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A Murder at Rosamund's Gate (Lucy Campion Mysteries #1)

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,099 ratings  ·  214 reviews
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 ar ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published April 16th 2013)
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This was a book I requested from Netgalley based on the cover (which despite displaying two of the weird present fashions – "I turn my back on you" and "nearly-headless" – is pretty. I will never learn), and because of an interesting premise.

The latter is fairly basic, really. We have a well-off household, that of a magistrate of London, who has a wife, a grown son (and a daughter, but she's irrelevant), and a staff of about four: cook, manservant, lady's maid, chambermaid. This isn't Upstairs D
I recently finished an ARC of this wonderful debut novel and I absolutely loved it! The history was spot on and the mystery was even better. Calkins is a superb storyteller and she left me guessing until the very end. Suffice it to say, I can't wait to find out what Lucy Campion does next!

On a different note, I was particularly impressed with the care that Dr. Calkins took with her research. At first, I had expected the stereotypical "upstairs-downstairs" relationship between Lucy and the Hargra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2015 Holly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
Yesterday when I began this novel it was just an ok read for me. Today, however, I have to give it a four star rating. Not because it was a good mystery, although it did keep me guessing, but because of the characters. I really liked Lucy and Adam. I liked the characterization of the year 1665, the way things were, and how things were done. It all brought a good story together and one I would continue reading about in the next installment.
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
This one's a 4.5 for me. I found myself liking how the story played out. While yes it does have a murder mystery, throughout, you get to know the characters and what the setting is like. I like that the murder doesn't happen early but the story takes its time to get going. Took my time reading this at a slow pace. The writing was pretty good as well.

Moments where I like Lucy, Adam, etc and other times you're like, guys, communication is your friend, why don't you use that instead of oh I don't k
Tara Chevrestt
A good yarn and a fascinating look at life in England in a time when things began to classes, positions, servants' rights...all because of plague and fire. There was also Quakers and I found this an intriguing look at how the law operated then.

The story is a murder mystery really, though, at its heart, all told from the POV of a serving girl Lucy. Women all around are being murdered in fields. Stories and penny books claim each was a servant, lustful, wanton, giving their good aw
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My opinion: Initial feelings on this book is that I absolutely loved this debut. I must admit that I disagree with some of the reviewers that the mystery was weak in this book. Several murders occurred and though, in my opinion, the main storyline was not on solving the mystery, there was a major mystery to be solved. I loved the way the author showed the differences between not only the classes, but between the acceptance and expectation of men/women.
Margaret Light
You're going to want to get in early on this series (bound to be a great series) Susanna Calkins weaves an intriguing tale set in early England. The characters are well developed and leave you wanting more. One learns interesting historical facts which fit neatly into the pleasurable story telling. It's a smart story which left me feeling smarter for having read it.
Gregory Light
A murder set in 17th century England that combines the intrique and suspence of a murder mystery with an real feel for the tone and atmosphere of the time. Susanna Calkins marries an uncanny historical ear with a brillaint sense of telling an engaging story.
Lucy is a very interesting character. She is very curious about the world around her and why things are the way they are. She is always wanting to learn new to her things. When her friend is murdered she grieves for her but also wants justice for her. When the police arrest someone whom she knows could not have done the crime she tries to piece together who could have killed her friend. Even though she is limited by the classes on what she can and can not do she is able to put the clues together ...more
Katie Mercer
I love historical fiction. Love, love, love. Ariana Franklin's Mistress in the Art of Death is one of my favourite series, brilliantly written with a fantastic plot. I've been looking for something to fill the void, and so was excited to get sent this ARC. I also admit, I'm one of those people who generally guesses if I'll like books based on the publisher, and while I admittedly haven't read much of Minotaur, I love St. Martin's Press (no they didn't pay me to say that, I get nothing for it. I ...more
I love a good historical mystery, and this is one. The sense of place and history was strong - despite the changes to the language it felt like an immersion into the late 1600s. The mystery was great - there wasn't a clear path from crime to villain, but there were enough clues to get you there.

I really liked Lucy as a protagonist. She's naive, sheltered, and not very well educated. What she has going for her is just her determination and willingness to throw herself into every possible situatio
3.5 The cover of A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate spoke to me and the synopsis with its promise of a mystery sealed the deal. Susanna Calkins debut novel shares a wonderful murder mystery set in 1665 London with a Nancy Drew vibe. A young chambermaid unearths clues regarding a serial killer who is goes after young woman.

