Acquired Book By:
I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Masque of a Murderer” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “The Masque of a Murderer” direct from the publisher Minotaur Books (an imprint of St. Martin’s Press via MacMillan), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Whilst I drew closer to my tour stop date, I realised the best way to draw entrance into a three book series is to read the first and second novel of the Lucy Campion mysteries. Therefore, I requested by ILL (inter-library loan) the first novel: “A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate” whilst submitting a purchase request at my local library for the second novel “From the Charred Remains” as it was released a month before my tour stop and I’m only able to ILL items outside of six months from publication. The ILL request went through and the purchase request is still pending, therefore, my readings of “A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate” are without being obligated to post a review, as my ruminations on behalf of this novel are for my own edification only.
Intrigued to Read:
To my own recollective memory, I first discovered A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate and the Lucy Campion series as a whole via my local library — as the choice to sub-title my blog ‘a bookish library girl’ is far more apt to who I am than one might first believe possible! You see, it’s a direct reference to the fact I spend half an age scouring the stacks (both physical and virtual) of my local library, seeking out literature of not just the historical past but literature across genre and declaration of style to curate a ‘next reads’ (or as the masses refer to as a ‘TBR’) list that would be most gratifying to undertake reading! My TBR List on Riffle is a bit of a work-in-progress as it’s not yet released to the public, as I’m cross-conferring with handwritten notes, and the few short stack of papers which were my personal book diaries which pre-dated my blog: Jorie Loves A Story. I shared the prior project with my close personal friends, wherein this project is shared with the world as a whole.
Those lists were generated by visiting local Indie book shoppes, national chains in lieu of local book shoppes (as let’s face it, not every area has local Indies; so very sad!), local libraries in four separate counties, and numerous bookish sites and/or group author blogs online — to where I would have this immersion of fiction that not only crossed over the centuries but through every style currently being published by novelists today! As previously declared in a variety of posts and on my Review Policy specifically, (or even on the header of my Twitter acc!) I ‘dance through genres’ inasmuch as I am a hybrid reader of both mainstream and INSPY markets.
Settling inside the 17th Century felt like a keen idea, as the 18th and 19th Centuries are more widely known to me, as they hold within their chapters of time such happiness found whilst alighting during the Victorian and Regency eras. A close second for me would be the Edwardian era, of which I have Downton Abbey to thank, and Ms Kaine to bless for giving me such a heightened awareness of a new ‘era’ to fall madly in love as I read! I am genuinely drawn to leading female characters whose strength of wit, turn of intellect, and smashingly accurate observation give a grounding of perspective and heart to the evolution of the stories themselves. I love finding writers who can charm us with a setting and a timescape but intuitively know to write in a breadth of heart and soul, giving us a story whose appeal is more tethered to the character and the story of their lives than simply time hopping era to era.
In this way, Lucy Campion was on my short-list of ‘next reads’ of whom she was keeping company alongside Aunt Dimity (by Nancy Alterton), Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes (by Laurie R. King), Ms Phryne Fisher (by Kerry Greenwood), Lady Emily (by Tasha Alexander), Lady Darby (by Anna Lee Huber), Eloise (of the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig), Molly Murphy and Lady Georgie (by Rhys Bowen), Hercules Poirot (by Dame Christie & Hannah Sophie), Maisie Dobbs (by Jacqueline Winspear) and all the lovelies who are populating this Riffle List entitled: Blissfully Finding Books which Enchant Me! Stay tuned to my Twitter feeds as I’m hoping to release this new list soon! It will be archived with the rest of my Bookish Lists in my top menu under “My Bookish Life”!
The Masque of a Murderer
by Susanna Calkins
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Book Synopsis of The Masque of a Murderer:
In Susanna Calkins’ next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies’ maid in the local magistrate’s household, has now found gainful employment as a printer’s apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate’s daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man’s last utterances, but she’s unprepared for what he reveals to her—that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.
Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate’s son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man’s background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.
In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read.
Read an Excerpt of the Novel via Criminal Element
Read a hearty array of 'behind-the-book' features via Ms Calkins blog!
Places to find the book:
Series: Lucy Campion Mysteries,
Published by Minotaur Books
on 14th April, 2015
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge