PUB. INFO: Minotaur, 4/2013
GENRE: Historical Fiction/Mystery
SETTING: England, 1665
SERIES: A Lucy Campion Mystery, book 1
AUTHOR SITE: link
MY GRADE: C
From Publisher: For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone close to Lucy falls under suspicion. Lucy can't believe it, but in a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren't permitted to defend their clients, and--if the plague doesn't kill the suspect first--public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never find out what really happened. Unless, that is, she can uncover the truth herself.
Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers' shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer.
MY THOUGHTS: This is the first book in a new series by a debut author. The second paragraph of the synopsis makes this story sound much more interesting than it really was. I was so excited to read this and it had a lot of potential. Not a whole lot of sleuthing going on with the eighteen-year old protagonist, Lucy. She did a tiny amount of it but not nearly enough as the synopsis would have you believe.
Lucy's friend and fellow maid, Bessy, was murdered at Rosamund's Gate, which is a Lover's Lane-type place. She's two years older than Lucy. Someone very close to Lucy was arrested for it and there was a short trial.
The plot is interesting but it was slow moving for the duration and took a nosedive when the author brought in a plague subplot that lasted too long. I desperately wanted the author to get back to the murder mystery. The whole story ended up being very bland until the ridiculous ending. The story jumped ahead almost a year before we found out who the killer was. Unlike some readers I never guessed early on who the killer was.
Despite being very disappointed in this book I would like to read the next in the series because I like Lucy.
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.