Death of a Bawdy Belle
In 1692, Arabella Edwards, a golden beauty, is found hanging from the Salem gallows, but she had not been accused of or tried for witchcraft. Returning characters from Kemp’s first book in the series, Death of a Dutch Uncle, widowed businesswoman Hetty Henry and young Boston minister Increase “Creasy” Cotton, investigate. These two nosy Puritans once again get into all sorts of trouble as they delve into the mystery surrounding the dead woman, trying to figure out who killed her and why.
This novel is entertaining, despite a few annoying flaws. Kemp uses language too modern for the time period, and Hetty has some unconvincing traits for a woman of her time, as well as a tendency to swoon rather exasperatingly at every little occurrence. Nevertheless, the adventures on which Hetty and Creasy go to solve the crime prove amusing and witty, with a delightful ending. It will be interesting to see what they get up to next.