Friday, June 6, 2014

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins

Susanna Calkins says of herself on her website " educator, historian, faculty developer by day...writer by night". She lives outside of Chicago with her family. Her first mystery novel A Murder at Rosamund's Gate was published in April 2013. Her second novel From the Charred Remains will be published in April 2014. 

To quote from her website:
"I've had a morbid curiosity about murder in seventeenth-century England ever since grad school, in those days before I earned my Ph.D. in history. The ephemera from the archives - tantalizing true accounts of the fantastic and the strange - inspired my historical mysteries."

Calkins' knowledge of her subject shows clearly in the details of history and of place and setting in her novel. Lucy Campion is a chambermaid serving in the London household of a local magistrate. When another servant in the household is killed and someone Lucy is close to is charged with the murder, Lucy becomes involved in solving the murder and in resolving some other mysterious and disturbing situations.

Among the interesting historical specifics that add to the novel are politics and religion during the time of the Restoration, the plague, the Great Fire, London's markets and its foul streets, Newgate prison, gypsy camps, and the art of the period - including miniature portraits and popular ballads.

Lucy is a delightful character. Her intelligence, her friendships and her romantic involvements are the attributes of a real person living in an interesting time and place. I am pleased that the author plans more historical mysteries for Lucy to solve and I look forward to the growth of the character, as well as to the learning more of the history of the times.

Calkins's website, which includes a link to her blog, is

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1 comment:

  1. Susanna Calkins second book is as interesting and informative as was the first. "From the Charred Remains" features Lucy, in the days following the Great Fire of London, working as a printer's apprentice and solving some interconnected murders. More books are planned in this delightful series by a local author.


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