Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling
by Tony Cliff
Edited by Calista Brill
Review by Gayle Surrette
First Second Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781626721555
Date: 08 March 2016 List Price $17.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Delilah Dirk and her traveling companion, Erdemoglu Salim, encounter a British unit and are accused of being spies for the French. Major Jason Merrick is determined to see Delilah hung for espionage as he gives her a shilling so that he can charge her with crimes against the crown in time of war.
Col. Phillip Merrick is not so easily swayed, doubts her guilt, and frees her. The Major insists and so it's up to Salim to break her out of the encampment before she can be sent to England for trial.
Things of course do not go as planned and once they are in England Salim and Delilah must find the real spy and clear her name. Delilah has a reputation to maintain as one who fights against injustice and evil in the world.
Salim learns that Delilah has been keeping secrets from him. He pushes for explanations while Delilah finds herself forced to accept that she needs his help and his abilities in order to reach her goals.
While basically an action adventure story, there is a bit more depth as Delilah is leading a double life. Salim on the other hand is a hardened warrior with a moral compass that is not swayed by anger or vengeance. He's also in England where a man's background and complexion signals his social rank and his skin color screams servant to the upper classes, which puts him and Delilah in an awkward position, as they have been equal partners in their endeavors -- until they got to England.
This is turning out to be an interesting series -- with action, adventure, some interesting historical context, and societal issues all wrapped up with the political intrigue, greed, and war.