ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
Born and raised in Philadelphia, I live outside Chicago now, with my husband and two sons. Represented by David Hale Smith of Inkwell Management, my first novel, A Murder at Rosamund's Gate (Minotaur/ St.Martin's Press), will be published April 23, 2013.
I'm so thrilled to bring you this very upbeat and exciting interview of Susanna Calkins to kick off her debut novel. Obviously, can't wait for you to meet her!!
I just knew you had an Austen character in you, Susanna!! LOL I could tell from reading your novel! Okay, you have me... The 5 characters I would invite to dinner are: Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Poe, and Joyce Carol Oates. I'd have my husband make them a wonderful Sicilian dinner: Fra Diablo with fresh olive bread and a dark red wine to stimulate them all. I'd want a raucous conversation... I think those Bronte sisters were dark and much more firey than they get credit for being! I'd just sit back and enjoy...
HERE'S MY REVIEW OF THE BOOK :
"A Murder At Rosamund's Gate" is a most refreshing historical novel replete with its mystery and mayhem. While the beautiful cover suggests it is more centered around a ladies maid, the novel itself is broader in perspective, making it the perfect introduction for more books in a series. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the characters. Susanna Calkins is a wonderful author of this time period!
Ms Calkins peppers her writing with knowledge of the Reformation and the idiosyncracies of the people and times. For instance, I loved the small peculararities of women's clothing and customs she brings out...some of which I hadn't heard of even after all my reading of historical fiction! Also, there were rhymes and notes of interest throughout the book that made my eyes and ears perk up with new knowledge. I really appreciated the reference to Anne Bolyen and London Bridge, as an example. You'll have to read to see this one!
The characters of this book are beautifully drawn and ring true. There is enough depth in them that they will be more than worthy of a series. I'm particularly attached to Lucy and her loyal ways. She's a thinker and a true heroine in the broadest sense. I think she'll find a fast following with those who love a mystery series in historical timeframes.
Susanna Calkins is a writer who carries you gently through her novel of mystery and suspense. She builds her story carefully and creates an atmosphere in which you learn her characters' strengths and weaknesses. You learn to love them and to know them before she sets them in real jeopardy. I like this sort of suspense-building in a book.
I think the historical fiction mystery genre has a new player to contend with! This is a novel to sit back and enjoy. I look forward to the next one in the series.
5 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame