The Masque of a Murderer (Susanna Calkins, 2015)

masque of a murderer

Why did you choose this book?

l honestly don’t remember.  It came out in April and has been languishing on my TBR (to be read) pile ever since.  I think I probably read about it somewhere and decided it sounded good.  I am an avid cozy mystery reader, and this is my first attempt at reading one set in the distant past.

What’s it about?

This is the 3rd in a series, though the 1st of that series I’ve read.  The story takes place in London, after the plague and Great Fire have swept through, sometime in the mid-1660s.  Lucy works as an apprentice at a printer’s shop, though she maintains close ties with the family she previously served as a maid.  Sarah, the daughter of that family, just returned from America with her Quaker friends.  The pair receives word that a Friend, Jacob Whitby, has been run over by a cart.  But on his deathbed, Jacob’s final words warn Lucy that he was pushed and that he fears one of the Quakers cannot be trusted.  Is he right, or are these the delusional mutterings of a dying man?


Mystery, cozy mystery, historical fiction

Other recommended reads?

Really, anything in the cozy genre.  I know her mysteries are set in a more recent time period, but if you like this one you’ll probably enjoy Agatha Christie, the Queen of the cozy.


I didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted to.  I found myself becoming annoyed with the stilted dialogue of the Quakers (lots of thee and thou), and I didn’t really have sympathy toward any of the characters.  There was no sense of suspense and no worry for the protagonist.  I honestly didn’t even care which romantic interest she chose.  I didn’t figure out the culprit, but was that because it was well-written or because I didn’t care?  It was an average read for me.

Up next?

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater


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