Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate

I love historical fiction. Love, love, love. Ariana Franklin's Mistress in the Art of Death is one of my favourite series, brilliantly written with a fantastic plot.  I've been looking for something to fill the void, and so was excited to get sent this ARC. I also admit, I'm one of those people who generally guesses if I'll like books based on the publisher, and while I admittedly haven't read much of Minotaur, I love St. Martin's Press (no they didn't pay me to say that, I get nothing for it. I mean, feel free to send me books, but really, I won't, and I just generally like them as a publisher).

Anyways, so I was sent A Murder at Rosamund's Gate, and lo, I had my holiday reading. Except I read it before the holidays. Oops.

I think first off I'm guessing they're setting this up as a series, though I could very easily be off in guessing that because the book stands pretty solidly as a stand-alone. Generally I really loved the books. The characters are endearing and well written - Lucy Campion is fun heroine because she's not really a heroine. The other characters aren't just there as props, you get drawn into the class politics that permeated 17th century England (A topic I admittedly can always get behind) and the story itself rather cleverly brings together a murder mystery, socio-economic politics, religious drama (The Quakers are coming!) and the looming of the plague. Calkins does so in a way that doesn't make it seem like she's just throwing it all in because she has to, but really makes it into a wonderful story that doesn't feel at all crammed together. Calkins also clearly is a excellent storyteller with a knack for character writing.

I'd wholeheartedly recommend this book to a pretty wide variety of people - personally I loved it and it both met, and exceeded my expectations of what I wanted from it.

*** I was sent this book by the publisher - all opinions are my own.

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