REVIEW: The Birth of Blue Satan by Patricia Wynn
Dear Mrs Wynn,
After having written about traditional 10 regencies, you’ve now started a new historical series set in 1715 England in which the politics and society of the day play a prominent role. I’m going to steal a review
done at amazon.com:
“Pat Wynn is a proven master at the Regency mystery genre. Her newest novel set in the era of Georgian England — when gentlemen settled their quarrels with swords and the women have secrets of their own. In The Birth Of Blue Satan, it is 1715 and George I has ascended the British throne, while displaced James Stuart lives exiled in France. Stuart’s supporters scheme to retake the crown and Gideon Viscount St. Mars returns from a three-year Grand Tour to discover that his father is a suspected Jacobite who has been banned from the Court. On the brink of marriage, Gideon is accused of murder and with no friends at Court must choose to escape or be hanged. Assuming the disguise of the highwayman Blue Satan (and with the help of his friend, Hester Kean — waiting woman to the lady he had hoped to marry) he uncovers the secrets that have plunged his life into danger. Patricia Wynn offers a satirical view of Court society in this totally engaging and eminently satisfying mystery.”
I bought this one on a whim based on a post at AAR and because of how much I’ve enjoyed reading your traditional regencies and am very pleased with it. You have a great feel for the times, places, politics and society of the day, all of which play important parts in the story. The characters are well drawn and I’m not left feeling any of them are just two dimensional place holders. We are offered an intriguing cast of people who might have done the foul deed and get to see them, one by one, eliminated, convincingly, until the killer is finally revealed. The mystery is actually well done though to be honest, the strength of the book is in the rich details and the engaging protagonists.
Gideon is a hot headed aristocrat who’s never had to operate in the shadows. He plainly admits that his wits and intelligence have never really been tested in a world that has always granted him, the son and heir of an earl, his every wish. Now he’s got to rely on himself and learn to act differently in order to survive and catch his father’s killer. Hester Kean is a woman with keen intellect and powers of observation. In her life as a companion, she’s often relegated to the sidelines and is thus given ample opportunity to catch subtlies that others might miss. If neither of them is quite up to CSI standards, well, that’s not what they were raised and trained to do. But both catch on quickly.
There is a third book already published though I’m not sure how far the series is to be carried. At your website, you mention lots of stuff going on in your life during the last year so I’m not sure if this, the publisher’s whims or the end of the story arc is after book three. But, I’ve already got books two and three on hand and hope for more. B
You can purchase the paperback copy of this book.
or as an ebook at Belgrave House or Fictionwise
DAmn and blast it, Jayne! I need to get my book spending under control! Now I’ll have to go looking for this book.
Patricia Wynn was on a Historical Mysteries list (may still be) a few years back. I liked the fact that she was using the Newgate Calendar (sort of 18th cent True Detective) for research. It’s also available online for the historical crime buff. http://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/lpop/etext/completenewgate.htm
Thanks so much for the recommendation and the review! I got my Google Alert this morning and have just read your commendation. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book and want to read on.
To answer your question, the delay between my books is entirely my fault. I find these very hard to write. it was much simpler to plot Regency romances than these historical mysteries. Since I try to follow the events of the period, I do my research about 4-6 months out, reading the daily newspapers, etc. Then I make a historical daily timeline and weave a mystery plot through it. Until I have enough worked out in my head, I can’t even start the next book, and then I have to start writing to find out how my characters solve the mystery. It’s a slow process, but plotting has never been my strong point. I need the history first to get ideas for what really might have occurred — too tied to reality, I guess.
Anyway, I have written one chapter of book 4, so it’s a long way off. I’m going to Alaska next week, but hope to get busy on it once I’m home and have caught up before the next interruption occurs.
Thanks again so much for featuring my books!
Mrs Wynn, I can see how it would take more time to get all the historical details correct and then on top of that, weave a mystery through those. I’m just glad that the publisher hasn’t pulled the plug as happens so often with unusual series. Have fun in Alaska. ;)