Saturday, December 10, 2016

REVIEW: Death at St Vedast

Death at St Vedast
Author: Mary Lawrence

I'm a sucker for anything set during the reign of Henry VIII and also a big mystery fan. So, I was instantly drawn to the Bianca Goddard series.

Death at St Vedast is the 3rd book in the series by Mary Lawrence. The two prior books, The Alchemist's Daughter and Death of an Alchemist, give the background of Goddard's early life with her alchemist father and her knowledge of alchemy and medicinal plants. But it isn't necessary to read the series in order. This was the first book in the series that I read and I was able to understand the characters and enjoy the story. As soon as I finished Death at St Vedast, I went back and read the first two books, as I found the series inventive and intriguing.

Both the historical fiction and mystery genre can easily get into a rut with the same basic plots being recycled again and again with just a change of scenery and niche in history. This series is more than a romp through history with historical characters solving murders. It delves into the forbidden art of alchemy, the darkness of some elements of society and politics during King Henry VIIIs reign, and life during that period. The mystery portion of all 3 books is interesting, well-paced and engaging. In this 3rd installment, Bianca Goddard moves to a better area of London because her husband is employed by Bosivert the Silversmith. But, events turn bad almost immediately. First, a pregnant woman seemingly goes insane, screaming nonsensical things and jumping from the roof of St Vedast. Then Bosivert is accused of murder when his betrothed drops dead at the wedding feast. Bianca has to step in quickly and use her knowledge of forensics and her detective skills to discover what evil is afoot.

This series is well-written and enjoyable. Any fan of historical fiction, the Tudor era and murder mysteries would enjoy reading this series.

This latest book, Death at St Vedast, will be published December 27th by Kensington.

For more information about the author and her books, check out her website:

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