As well as being a skilfully constructed whodunnit, Soot is an impeccably researched and wonderfully atmospheric evocation of Georgian England . . . Vivid and pungent, with plenty of grotesquery and dry humour, it's a virtuoso performance from a master of historical crime fiction.
A literary thriller of great ingenuity and originality
A quirky, atmospheric tale . . . an intriguing page-turner with a realistically fallible protagonist
Drier than a cream cracker; northern not only in vernacular but saturninity which envelops like a quilt giving off cigar smoke and port; memorable characters who vie for oddity or unpleasantness . . . Andrew Martin's splendidly drawn snow-smothered York is a perfect foil for his sooty 18th-century gubbins and goings on, in which little turns out to be precisely black - or precisely white.
Exquisitely written . . . Soot is a well-made whodunnit, an artful pastiche and an atmospheric recreation of Georgian England . . . Comic but never arch, it is an artfully sophisticated entertainment
A fascinating read
This witty novel brings the fashions and sins of Georgian York and London to life.
In a cunningly constructed narrative made up of letters, diaries and other documents, the mystery is unravelled with a nod to the 18th-century novel while remaining bang up-to-date . . . Strong characters, humour and a dash of the picaresque flesh out a sophisticated, confident and intriguing treat.
'The book's many voices are written with skill, and York's parallel worlds of fashion and poverty are vividly created. The physical book itself is stunning - the front of the hardback is swirled with soot, and the pages are black-edged. An enticing and clever book, inside and out'. Book Of The Month.