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Barbara P. (Hixson, TN)
Good read for debut author.
After a rather slow start, I really enjoyed A Murder at Rosamund's Gate. I love historical fiction but had not read anything during this time period. So l learned quite a bit of the history of England during this era. I enjoyed all the characters although I felt the author could have elaborated more on some of them. I felt the author did an excellent job for her first try and will look forward to reading more of her books.
Roni S. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
In her debut novel, Susanna Calkins does a wonderful job putting the reader in seventeenth century London, England. The author puts you there-experiencing the sights, smells, tastes and culture of the period. The main voice, Lucy is a chambermaid in a magistrate's house. Lucy's close friend and coworker is murdered. Lucy must search for the truth when her brother is wrongly accused of the murder. The author writes beautifully and I never lost interest. In this book the door is open for a sequel.
Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)
Life in 17th Century England
I chose to read Murder at Rosamund's Gate because I like historical fiction. I don't normally read mysteries but the murder mystery made it all the more intriguing. The descriptions of daily life in 17th Century England, Newgate Prison, the court proceedings, horrendous punishments, and the plague were rich and historically accurate. The characters were well developed and believable. I kept trying to guess who the murderer was but didn't figure it out until almost the end. This book is a good read and I look forward to more adventures of Lucy Campion.
Leslie D. (Le Roy, NY)
As the leader of a discussion group that enjoys historical mysteries, I had high hopes for this new author. An interesting premise and lots of historical details, though, were marred by uneven writing. The flow of the story was slowed by an overabundance of parenthetical phrases, awkward transitions between scenes, and a lack of character development. I stopped too often to remark on imprecise word choices to be able to enjoy the story.
Mary B. (St Paul, MN)
A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
I enjoyed this book The story takes place in mid 1600's London. I liked the historical information woven into the story. Events of the time were part of the plot line--the plague, religious prejudice, class and gender divisions. The main character Lucy, is written as a very strong independent minded woman which I liked.
Lisa B. (Denton, TX)
Great historical detail!
I was looking forward to reading "Murder at Rosamund's Gate" because it sounded just like my kind of story. I found the historical detail outstanding and meticulously researched. However, overall I found the plot slow moving and the mystery somewhat predictable. I think it would have been a stupendous read if it had picked up the pace a little.
Kathleen W. (New Brighton,, MN)
A very respectable debut novel!
I have just finished reading A MURDER AT ROSAMUNDS GATE by Susanna Calkins and overall, I find it to be a VERY respected debut novel. Though representative of 1665-1666, there is much of 2013 about it. Religious hypocrisy, forensics crime solving, the dictates of one's rank in society and relegated gender divisions are all represented here in wondrous historical fashion. Since English history is my passion, I was fascinated by the information of both the Plague year and the Great Fire presented here in story form. Such information, presented often in dry textbookese, was successfully brought to life by Calkins' excellent narrative skills. For example, I now have a much better handle on that abyss known as Newgate Prison and the plight of the Quakers thanks to the author's marvelously atmospheric writing.Since mystery is my preferred choice of reading, I finished this book in record time and am faithfully (eagerly!) awaiting the next. The only issue I have with this book involves the romantic story line. I found it to be somewhat predictable and therefore, not as interesting. Overall, I loved this book and have listed the name "Susanna Calkins" on my preferred author list...and you will too!
Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)
Fast moving mystery
Loved the historical accuracy and appreciated the pace of the book... That is often my favorite kind of book. Lucy was an engaging protagonist. And a good friend to have!