This is the fourth book in the Doctor Syn series, featuring the adventures of the charming vicar of Dymchurch, Doctor Syn.
Unlike the previous books, this one has no real story, each chapter is a story in itself and in no way connects to the next episode.
Most of the episodes follow Dr Syn (or in his smuggler guise is known as “The Scarecrow”) as he and his band of smugglers outwit the Dragoons, bandits, scallywags, and anyone else who threatens their nice little smuggling operation. If need be he does not hesitate to kill anyone who deserves it (murderers and thoroughly despicable men only), although never by his own hand, he is a vicar after all.
Some of the story is hard to follow due to the olde English used, such as the word “beadle” which I had to look up (a ceremonial officer of a church, college, or similar institution). It is also quite predictable as you always know that Dr Syn will out-fox and out-smart his enemies every time, although some of it was quite clever.
This is my least favourite of the series so far, and I have read that the next book, Courageous Exploits of Doctor Syn is very similar in nature. Still, they are rollicking good reads and have given me a hankering to try out smuggling of some kind, however I will need to learn how to ride a horse first.
Book count 2017: 5