Advance reader reviews of A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins.

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate

A Lucy Campion Mystery

By Susanna Calkins

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2013,
    352 pages.

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There are currently 29 member reviews
for A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
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  • Gail L. (Maitland, FL)


    A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
    For a first novel, the book was well researched; however, the plot was slow and I had to push myself to read from beginning to end. The characters were not developed enough to my liking. The author has potential and the way she ended the book, it seems there will be more to come regarding Lucy. Will not be recommending this book to others but will want to read her next book to compare them.
  • Gwen C. (Clearfield, PA)


    A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
    I thoroughly enjoyed the first 7/8 of this well-researched novel. Susanna Calkins paints a vivid picture of London, circa 1665 on. Right from page one we are pulled into the world of Lucy, the Hardgrave's' chambermaid. Murders ensue, as does religious conflict (Quakers, papists, Anglicans, in the aftermath of Cromwell's Puritans), questionable judicial practices, the plague, the great London fire, and yes, an unsuitable romance. Social classes are defined – but not always as you would expect (i.e. the help dines with the family on nights without company.) Plot aside, the trivial details – the newly enacted garbage law with the raker and Fumifugium, shackled roosters, the origins of the London Bridge song, a new cookbook recipe, the 17th century murder broadsides and ballads, marriage shops for folks too poor to afford a church wedding, etc. – make this book a fascinating read.
    My criticism is that the last section of the book slid into a gothic tale with an all too-pat resolution. However, all in all, it's a very worthy read and one I know my friends will enjoy.
  • Jacquelyn H.


    Historically interesting
    I found this book tedious and almost decided to put it aside but the author's knowledge of setting was very instructive telling all the unusual and unsanitary conditions of the 17th century, upper class household customs and conditions leading to the days of the plague so I stuck with it. My main problem was with slow plot development and characters who did not create interest. There was plenty of opportunity for tension but, somehow, it never developed for me. I would not recommend it to my reading groups but feel the author's potential is good. A tighter and faster moving plot would have helped.
  • Freya H. (Phoenix, AZ)


    A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
    This book, although entertaining, didn't really show
    me anything new or exciting. The plot was predictable, the characters you've met many times before, and the ending was no surprise. I would not recommend it to my book club.
  • Loren B. (Appleton, WI)


    just ok
    I usually enjoy historical mysteries and was looking forward to this novel as it takes place during a time period I had not read about before. The history behind the plot was interesting but I found the characters to not be very well-developed, and the mystery itself as well as the "romance" to be rather trite.
    Over all this just an OK read - I've read worse, but also better. The author has potential and perhaps the next book will be better.
  • Brenda S. (Forest Hill, MD)


    A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susana Calkins
    First, I really like the picture on the cover of the book. It shows a young girl dressed in clothing from the past holding envelopes behind her back with drops of blood on them. This in itself captures your curiosity.
    I love mysteries and historical fiction so this book fit both of my passions. This story takes place in the 1600's and the central character, Lucy, is one of the servants to a wealthy family of this time. Since I am a be fan of "Downton Abbey", I loved this book because it reminded me of my favorite show. Lucy is a sweet, lovable young lady that stands up for what she believes. She reminds me of a younger Anna from Downton Abbey.
    Mrs. Calkins has enough suspicious characters in the story making the mystery difficult to solve. In fact I was surprised by the outcome.
    I enjoyed the characters especially as I mentioned Lucy. I look forward to reading more stories with Lucy as the main character as Mrs. Calkins states that this is the first in a series with Lucy.
    I liked how the author used her knowledge and research of history to portray what occurs in the story though sometimes she used circumstances that didn't exist in the history yet which she explains in her follow up.
    I give this book four stars and look forward to reading more books by Susanna Calkins! I am a member of a book group and would recommend this to the members as many of us enjoy reading Historical Fiction.
  • Mary Lou C. (Shenandoah Junction, WV)


    Great Mystery
    A Murder at Rosamund's Gate was a very interesting story, set in 17th century England. It offered great insight into the conditions and attitudes of that period. I felt the author attempted to include so many historical events, it lost focus at times.

    Although it started a little slow for me, it quickly grabbed me and I couldn't put it down. Well written mystery with a surprise ending. Characters were well developed and believable. Definitely worth reading.
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