with a vengeance. It is a city populated with odd and wonderful men and women, all utterly unrestrained by notions of propriety or manners. We are also treated to an ingenious plot and some thrilling episodes. This series ought to be required reading for all those who take a dim view of historical crime novels — there’s not an ounce of romantic prettiness about it nor are any of the characters cardboard cut-outs to be dressed in period costume. The language is fresh and inventive and authentic. In fact, if I were teaching history, I’d put it on the reading list. It would be the perfect answer to the teenager’s complaint, “But, Miss, history is so booooring.”