Archive for 'Emerson, Kathy Lynn'
Pemberley Press – Paperback
April 1st 2008
LETHAL LEGEND is the fourth and, apparently, final installment in the Diana Spaulding series. Set in Maine in 1888, the story centers around Diana, a writer for a scandalous newspaper, and her fiancé, doctor Ben Northcote. Ben has been called to the private island residence of an old friend to treat the workmen from an architectural dig taking place on the island. Ben realizes that the men have intentionally been poisoned and when Diana joins him on the island retreat, her journalistic instincts practically compel her to dig out the truth.
But the people on the island are an unusual group and they all seem to have checkered pasts. Ben and Diana must sort out the motives and determine whether current events are tied to the archaeological dig, the people themselves, or to the island’s ominous reputation. And they have to finish before their much-anticipated wedding, over which their eccentric mothers are about to come to blows.
There is something about the style of LETHAL LEGEND that is very welcoming. It is a traditional mystery that, even though this is the first book I have read in the series, felt comfortable and made me want to sit down and get to know the characters. For lack of a better term, I would call it a Nancy Drew mystery for grownups. It is less violent than much of the fare on offer today, it has a wonderfully “old-fashioned” detective adventure feel, and will remind you why you started reading mysteries in the first place.
Emerson has also included some of the fantastic historical tidbits we are used to seeing in her Face Down series and has developed some characters with interest and depth – Ben’s mentally ill brother, his reclusive friend, both of the couple’s unusual mothers, and the mysterious detective Justus Palmer. I look forward to going back to the earlier books in the series to meet the recurring characters and enjoy them fully.
Did I guess it? Some of it. Favorite character? Spoiled for choice here. I probably have to go with the bickering mothers, but the mysterious stranger is a close third. Will I read another? Definitely.
Check out Kathy Lynn’s web site at www.kathylynnemerson.com.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2008
Pemberley Press – 4/1/08
LETHAL LEGEND – A Diana Spaulding Mystery – Diana’s wedding preparations are interrupted when her fiance Ben receives an urgent plea for help from a reclusive childhood friend in the final volume of this mystery series. Working on a secretive archeological dig on Graham Somener’s island off the coast of Maine, a team of men have all been poisoned. When one is murdered in a diving accident and Graham refuses to call the police, Diana and Ben fear he may have fallen under the spell of a confidence woman posing as an archeologist from the Peabody Museum. Their investigations threaten Ben’s friendship and imperil Diana’s life before the conundrum is finally solved.
Kathy Lynn Emerson writes two historical mystery series and one contemporary mystery series and occasionally ventures into non fiction. In the Face Down series, featuring Susanna, Lady Appleton, sixteenth century gentlewoman, herbalist, and sleuth, the most recent entry is FACE DOWN O’ER THE BORDER. The Diana Spaulding 1888 Mysteries feature a late nineteenth century American journalist. NO MORTAL REASON (April, 2007) follows DEADLIER THAN THE PEN (set in Maine) and FATAL AS A FALLEN WOMAN. As Kaitlyn Dunnett she pens the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries (KILT DEAD) which take place in the fictional Maine town of Moosetookalook. Kathy lives in Wilton, Maine with her husband and assorted cats and has just completed work on HOW TO WRITE KILLER HISTORICAL MYSTERIES: THE ART AND ADVENTURE OF SLEUTHING THROUGH THE PAST
Check out Kathy’s web site at www.kathylynnemerson.com.
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FACE DOWN O’ER THE BORDER is the tenth book in the Lady Susanna Appleton Face Down series. While the series is set in Elizabethan England, most of this book takes place in Scotland. As the story opens, Lady Appleton’s sister-in-law, Lady Glenelg, returns to consciousness to discover that the is lying at the bottom of a staircase with the body of her dead mother-in-law lying on top of her. Lady Glenelg can remember nothing of the last few hours, and assumes that she and her mother-in-law somehow fell together down the stairs. Until she sees the bruises on her mother-in-law’s neck – they could only have been made by someone trying to strangle her.Lady Glenelg and her mother-in-law, Lady Russell, were never the best of friends and recently that had disagreed over the upbringing of Lady Glenelg’s son. Lady Russell had arranged for the young boy to live and study with Scotland’s boy king, James VI. Lady Glenelg had been in Scotland to be near her son and to try to get him back. Knowing she will be suspected in the death of her mother-in-law, but unwilling to leave Scotland without her son, Lady Glenelg goes into hiding with an old friend after sending her daughter home to England. Lady Appleton rushes off to Scotland when she hears of the situation and her niece fails to arrive home. Lady Appleton is desperate to reunite her sister-in-law’s family but has to negotiate Scottish law, powerful royals, and a murderer to accomplish her mission.Once again, Emerson has given us a good mystery wrapped in a delightful historical setting. Emerson’s books are well-researched and have a huge amount of detail in them. She includes real historical figures and events in her stories and I always learn a dozen or more historical tidbits when I read one of her books.
