Read this for the Historical Fiction reading challenge, and enjoyed the unusual heroine, and the crime mystery set in 18th century England.
Title: The Blackstone Key
Author: Rose. A. Melikan
Genre: Historical Suspense
Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown)
Year Published: March, 2009
Stand alone or series: Book 1 of the Mary Finch (?) series
On the Back cover:
Mary Finch is a young woman of wit, courage, and straitened circumstances. When invited to meet her wealthy uncle and end a family estrangement, therefore, she sets off immediately for White Ladies, his estate on the Suffolk coast. Yet soon she is embroiled in an adventure beyond any she could imagine, for the year is 1795, and England is at war with Republican France. When she arrives at White Ladies she learns that her uncle has died, leaving behind evidence of a treacherous plot. Enemy agents have obtained military secrets that would give France a decisive advantage, but who is the source of this information, and how can he be stopped?
Mary is not alone in her quest to solve the mystery, but the men who profess to help her are not quite what they seem. From Suffolk the traitor’s trail moves finally to London. There Mary learns the true meaning of the Blackstone key, but has the treasure it secured already been lost?
In my books …
Loved the fast-aced historical suspense story arc, and the very subtle romantic angle. Ms Melikan has a well-crafted 18th century mystery that could have dissolved into a staid, boring historical fiction if not for her lively prose, beliveable setting of a smuggling crime story set in the French revolutionary war, and superbly carried by an intelligent, unflappable heroine in the likes of Mary Finch.
Cleverly wrought, and one-of-its-kind. Looking forward to more from this author, who brought 18th century England vividly to life, and introduced readers to a most extraordinary heroine, who would have kicked ass, nonethless, in a modern context.
IMB Rating: 4.0, liked it