Face Down Before Rebel Hooves
In her sixth mystery featuring herbalist Susanna, Lady Appleton, author Emerson weaves an exciting tale around a convoluted plot to topple the Protestant Queen Elizabeth from her throne and replace her with the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots.
Susanna is in Hamburg with her lover, Nick Baldwin, when she is approached by her old friend Sir Walter Pendennis. He wishes her to pose as his recently deceased wife in order to gain access into the household of the Earl of Northumberland. The powerful earl is suspected of treasonous activities in the north of England. Aided in her investigation by such recurring characters as her maid, Jennet, and Catherine, Lady Glenelg, Susanna manages to survive several attempts on her life and discovers damning evidence against Northumberland, his countess, and others. Complicating matters are several murders, suspicious characters, and general political unrest.
Although the plot drags somewhat in the middle, there are far too many distracting characters, and the ending seems rushed, Emerson’s fans will likely enjoy this latest entry.