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
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Apr 2013,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

Page 4 of 5
There are currently 29 member reviews
for A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
Order Reviews by:
  • 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.
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Take This Man
    Take This Man
    by Brando Skyhorse
    "A chorus of six men calling me Son might sound ludicrous to you, but to me it's the sound of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"

    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  133Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist


Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.