(Review) The Masque of a Murderer, Lucy Campion Mysteries Book Three by Susanna Calkins
Publisher: Minotaur Books.
Genre: Historical fiction, 1600s, 17th Century, England, Murder Mystery, Quakers.
Source: Free copy from Susanna Calkins and Minotaur Books in exchange for a review.
Rating: 3 Stars for good.
Link @ Minotaur, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.
To read my review of A Murder at Rosamund's Gate.
Book Two, From The Charred Remains
Book One, A Murder at Rosamund's Gate
The Masque of a Murderer is book three in the Lucy Campion series. A fourth book, A Death Along the River Fleet will be published in 2016.
Lucy Campion was a chambermaid in a magistrate's home. She is currently a printer's apprentice. The year is 1667, London, England.
When The Masque of a Murderer begins, Lucy and her former employer's daughter Sarah, meet by chance in a crowded street. Sarah shares with Lucy she is a new convert to the Quaker religion. Lucy accompanies Sarah to visit the bedside of a dying man, Jacob Whitby. Their mission is to document his last words. Jacob's death and a proceeding death are questionable. Lucy and the constable work to find answers to the suspicious deaths.
There are several points I loved about this story. However, the book did not catch hold of me as I'd liked. Midway through the story I began to feel apart of the story and I did like the ending.
What I loved:
- The time period of 17th Century. The year of 1667 is one year after the Great Fire of London. And a few years after the Civil War. The king is Charles II. The Great Plague has just been "snuffed out," and the New World is being settled and developed.
- Lucy Campion is a likable character. She is independent during an era when single independent women are few. She is brave to both change careers and solve murder cases.
- A secondary character that sketches the dead. Now this was a very interesting person and occupation (would actually make an excellent stand-alone story.)
- Quaker religion. I have ancestors who were Quakers in England before coming to the New World in 1690.
- Lucy does not seem ambitious to marry.
What I did not like:
- Lucy's two male admirers need to make up their mind. I'm wondering if the love interest part of the Lucy Campion stories are a tease for a later story-line?
- The story began slow.
I debated on whether to award a 3 or 4 to the story. I don't give 1/2's. I settled on a 3 because the story is good, but I did not feel it was very good.