The Scent of Death

The Scent of Death
Genre : Fiction
Published : 18 Jul 2013 - Harper
August, 1778. British-controlled Manhattan is a melting pot of soldiers, traitors and refugees, surrounded by rebel forces as the American War of Independence rages on.

Into this simmering tension sails Edward Savill, a London clerk tasked with assessing the claims of loyalists who have lost out during the war.

Savill lodges with the ageing Judge Wintour, his ailing wife, and their enigmatic daughter-in-law Arabella. However, as Savill soon learns, what the Wintours have lost in wealth, they have gained in secrets.

The murder of a gentleman in the slums pulls Savill into the city’s underbelly. But when life is so cheap, why does one death matter? Because making a nation is a lucrative business, and some people cannot afford to miss out, whatever the price…


An absolutely gripping, absorbing historical crime thriller… If you like CJ Sansom, or Hilary Mantel or Philippa Gregory, I think you’d absolutely love Andrew Taylor’s THE SCENT OF DEATH.

Peter James

If you’re wondering 'what should I read next?' try it – because it opens up a whole new world for you.

Lee Child

The key to what makes this book work is that Taylor contrives a brilliant mystery plot, and yet the historical detail is just so compelling … The language is interesting, the historical detail is fascinating and the central mystery is absolutely gripping… THE SCENT OF DEATH is a perfect read for anyone who likes a mystery that’s as finely crafted as a Swiss watch – Andrew Taylor is at the top of his game.

Mark Billingham

Andrew Taylor has built this beautiful and exquisite stage set, so everything we need to know about Manhattan in the 1770s is right there… What makes a crime novel work – you’ve got to have a cracking good story, you’ve got to want to know what happened. And here, you’ve got all of it.

Kate Mosse

Andrew Taylor is arguably the most consummate writer of historical fiction today. He achieves to perfection the crucial balance between the mystery to be solved and the historical context surrounding it. A mesmeric read.

The Times

An absorbing and harrowing epic historical detective novel… Taylor is as good at this period as C. J. Sansom is at Tudor England, and like him pulls off novels that work both as literary fiction and detective stories.


Andrew Taylor has been producing superb historical fiction since long before Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker wins bestowed literary respectability on the genre.

Daily Telegraph

Taylor once again shows how skilful a historical novelist he is.

The Sunday Times

Andrew Taylor presents a fresh and surprisingly provocative perspective on a decisive chapter on American history...Taylor's sensitivity to the wholesale misery of the dispossessed puts a new face on the noblest of wars.

New York Times Book Review

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