A new sort of mystery on the blog today, the Bianca Goddard Mysteries from Mary Lawrence are stories about Bianca, a Tudor era woman and daughter of a notorious alchemist, who has an unusual outlook when it comes to solving mysteries. Please read on for my review of
Death at St. Vedast
Mary Lawrence never fails to intrigue and set a wonderful sense of place and time in her stories, and as Bianca has grown and developed in her detecting, the feel of Tudor England gains in stature and redolence. In this story, Bianca and John’s good friend Boisvert, the silversmith is to marry, and marry well, the widow of a goldsmith Odile. Plans are being made, good tidings abound and everyone is excited for the upcoming wedding at St. Vedast, until a young pregnant woman is found dead. As the investigations of her death proceed, Boisvert’s wedding approaches, and Odile is suddenly taken ill and dies at the reception: of course Boisvert is the main suspect.
Bianca knows that her friend was not responsible for his new wife’s death, and neither was poison… but she must embrace her new circumstances and fortunes away from her familiar Gull Lane. Moving up to Foster Lane, which houses three guilds and John’s master, her own shop and work is put on hold until a suitable place (and familiarity with neighbors) is found. But the multitude of different murders, not the least of which are Odile’s have her wondering if they are connected, and if she can find the perpetrator and stop future deaths.
There’s been so many changes for Bianca by this point: improved finances, circumstances and successful ends to mysteries, so she’s actually more confident in her abilities, if less settled into her new circumstances. Bright, friendly, determined and surprisingly intuitive, Bianca uses the skills and charms at hand to follow a rather twisted path to the end, gathering facts, evidence and suspicions aplenty. While the mystery is clever and compelling, the story gains tremendous depth from the historic detail and description that show the world Bianca occupies, similar and yet so different from our own, with that bird’s eye view of Tudor England that feels as present as a tree outside your window. Whether historic fiction or mystery is your draw, this is a story and series sure to please many.
Title: Death at St. Vedast
Author: Mary Lawrence
Series: Bianca Goddard Mysteries #3
Also in this series: The Alchemist's Daughter
Genre: British, Historical Fiction, Mystery Elements, Tudor
Published by: Kensington
Published on: 27 December 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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During the tempestuous reign of Henry VIII, London alchemist Bianca Goddard has seen up close what keeps a man alive and what can kill him. A good thing, for she will need all her knowledge to keep a friend away from the gallows . . .
Bianca and her husband John are delighted to share in the glad fortune of their friend, Boisvert, the silversmith, who is to wed Odile, the wealthy widow of a goldsmith. But a pall is cast over the upcoming nuptials when the body of a pregnant woman is found beneath the bell tower of St. Vedast, the very church where the betrothed are to be married.
Tragedy strikes again at the couple s reception, when Odile suddenly drops dead in the middle of the wedding feast. The constable suspects Boisvert poisoned his new bride for her money, but there s not a trace of poison in her food or wine. Could the two deaths be connected? To prove their friend s innocence, Bianca will need to employ her knowledge of alchemy for if she can determine how the bride was killed, she may find the person responsible for her murder before another victim is added to the death toll .
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.