Lucy Campion is a chambermaid in the Hargraves home and she and the other servants are truly blessed to live in a home where the residents treat them more like family at a time period
Apr 04, 2013 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: historical mystery fans
In 1665, Lucy Campion is a chambermaid in the household of a London magistrate. He is an honorable man, and the family is kind to their staff, even allowing them to join the family at evening meals when there are no guests and encouraging Lucy's participation in the after-supper discussion of texts the magistrate reads out loud. This routine is disrupted, however, when a series of young, pregnant serving girls is found murdered and the crimes hit too close to home. Lucy is determined to find jus ...more
I love good historical mysteries so, once I discovered that Susanna Calkins has a doctorate in British history, I had to check out A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate. It’s Book #1 in the new Lucy Campion Mysteries series. I rationalized that Ms. Calkins would either bring 17th century London to life or turn it into a dry historical lecture. Thankfully, she has brought a wealth of realistic period detail without dry and boring exposition. This debut novel is a mystery of the first order with plenty of s ...more
Andy French
Set in 17th century Europe, this captivating novel will appeal to history lovers as well as those simply looking for a suspenseful and intriguing mystery. The characters are interesting and multi-dimensional, the story is terrific, and the settings inspire the reader to visualize another time and place. Highly recommended!
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I have mixed feelings about Susanna Calkins' A Murder at Rosamund's Gate. While I enjoyed the story both for its creativity and originality, there were aspects of it that didn't quite live up to my expectations. Please don't misunderstand, Calkins displays a wonderful imagination as well as a keen eye for intriguing subject matter within these pages, I simply feel she has room to grow as a storyteller
Andrea Guy
A Murder At Rosamund's Gate is the first book in a great historical cozy mystery series. Lucy Champion is a chambermaid in Restoration England.

I fell in love instantly with this book, much like I did Sam Thomas's The Midwife's Tale. The attention to detail in this book is fantastic. The mystery almost takes a back burner to that detail, but don't let that keep you from reading this book. It is wonderful.

It paints a unique picture of the upstairs downstairs world of England at the time, in a hous
I hadn't realized, until reading A Murder at Rosamund's Gate, how much I had missed reading historical mysteries. There's an unpredictable nature to them that can't be replicated except maybe in speculative fiction, in the fact that I am never familiar enough with the times past to fully know what to expect. The characters, the technology, the daily life activities are all coated in a sort of fog that I can only pierce through with the author's help.

Susanna Calkins definitely succeeded here in t
Eustacia Tan
Do you know, when I looked at the cover, I saw "Murder at Rosamund's Cafe". And then I wondered why there wasn't a cafe in this story. Ok, so just so we're (I'm) clear, this says "gate", which makes the title a lot more relevant to the plot.

In this novel/mystery, Lucy, a maid at the magistrate's house, is drawn into the murder when her best friend/fellow housemaid Bessie is killed, and her brother William is accused of the murder. At the same time, she has to contend with her growing feelings fo
A great premise that did not live up to its potential. It started off fairly decently and was a historical setting (Restoration England) different than my usual British mystery fare, but too many irritating issues kept me from enjoying this book overall. One of my biggest pet peeves happened repeatedly: unrealistically precocious heroine that made foolish, nosy decisions that brought her into impossible situations, but the author conveniently wrote in easy escapes. Case(s) in point, (view spoile ...more
This was a rather predictable story with unremarkable characters and writing that was neither horrible nor stellar. Overall the book was a quick read but not something that stands out in any special way.

There are a few events and speeches that seem very unlikely and the class structure gets muddled in places. The main character wants to jump in the Thames to clean herself off...that seemed unlikely.

