A Roman Shadow by H.L. Marsay

Title: A Roman Shadow (Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery #4)

Author: H.L. Marsay

Published on: 3 Feb 2022

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

As Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year approach, the city of York is busier than usual and so is Chief Inspector John Shadow. First, a theft at the Eboracum Museum and then, a missing Chinese tourist. As bodies begin to drop like flies, Shadow and his sidekick Jimmy Chang wonder if the two cases are connected. After all, there have been a string of ‘just a coincidence.’

A Roman Shadow is the third book in Helen Marsay’s Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery series.

My favorite author Helen Marsay is back with a fantastic addition to my favorite detective series – Chief Inspector John Shadow mysteries.

In A Roman Shadow, Chief Inspector Shadow encounters jewelers, smugglers, chocolatiers, museum curators, extra martial affairs and Roman soldiers (not the real ones, mind.)

The story begins with Shadow sitting at his favorite restaurant for breakfast. It’s been quite a few days since he saw his favorite waitress. Maybe she’s gone on a vacation, thinks Shadow. Valentine’s Day is around the corner and it is not Shadow’s favorite time of the year. After losing the love of his life Louisa more than two decades ago to a freak accident (killed by a drunk driver) and also given that Shadow prefers his own company, crowded places and couples going all lovey-dovey is not something that he likes.

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He meets Sergeant Jimmy Chang, an enthusiastic detective-in-the-making with whom Shadow is paired. It’s been almost a year since the duo have worked together and Shadow has come to tolerate the guy – although Jimmy gets a tad overly-excited at times…

Jimmy and Shadow reach the Eboracum Museum and learn a few gold coins of the Roman era have gone missing. The museum curator is blamed for the theft but Shadow believes she’s innocent. As Shadow and Jimmy start to investigate, they learn of the Museum director’s new wife – she’s not at all interested in helping the police in investigation, and two burly guys who dress up as Roman soldiers – with whom the new wife seems to be overly friendly.

During their investigation, Jimmy and Shadow come across a group of Chinese tourists. The group claims one of their group members have gone missing. As the detectives start looking for clues, they wonder if the two cases are connected, after all, there have been a series of coincidences that cannot be overlooked.

I have nothing but praises for this fantastic 4th book in the Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery series. I have said this in my previous reviews and I do not mind repeating myself – Helen Marsay is a fantabulous storyteller. Be it the writing or the suspense or the characterizations, Helen Marsay is the best!

Apart from the mysteries that Shadow and Jimmy solve, we also get a sneak peak into the detectives’ personal lives. Jimmy has been acting strange. Shadow is reflecting on his past choices. On the personal front, the story ends on a very good note. 😀 Without giving away any spoilers, I would like to say – I did not see it coming! I was like, OMG! Shadow’s reaction too was worthy of another OMG. 😀

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Readers are also in for a visual tour of York. I did not know that York famous for Chocolates. The public houses, the chocolate factories and stores, the City Walls, the Viking tours and the York Minister, looks like I need to plan a trip to York ASAP. Let me go a step ahead and say I am more interested in the chocolates and the food. Tourist destinations can be visited once my tummy’s over-filled. 😀

If you are a mystery lover, DO NOT MISS to read A Roman Shadow by H.L. Marsay. If you love detective fiction set in a picturesque setting, the Chief Inspector Shadow Mystery series must be on your TBR list.

Other books in this series:

Book #1: A Long Shadow

Book #2: A Viking’s Shadow

Book #3: A Ghostly Shadow


Many thanks to Tule Publishing and Helen Marsay for the ARC.

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