The Opening Night Murder (A Restoration Mystery)

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With Charles II’s restoration, Suzanne Thornton, an entrepreneuring former prostitute, receives license to put on plays at the Globe Theatre. Through backing provided by a former lover, the Earl of Throckmorton, she renovates the theatre and seems set for success…until a body falls onto the stage in the middle of opening night.

Rutherford admits major license (the Globe was long-destroyed by the time this novel is set), but she does a competent job with the atmosphere of Restoration London and her representation of Suzanne’s plight (a woman without family connections or protector). However, the prose is unpolished, and as a mystery, this novel falls flat. The murder doesn’t figure until the last third; the focus is entirely Suzanne’s personal life: her relationship with her former lover and her (and also his) son. This could also work, were it not for the fact that Throckmorton is supremely selfish; his callousness makes him completely unsympathetic. Suzanne’s constant attempts to forgive and depend on him as he continually disappoints are nerve-wracking in the extreme. The book’s ending hints that he’ll feature in the next offering in this series; one hopes that novel will stick more to a murder mystery plotline and leave Throckmorton waiting in the wings.

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Online Exclusive

Publisher

Published

Genre

Period

Century

Price
(US) $14.00

ISBN
(US) 9780425255865

Format
Paperback

Pages
320

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