Plague

Publisher: Anchor Canada
WINNER 2015 — Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel

London, 1665. A serial killer stalks his prey, scalpel in his hand and God's vengeance in his heart. 
     Five years after his restoration to the throne, Charles II leads his citizens by example, enjoying every excess. Londoners have slipped the shackles of puritanism and now flock to the cockpits, brothels and, especially, the theatres, where for the first time women are allowed to perform alongside the men. 
     But not everyone is swept up in the excitement. Some see this liberated age as the new Babylon, and murder victims pile up in the streets, making no distinction in class between a royalist member of parliament and a Cheapside whore. But they have a few things in common: the victims are found with gemstones in their mouths. And they have not just been murdered; they've been . . . sacrificed.
    Now the plague is returning to the city with full force, attacking indiscriminately . . . and murder has found a new friend.

PRAISE FOR

“Humphreys brings to bear all his dramatic skills on this compelling tale of mayhem and murder. . . . [He] lightens the intensity with his characters’ warmth and period-flavored quips; despite the danger at every turn, we cannot help but root for these hardy survivors, though we know going in that not everyone will make it out alive. Humphreys is well known for his talents in the historical fiction arena, and Plague may be his best work yet—a triumphant tour de force that is part adventure, part drama, and full of unexpected thrills.”
Historical Novel Society

“[Humphreys’] books are always a treat to read, immersive and thrilling, but with a depth and skill that elevates them well above pulp. Plague, Humphreys’ newest novel, is no exception. . . . Plague is thrilling, yes, but it is also harrowing, with scenes of such force and power that some readers might be tempted to close the book and walk away. They won’t, though: Humphreys is far too good a storyteller for that to happen. Plague is the sort of book you open when you have a spare couple of minutes, and look up from hours later, only after the last paragraph is read.”
Ottawa Citizen

“A blend of adventure and historical fiction; ingenious in [its] plotting, and more pleasurable than pensive. . . . The book features more twists and turns than a labyrinth.”
National Post

“C.C. Humphreys has managed quite a feat: a book about bubonic plague and a serial killer in 17th century London written with a great sense of fun... For a reader whose taste in crime fiction runs more to dark, contemporary Scandinavians, Humphreys was a delightful treat.”
Toronto Star

"Plague is one of those books where you turn the last page and wish there were more.  The very best of history, mystery, romance and sheer fun.  (Well, and a few rats...)  London itself is as vivid a character as the actors, adventurers and intriguers who people its all-too-few pages."
—Diana Gabaldon

“Humphreys does a great job evoking the sights, sounds, and smells of the labyrinthine city [of London]…. The mix of plague and puritans with popcorn storytelling that makes for an entertaining treat.”
—Quill & Quire

“Humphreys' expressive writing style and ability to weave a tale from these engaging characters' respective points of view makes for a rich and addictive read, ideal for fans of historical fiction.”
Publishers Weekly

If you’re a history buff who likes adventure and a story that rips right along, hunker down with C.C. Humphreys’s Plague. It’s got all of the above and, bonus, much of it is set in the theatre.
NOW Magazine

"Grips the reader immediately. These are people we cannot help caring about. Under the skin, their hopes and fears are the same as ours, their loves as deep."
—Anne Perry, author of Blood on the Water
 
“Fast, exciting historical adventure, to be read in huge gulps. A runaway carriage of a book.”
—Conn Iggulden, author of War of the Roses

“Beautifully written, pacy and exciting..... A brilliant depiction of seventeenth-century London in all its glory and grime against the grim backdrop of the eponymous plague.”
—Simon Scarrow

Plague is thrilling, yes, but it is also harrowing, with scenes of such force and power that some readers might be tempted to close the book and walk away. They won't, though: Humphreys is far too good a storyteller for that to happen. Plague is the sort of book you open when you have a spare couple of minutes and look up from hours later only after the last paragraph is read.”
The Leader-Post
 
“If you’re a history buff who likes adventure and a story that rips right along, hunker down with C.C. Humphreys’s Plague. It’s got all of the above and, bonus, much of it is set in the theatre.”
—NOW (Toronto)