Sunday 12 May 2013

Review - A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
St Martin's Press
23 April 2013

In seventeenth century England, and particularly in Restoration London, life for a chambermaid was one of repetitive drudgery, whilst Lucy Campion accepts this way of life without question, tragedy in the shape of an unexplained murder jolts the household, and Lucy, into a world of suspicion and mistrust. When Lucy starts to become curious and investigates the murder, she is drawn into the disturbing world of the English justice system, which during the restoration period was largely open to conjecture. The accused were nearly always treated as guilty until proven innocent and were left to languish in the direst of prison circumstances.

On the whole, I thought that the novel was well written, there is historical authenticity to the narrative, and the inclusion of the plague and the Great Fire of London into the story, firmly dates the novel into 1665 and 1666. The murder mystery blends well alongside the historical feel of the story, and as Lucy Campion is a feisty heroine there is always something to maintain the reader’s attention.

With impeccable research, Susanna Calkins successfully conveys the sights, sounds and smells of the foul and pestilential streets of Restoration London, a place where cut-throats and street pads rub shoulders with the gentry, and where danger is never very far away.

The final strands of the story are pulled together nicely into a satisfactory conclusion, and there is the tantalising promise of further murder / mystery adventures for Lucy Campion in a continuation of the series. 


My thanks to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for an ecopy of this book. 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a goodie! I haven't heard of this novel or the author before so thank you for introducing me to them!


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