Lucy Campion returns for this third installment of Susanna Calkins’ mystery series set in late 17th-century London. Months after the Great Fire of London ravaged the city, Lucy is an apprentice to a printer and bookseller when the daughter of her former master, Sarah Hargrave, asks her to accompany her to the deathbed of a former friend. The dying man, Jacob Whitby, had become a Quaker shortly before he was crushed by a horse and cart. With his last breath, Jacob tells Lucy that he was pushed before the cart and that he fears for the life of his young wife. When Jacob’s sister Julia turns up dead wearing a scold’s bridle, Lucy worries that Jacob’s story is true and that his murderer may be hiding amongst the Quakers, who now include Sarah in their numbers.
The historical details truly make this series shine. The printing presses, the Quakers’ struggles with the king, the searcher with her bell, the scold’s bridle, the societal upheaval after both the plague, and then the fire – all provide a setting that becomes another character in the tale. I enjoy experiencing the surroundings through Lucy’s eyes as she tracks down the villain.
This review was originally published by the Historical Novels Review and can be found online here.
Amazon link is here.