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Theresa R. (Sierra Madre, CA)
OK book, nothing special
Although I liked the author's writing style and the historical period she was writing about, I was not impressed with the actual story line. The "mystery" was easy to solve and her characters were not as fully developed as I would have liked. I would probably give this author another chance and read something else by her, but would not recommend this book to anyone.
Juli S. (Portland, OR)
A bit of a disappointment
I had high hopes for this one but it ended up leaving me feeling a bit disappointed. It felt a bit slow, particularly at the beginning. The characters were a bit flat. It felt a little disjointed and didn't flow well. It was almost like two different stories featuring the same characters with the part about the plague simply inserted between two sections of the mystery story. I doubt I'll read more of this series.
Carol G. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)
A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
Great read! Loved it from page 1. A beautiful mystery that keeps one guessing. I loved reading about this period in English history as well. I think the ending could have been stronger and may not please all but overall a definite recommendation.
Therese X. (Calera, AL)
Daring New Mystery Sleuth of the 17th Century
Lucy Campion, a young servant in the benevolent Hargrave household, home to a London magistrate, learns that a constable's early morning visit brings news of a brutal murder. A young woman's unclothed body was found in the north fields with a note nearby requesting a romantic rendezvous. This immediately condemns the woman as immoral and Lucy realizes the victim is guilty till proven innocent. Yet who is interested in finding her killer? Soon, a similar murder happens closer to home, and through observation, Lucy suspects the behavior of one of the family, only to be told by him that an arrest has been made. Her brother, Will, a favorite with the ladies, is being held for murder in Newgate prison. Lucy is galvanized into action,facing the dangers of London and the horrors of the prison to prove her brother's innocence and perhaps bring justice to the murdered women. This new seventeenth-century London mystery series introduces Lucy Campion, a naively fearless young woman motivated by truth. Risking not only her place in a good household, but possibly her life, it's her daring that keeps the reader turning the pages, hoping to find that Lucy has prevailed while bringing a culprit to justice
Erin J. (Milwaukie, OR)
I found a new historical mystery author to follow
I received a free advance reading copy (ARC) of this book from Bookbrowse.com, and I'm excited to discover a new mystery author to follow, for this is the first in a new series by debut author Susanna Calkins. I really appreciated the Historical Note at the end of the book, detailing how the author worked to make the novel historically accurate aside from some minor tweaks to things like the duties of magistrates and constables, as well as updates to the spelling and phrasing.
Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD)
Mystery or romance?
There were enough twists and red herrings in the story to keep me from guessing the killer--always a plus. My one quibble is that Adam, the magistrate's grown son, is a bit uneven in characterization, especially related to his actions and treatment of Lucy. Yes, he is drawn toward her, and yes, he feels honor-bound to leave her alone, but his behavior is a pendulum that swings a little too far for plausibility, in my opinion. Still, I have high hopes that their relationship will be better developed over time in subsequent novels.
For readers' advisors: character and setting doorways, primarily, with story secondary. There was no sex and only very mild historical swearing, to the best of my recollection.
I'm not sure if you would call this a historical romance with a bit of mystery or a mystery within a historical romance. No matter, after getting off to a slow start, the story kept me turning the pages. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something else would happen. A great summer read.
Janet P. (Spokane, WA)
A great murder mystery
I was glued to this book from the first page. Period mysteries are my favorite, but so often the murderer is either obvious or a ridiculous character added at the last second to fulfill the author's need for a culprit. This was neither of those. The characters were well developed, the setting, believably 17th century London, and the plot was intriguingly believable. I'm not sure there were many serving women like Lucy in London at that time, but I'd love to believe that there were.
A Murder that kept me Guessing
I couldn't put down this book from the minute I picked it up. The period was displayed in a fascinating manner, the characters were true to life and well written and the mystery itself took me in and kept me reading. It was a book that I was sorry to see come to an end. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and of mystery. The strong character of Lucy will remain in my mind as a wise brave heroine.