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Face Down Beside St Anne's Well
Face Down Series #9

by Kathy Lynn Emerson

      Rosamund Appleton, the foster daughter of series protagonist Lady Appleton, has been sent to live at Bawkenstanes Manor near Buxton. Now she is convinced her French mistress has been murdered, and so Susannah comes to investigate. Buxton boasts some healing Roman baths where Rosamund's real mother Eleanor is coming to take the waters, but Mary, Queen of Scots is also keen to come. Does Louise Poitier's death have any bearing on this, and is another plot afoot to free the queen?

This is the ninth of Kathy Lynn Emerson's admirably slim volumes, and as usual there is a large story bursting out of it. We are taking a holiday from Lady Appleton's usual Kent residence with its staff and her lover, and instead Buxton is the venue which extends the story possibilities. I continue to enjoy the way this author capitalizes on the best part of any long-running series - the characters and their intertwining lives - and now we have not only Rosamund but Eleanor and her secret agent husband thrown into the mix, as well as the folk at Bawkenstanes Manor. These books are as much about the characters and their fascinating lives as anything else; that is not to say that the mystery plot takes a back seat, as it is there in the forefront, but sharing the limelight with the characters. Once again there is a highly useful dramatis personae and a glossary of Tudor terms, essential to all books about times long past or unfamiliar places. And did I mention the historical verisimilitude, which delineates the everyday lives of these people? There is a lot to praise here.

The Book

Perseverance Press (Daniel & Daniel Inc)
April 2006
Trade Paperback
Historical Crime [1575 Buxton, Derbyshire, UK]
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006