Review: A Murder at Rosamund's Gate (Lucy Campion Mysteries Volume 1) by Susanna Calkins

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
Title: A Murder at Rosamund's Gate (Lucy Campion Mysteries Volume 1)
Author: Susanna Calkins
Publisher: Minotaur/St. Martin's Press, April 23, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Historical Fiction, Murder, Historical Mystery, Suspense, Romance, England, 1600's, 17th Century
Format: Advanced Reader Paperback
Age: Adult
Pages: 352
Rating: 4 Stars

Lucy Campion is a chambermaid working in Master and Mistress Hargraves home in London, England. The time period is 17th century England. The year is 1665. Puritan Master Hargrave is a local magistrate. Lucy's duties in the home are lengthy and tiresome, but her employer's treat her well. Lucy's handsome brother is Will. Will is a smithy, working in London. Will is falsely accused of a crime and Lucy wants to help him. Added to Lucy's duties is looking for the real murderer. Lucy must be brave in leaving the secure confines of the Hargraves home to search for the real murderer.  

My Thoughts:
  • Susanna Calkins is a first time author. I felt she did a splendid job in this first published work! 
  • Lucy is a bright, witty, hardworking, observant, cheerful young woman. She is innocent and naive of men's attentions, as well as their traps to seduce her. She is---a quick learner. 
  • Lucy is a person that "rises to the occasion" of whatever crisis comes her way. She maybe be afraid, but she swallows that fear and perseveres. She is a character of integrity! 
  • I was shocked at the ending. The truth of who the murderer was I didn't expect. This was a great clincher for this book, the fact that it gave a twist at the end I'd not expected. 
  • The added historical information given through the lives of the characters of the gruesome plague, added the reality of the time period. Instead of learning about the plague through a possibly dry non-fiction book, I learned about the plague through people who experienced it (even fictionally).
  • Detective work and the criminal justice system during the 1600's was brutal compared to our modern age. I was given a fearful reminder of how far we've come, and hopefully will continue to use DNA and future processes to find the "right" perpetrator's. 
  • The duties of house staff was explained through the characters. Their work never truly finished, it only extended to another day, another week. Yet, they had a job and a home giving security, versus those who lived on the streets.  

I'm looking forward to reading Susanna Calkins next installment in the Lucy Campion Mysteries!

Thank you to Susanna Calkins and Minotaur/St. Martin's Press for my free review copy!

Author's site:
SUSANNA CALKINS became fascinated with seventeenth century England while pursuing her doctorate in British history and uses her fiction to explore this chaotic period. Originally from Philadelphia, Calkins now lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two sons. This is her first novel!

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Paperback $13.88
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