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.
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.
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