Favorite character? The resourceful and devoted Fulke. Did I guess it? Most of it. Will I read another? Absolutely.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2007
Face Down O’er the Border $14.95 Perseverance (Susanna, Lady Appleton)
FACE DOWN O’ER THE BORDER – the tenth Face Down Mystery series – Face Down Oâ€™er the Border takes place in the Scotland, where Catherine, Lady Glenelg has gone because her son, the young Lord Glenelg, has been taken from her to share lessons with the young king of Scotland, James VI (the son of Mary, queen of Scots). Catherine is sharing Glenelg House in Canongate with her late husbandâ€™s mother and plotting to get the boy back when she finds herself a suspect in a murder and has to go into hiding. As soon as Susanna Appleton hears of her plight, she and Nick Baldwin head oâ€™er the border to help out.
Check out Kathy Lynn’s web site at www.kathylynnemerson.com//.
Today’s featured author is Kathy Lynn Emerson. Kathy is the author of two different series – one featuring Diana Spaulding, a 19th Century journalist, and one featuring Susanna Appleton, a lady of the 16th Century. I read and really enjoyed one of her Susanna Appleton mysteries and you can read my review here.
NO MORTAL REASON is the third book in the Diana Spaulding Mysteries. Diana is a journalist working for a New York City scandal sheet, the Independent Intelligencer, in 1888. Diana and her fiancÃ©, physician and city coroner Ben Northcote, stop in rural Sullivan County, New York on their way back to Maine (where they are to be married in the 4th and final book in the series), to visit relatives Diana has only recently discovered she has. Uncertain of her reception, she doesn’t reveal her identity right away, which leads to uncomfortable complications when workmen renovating the family hotel uncover a body and Diana’s uncle seems the most likely suspect.
FACE DOWN BELOW THE BANQUETING HOUSE is the Ninth novel in the Face Down Series, Set in Derbyshire in 1575. Shortly before a royal visit to Leigh Abbey, the home of sixteenth-century sleuth Susanna Appleton, a man dies in a fall from a banqueting house. Is his death part of some treasonous plot against Elizabeth Tudor? Or is it merely murder?
Visit Kathy Lynn Emerson on the web at http://www.kathylynnemerson.com/.
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This author knows her stuff. This is a historical mystery set in England in 1573, during the reign of Elizabeth I, and the reader is utterly transported to that time period. Emerson makes it easy on the reader by putting in a glossary of essential terms and a cast of characters, in which she notes who the real-life people were.
Lady Appleton is the heroine of this series, and Emerson manages to put her in some tricky situations. First, the Queen is coming to visit. And while you might think this is a cause for celebration, for Lady Appleton it could spell disaster. A visit by the queen is a costly, the preparations are time-consuming, and it draws unwanted attention from an almost all-powerful monarch who can change, or even end, your life on a whim. And when a suspicious death occurs shortly before the queen is due to arrive, the pressure is on Lady Appleton to figure out exactly what happened. And quickly.
I loved the huge amount of detail Emerson puts in this book about life in the Elizabethan era. It is absolutely fantastic. While she omits some of the unpleasantness of everyday life, she doesnâ€™t glamorize and make it unrealistic. The characters are affected by death, disease, and separation from loved ones. Their actions are dictated by their stations in life in this class-based society, and have to deal with all the prejudices thereof.
The other think I liked a lot was, for lack of a better expression, as sense of impending doom. In this society, there was always someone else who had power of you and your actions. Lady Appleton is the widowed lady of the manor and has the power over her servants. But she has to worry about the Queen and her minions who might report back any grievance to her, the other local gentry, and the religious officials who have the ability to slander her name, defame her character, and demand punishment. Careful strategy, strong allies, and well-placed bribes are the key to a happy life in this book.
Did I solve it? No, I was enjoying the mood too much to really suss it out. Will I read more? Definitely.
Mystery Book Reviews by Reviewed By Liz.com Â©2006