Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate Book Review

A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate

by Susanna Calkins

3 out of 5

Historical Fiction

Susanna Calkins A Murder at Rosamund's GateSeventeenth-century English chambermaid, Lucy Campion, works for the local magistrate and his family.

Between chamber pots, polishing, and many other household chores she tries to solve the murder of her friend and fellow servant. Suspicious of someone in the household, she follows clues and tries to be discreet in her search.

Becoming a very determined young woman takes her into gypsy camps, Newgate prison, the most detestable streets of London, and many other places she would never have ventured. Her conviction to find her friend's killer leads her into dangerous situations.

The historical aspects of Susanna Calkins debut novel is well researched and captivating.

A Murder at Rosamund's Gate tells an interesting tale of the role of a servant girl in London's society, among the plague and the great fire. Her elements of romance are well balanced with the historical. I look forward to Susanna Calkins next novel.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Firebird Book Review

The Firebird

by Susanna Kearsley

5 out of 5

Historical Fiction

Nicola Marter is an art/antiques dealer in London where she works for Sebastian, the owner of Galerie St.-Crois, specializing in Russian art and artefacts. Little does he know of Nicola's psychometry gift.

Touching a carved bird owned by a would-be client, Nicola 'sees' an exchange between two women from another century. The client is desperate to prove the value of the firebird so she may live out a life long dream of travel before she dies -- something Nicola discovers by touching a scarf the woman accidentally left in the gallery. She had sacrifically given her life to the care of others and never had a life of her own, which is soon to end.

Nicola reconnects with an old friend, Rob (from the Shadowy Horses), who's talent is much stronger than hers. She travels to Scotland to ask for his help in proving the worth of the carved bird--a gift from Empress Catherine of Russia to Anna Moray (The Winter Sea).

Rob and Nicola go to Russia seeking evidence of the origins of the firebird and find far more than what they were searching for.

Susanna Kearsley's talent of weaving past and present into an amazing and entertaining story keeps you compelled to turn each page wanting more.

With The Firebird she has gone far beyond my expectations. For those who have not read The Winter Sea or The Shadowy Horses, please pause and read them before you read The Firebird. You will more fully enjoy The Firebird due to the way these previous novels were expertly woven into the story.

Susanna Kearsley cannot write the next novel fast enough for me!

For more about Keasley’s novels, visit her website at