Friday, September 15, 2017

The Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo Review & Excerpt

The Rose in the Wheel
by S.K. Rizzolo


GENRE:   historical mystery



This well imagined, carefully detailed, and cleverly plotted debut draws on actual historical events of 1811 London.

Regency London knows Constance Tyrone as the conspicuously celibate founder of the St. Catherine Society, dedicated to helping poor women. One wet November evening a carriage mows down Constance outside her office. Why was a gentlewoman abroad in the night? And if she died under the wheel, whose hands bruised her neck and stole her monogrammed crucifix?

Dismissing the idea of an accident, Bow Street Runner John Chase forms an unlikely alliance with Penelope Wolfe, wife of the chief suspect. A young mother paying the price for an imprudent marriage, Penelope is eager to clear her husband Jeremy, a feckless portrait painter whose salacious drawings of the victim suggest an erotic interest. Barrister Edward Buckler, drawn despite himself to Penelope, shakes off his habitual lethargy to join the investigation.

As horrifying murders on the Ratcliffe Highway claim all London’s attention, the trio discovers that it won’t be easy to unravel the enigma of Constance Tyrone, a woman who revives the legend of martyred St. Catherine.


Excerpt One:

London, November 1811

The clatter of wheels broke the stillness. Two horses strained in harness, nostrils flaring, breath steaming in the night air. Wrapped in a greatcoat and low-crowned hat, the driver rode hunched over, face hidden by his scarf. A gloved hand cracked the whip. Faster.

The woman lying in the road seemed unaware of her peril. She kept her eyes fixed on the church rising against the night sky. As the mists parted, the rose window emerged, a circle of textured shadow patiently awaiting the sun’s fire.

The horses reared, and the woman’s body tumbled beneath hoof and carriage, arms and legs a-tangle. Whipping around the wheel, her cloak yanked her back and up so that for one instant she was held suspended. Down she tumbled to land in a heap. The coach tilted wildly, regained control, and sped on. Hoof beats echoed away. The silence closed in with the fog.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

S.K. Rizzolo writes dark regency mysteries—no dukes, earls, or ballroom debutantes need apply. After developing a childhood obsession with Henry VIII’s headless wives, she became an incurable Anglophile and went on to watch practically every Masterpiece Theatre show ever made. By day she teaches literature to high school students; by night she retreats to her dusty attic to craft her own stories. Her mystery series features a trio of crime-solving friends: a Bow Street Runner (an early English detective), an unconventional lady, and a melancholic lawyer—all of whom live much more exciting lives than she does. The Rose in the Wheel is the first title in the series followed by Blood for Blood, Die I Will Not, and On a Desert Shore. Rizzolo lives in Los Angeles with Oliver Twist and Lucy, her cats, and Michael, her husband. She also has a grown actress-daughter named after Miranda in The Tempest.

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My Review:
Wow. I love historicals. I love to be able to go back in time and be able to live through the eyes of others. This was a great plot. It had a really interesting mystery. Who killed Constance? As the investigation gets going we also try to figure out why, when ans with what. This makes for a great story in itself with all the villains ready to do anything for money. Then we have the society that Constance was interested in, and the patients/doctors that are involved. With the ways that medicine was different, and the "live" description of a surgery, the reader definitely gets a feeling for how far the medical field has advanced. We also have romance. Not just between one couple, and not just the dating kind. There is also the kind of romance between a married couple that has started to lose their spark, but when push comes to shove they are there for each other. Other bodies pile up, there is a fire, illnesses and so much more. I also really enjoyed the Latin sayings in it! I knew some of them and others I had to go back to my high school days to remember!  I am giving this book a 5/5. I was given a copy, all opinions are my own.