Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo
John Chase Mystery, No. 1
Poisoned Pen Press - January 2002
ISBN: 189020885X - Hardcover
Historical Mystery - 1811, London (Regency era)
Reviewed by Brenda
S. K. Rizzolo's first
mystery takes place in Regency London, and her main character is John
Chase, a Bow Street Runner. Also taking a prime sleuthing roll is Penelope
Wolfe, a wife, mother, and part-time writer.
The mystery begins immediately
when Constance Tyrone, founder of the St. Catherine Society is found dead
in the street. John Chase realizes that a hackney coach ran over her.
She also sports a ring of bruises about her neck and is missing one satin
slipper and a personal crucifix. At the inquest, after erotic drawings
and note are presented, John Chase has a suspect.
Penelope and her daughter
do not live with her husband, yet she believes him innocent of murder.
Later, after he is mysteriously bailed out of jail and disappears, Penelope
begins to investigate. Her first meetings with John Chase are passionately
disagreeable, leaving the reader to wonder if either of them will realize
they need each other to solve the case. Throughout the mystery, readers
will learn more personally about John Chase and Penelope, as well as those
they work with.
The first chapter expertly
sets up the mystery, gaining the readers interest; the second will have
them settling down for a promising experience richly enveloped in a dramatic
era. As the mystery moves, relatives and associates of Constance are introduced.
Suspicion and doubts are planted along a well-laid path, but the finally
destination isn't as apparent until the last because the author has successfully
hidden it. The characters are well written, each having a distinctive
personality and able to blend into the rich tapestry accordingly. It's
a substantial mystery flavored with historical dialogue in keeping with
the era it was written. In fact, the writer offers up the story as if
she were there and was simple recanting what she experienced. A splendid
mystery in a promising new series.