The Figurehead is a wonderful novel set in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1840. Beginning with a suspicious death, the plot involves a whodunit and why, the carving of a figurehead for the new ship, the social differences between ordinary people and the gentry, and a tentative love story. All with the background of sea-faring, Victorian Aberdeen.
Highly recommended. I interviewed Bill on my readingandwriting blog today. He is an accomplished author worth checking out, as he also writes crime, children's stories and academic non-fiction.