Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cozy Mystery Book Tours Book Review: A Murder At Rosamund's Gate

Author:Susanna Calkins
Title: A Murder At Rosamund's Gate
Publisher: Minatour Books
Publish Date: April 23, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
In Susanna Calkins's atmospheric debut novel, a chambermaid must uncover a murderer in seventeenth-century plague-ridden London For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone she loves is wrongly arrested for the crime. In a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren't permitted to defend their clients, and--if the plague doesn't kill them first--public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never see this person alive again. Unless, that is, she can identify the true murderer.

Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers' shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer.

In her debut novel, Susanna Calkins seamlessly blends historical detail, romance, and mystery into a moving and highly entertaining tale.

Review: A Murder At Rosamund's Gate is the first book in a great historical cozy mystery series. Lucy Champion is a chambermaid in Restoration England.

I fell in love instantly with this book, much like I did Sam Thomas's The Midwife's Tale. The attention to detail in this book is fantastic. The mystery almost takes a back burner to that detail, but don't let that keep you from reading this book. It is wonderful.

It paints a unique picture of the upstairs downstairs world of England at the time, in a household that is a little bit progressive. The plot is a little slow at the beginning, but I think perhaps it is the author's way of letting the reader get to know the characters and the household.

Lucy finds herself trying to solve the mystery of her friend Bessie's killer and clear her brother's name, as he's charged with her murder.

While she does this there is a touch of romance that starts between her and the magistrate's son Adam. This is an unlikely romance as Adam is above her in station, but you really have to read to see how things develop there.

As for the mystery, I love how the author really led you to believe it was one of the other characters that was the killer, but when you reached the end, you found out that you were wrong.

I'm really eager to see how Susanna takes this series. Lucy is a very strong heroine, smarter than your average chambermaid/ladies maid from that period, which is 1665. I also want to see how her relationship with Adam progresses as the series continues.

Rating: 5 flowers


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