Jun 28, 2009

Book Review: The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips

Book Review
I gave five stars to this wonderfully interesting historical mystery written by Christi Phillips, whose blog tour will be June 29, sponsored by Sarah Reidy of Pocket Book Blog Tours.

Background of the novel
In 1672 London, Hannah Devlin continues her father's profession of treating and healing the sick, even though women physicians are frowned on in those days and not sanctioned by the Royal College of Physicians. Her life changes when she is summoned to court to secretly treat the king's mistress, Louise de Keroualle.

Plot summary
Hannah keeps a coded diary of the strange and devious events that she witnesses and discovers while she is there. Her diary reveals secrets that involve Charles Stuart, the king, and his beloved sister, Princess Henriette-Anne. It is rumored that Henriette-Anne died in extreme pain, poisoned by her husband, the Duc d'Orleans, brother of King Louis XIV of France, or by his lover. If this is true, why has King Charles remained totally silent on this issue?

Claire Donovan, a visiting lecturer in history at Trinity College, Cambridge in 2008 tries to find the 17th century diary and the answers. However, Claire is not the only one interested in the diary. And at least one other person in 2008 is desperate enough to want to kill to suppress the information in the Devlin diary.

My Comments
I enjoyed the skillful storytelling and plot - royal intrigue and realistic characters from 17th century London, and from Cambridge, England in 2008. I was impressed by the double story line, of Hannah in the 1670s and Claire in 2008 -and how their separate stories were interwoven into a seamless plot. History and mystery, plus women's rights in academia and in the world of science - these themes and topics grabbed and held my interest.

Book provided by the publisher, for my objective review.

Author Interview: See Interview with Christi Phillips

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Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting!

I've given you an award. Please stop by and pick it up HERE

Harvee said...

Vicki: Thanks so much! That's so nice!!

Undine said...

Sounds like a great book; can't wait to read the author interview! I'll definitely be putting this on my to-read list - thanks!

Suzanne Yester said...

Wonderful Review! I really liked the double plot too! I can't remember it being done so well before. Great interview too!

Harvee said...

Undine: Glad to hear you are interested in the book. It's really worth reading, for the detail of life and politics in 17thC England!

Mark David said...

sounds like quite an interesting story, perhaps even one that would make a good Keira Knightley movie... history really is full of intrigue :)

Harvee said...

You're right, Mark. I think it would make an excellent movie!

Sheila DeChantal said...

I wish I would have got in on this one... could you please let me know how. I feel I missed something... somewhere.... :)


Harvee said...

Sheila: The blog tour is sponsored by Pocket Books Blog Tours, which is one of the groups on Book Blogs! You may still be able to sign up for July tours. Good luck!

Lucy said...

I really enjoyed this review! Sounds like my kind of book. I love Hen rietta (I actually have a post on her. If you'd like to read it go to:


I also anything written about Louis XIV. Seems like this author keeps writing about the places and time I love. Thanks|:)

BTW, come check out my other site, which is all about historical stuff if you'd like: www.enchantebyjosephine.blogspot.com

Have a great day!

Harvee said...

Ms. Lucy: I'll be sure to check out Henrietta!! Didn't realize there was so much written about that tragic lady. Thanks for the two links, which I'll follow up on!

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book! I'll have to look for it! I like historical fiction a lot :)

Staci said...

Loved what you had to say about this book. I want to read it just on the cover alone!!! Definitely going to get this one!!

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