But I did like that the plague made an appearance and the author handled a trial nicely and impart
The first third of this book was great. The second third put aside the mystery that was introduced in the beginning of the story and concentrated on problems that existed in London around 1665. These included inequality problems; sex, class, religious and political. The story also focused on the legal system at the time and the plague. Towards the end, the author must have panicked, realizing that she had to resolve the mystery she had introduced, so she wrapped everything up in the last 20 page ...more
Laura Lee
Debut novel, enjoyed very much. London, 1660s. Lucy is a young maid, hoping for elevation in the world. She is fortunate she works for a good family. There is a series of deaths that seem related. Lucy gets involved in finding the killer. Story pretty much keeps you guessing, and besides the mystery there is also romance. That keeps you guessing, too! Then don't forget the Great Fire and the Plague! This happens to be the first in what is now a series. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the s ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alyssa Maxwell
I read this one over the holidays. Although the book is predominately a mystery, the historical fiction element is quite strong. Restoration England is a fascinating time - plague, the great fire of London, the religious and political changes - and I especially enjoyed how the author worked this into the plot without losing track of the mystery. The sleuth starts out an innocent housemaid who really only wants to do her job, but there's a spark inside her that grows along with the story, so that ...more
A good read indeed. If you are into mysteries in English style, this is THE book.
This was a quick, interesting read that centered around a young chambermaid in service to a London magistrate during the chaos of the Restoration period. The mystery was enjoyably twisty, but was occasionally overshadowed by either Lucy's personal storyline or the background events of the time period which Calkins highlighted. It was a bit like reading two distinct stories developing side by side - a murder mystery and a work of historical fiction with romantic elements. While I was interested i ...more
Murder at Rosamund Gate by Susanna Calkins is a debut novel. The setting of the book is in London during the seventeenth century. The lines of class, sex and religion were well drawn. A servant was always a servant. A woman was from weaker moral and intellectual levels. A Quaker was a derogatory name for the beginning of the Friend’s religious convictions. In the middle of all this is Lucy, the main character. She is a chambermaid at a house of a local magistrate. She is caught in her station an ...more
Three and a half stars: An intriguing historical murder mystery.

A harsh knocking disturbs the household. Young Lucy, the chambermaid, opens the door to find a stern constable at the door. He is requesting to speak to her master, the magistrate, immediately. Lucy and the rest of the servants murmur amongst themselves trying to determine the nature of the early morning visit. Soon enough they learn the truth. A young maid was found murdered, her body discarded in an empty field. Rumor has it she w
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 20, 2015 08:11AM  
Coffee Talk: November 2014, BOM, A Murder at Rosamund's Gate 20 11 Nov 21, 2014 08:25AM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff picks -- A Murder at Rosamund's Gate 1 16 Dec 09, 2012 08:10AM  
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SUSANNA CALKINS became fascinated with seventeenth-century England while pursuing her doctorate in British history. A former pirate, she once served on the Golden Hinde--a museum replica of Sir Frances Drake's ship--now dry docked in the Thames. Originally from Philadelphia, Calkins now lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two sons. The Murder at Rosamund's Gate, featuring Lucy Campion, i ...more
More about Susanna Calkins...

Other Books in the Series

Lucy Campion Mysteries (4 books)
  • From the Charred Remains (Lucy Campion Mysteries, #2)
  • The Masque of a Murderer (Lucy Campion Mysteries, #3)
  • A Death Along the River Fleet (Lucy Campion Mysteries, #4)
From the Charred Remains (Lucy Campion Mysteries, #2) The Masque of a Murderer (Lucy Campion Mysteries, #3) A Death Along the River Fleet (Lucy Campion Mysteries, #4) The Masque of a Murderer: A Mystery Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors

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“To live and to dream, to study and share her thoughts, to ponder the words of great men...To be a man, to be a scholar-she could only imagine the freedom and the headiness of reading and writing without being encumbered by scullery duties.” 1 likes
“As the prisoners saw Lucy, they reached their hands out piteously to her, some begging her for food, others merely mouthing their pain, not even realizing that their lips no longer made sounds. When one of them grabbed her arm as she passed, Matthews raised his baron and swiftly brought it down on the prisoner's head. Lucy winced as the prisoner fell back to the floor, blood gushing from his brow.
Even as Lucy turned her head from the horror of human misery, another sight caused bile to rise in her throat. She vomited right there in the corridor. Two corpses, beheaded and dismembered, lay strewn about the floor of a small room that led from the corridor. The stench of human flesh and something else violated her nose. She dimly wondered what the sickly, spicy smell could be, and she began to sway.
Dimly, she recollected John telling her once how the hangman would boil the heads of men who had been drawn and quartered in a mixture of bay-salt and cumin seed, to keep them from putrefying before their relatives could claim their bodies for burial. Why had he told her that? she wondered dully. Why had she wanted to know?
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