I saw this book at the library and decided to give it a try. I'm very glad that I did! It's a fascinating, mostly historically correct, tale of a murder that occurred just after the great London fire of 1666, they year that many resident's considered the year of the devil. This devastating fire occurred on the heels of the great plague.
A corpse is discovered in a barrel outside of a burned tavern. The tale follows the investigation of the murder by one Emma Campion; maidservant, love to the master's son, printer's apprentice and bookseller as she works with constable Duncan.
Ms. Calkins spins a solid plot with deftly managed twists and turns. I discounted one star for some of what I consider a bit stilted dialogue.Ms. Calkins states in the afterward that she 'modernized' old English. That was a good decision but I felt that some of the dialogue felt strained. That being said I found this to be a very enjoyable read, and I will now be looking forward to reading her fist book and waiting for the third!
ps: I thoroughly enjoyed the afterward to this book which should not be missed. It defines what parts of this novel are straight from the history books and what parts of the history have been fictionally 'massaged' to make the story flow.