FICTION

The Judge Hunter

S. & S. May 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781501192517. $26.95; pap. ISBN 9781982100070. $18; ebk. ISBN 9781501192524. F
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Satirist Buckley (Thank You for Smoking; Boomsday) travels to 17th-century New England for his second historical novel, part of the century-jumping series he began with The Relic Master. With an almost British, Monty Python-esque dryness, Buckley traipses through the American Colonies and skewers the foibles of the inhabitants. "Balty" (Balthasar de St. Michel) is brother-in-law to Samuel Pepys. To keep his inept, freeloading relation occupied, Pepys directs him to New England to track down two judges responsible for ordering the death of King Charles I. Arriving in the New World, Balty becomes embroiled in a political bramble patch that may bring about war with Holland. At his side during his misadventures is a former militiaman named Huncks. Buckley cleverly weaves his story line with historical threads taken from Pepys diaries and other notes from the Colonial period.
VERDICT A wry, witty, enjoyable romp. Buckley knows how to turn a phrase. Recommended for fans of George MacDonald Fraser and those who prefer some P.G. Wodehouse in their Bernard Cornwell. [See Prepub Alert, 11/26/17.]

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