Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 35.
- Review Date: 2007-07-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Emerson’s engrossing 16th-century mystery (her 11th, after 2006’s Face Down Beside St. Anne’s Well) plunges readers into the middle of Scottish domestic drama and political intrigue from the first page. Series heroine Susanna, Lady Appleton, is distressed to learn that her friend Catherine has gone missing. Catherine’s mother-in-law, Jean, was found strangled after the two women got into a fight, and though Susanna is sure of her friend’s innocence, Catherine could be executed if found guilty of murder. To make matters even more complicated, Catherine was last seen with a woman who once had an affair with Sir Appleton; her daughter has been spirited away by her nurse, Avise; and her son is trapped in Stirling Castle, a reluctant schoolmate of young King James. Vividly realized strong female characters, well-paced plot, seamless dialogue and intriguing historical details add up to a compelling period tale. (Sept.)