The Firebird’s Feather

Written by Marjorie Eccles
Review by Caroline Wilson

The Firebird’s Feather is a historical mystery set in the Edwardian period amidst the upheaval of the new king’s coronation, suffragette protests, and revolutionary fervor. The book opens on a Sunday in the Challoner household with Kitty, the daughter of a wealthy stockbroker and Russian expatriate. Her world comes crashing down when her mother Lydia is shot while riding in Hyde Park. Sensing that the police will never find her killer, Kitty sets out to solve the crime with Marcus Villiers, the last person to have seen her mother alive.

The Firebird’s Feather perfectly captures the social discontent of the early 20th century. The usual suffragette theme is in play, but the interesting addition of the various Russian discontents is area not usually explored in fiction. While Eccles is a competent writer, she employs the popular method of telling the tale through the eyes of multiple characters. This method slows the pace to a crawl. Nearly a quarter of the novel is devoted to the coming and goings of the primary and secondary characters, of which there seem to be too many. While the pace does pick up, readers will have to employ some fortitude to get through the introductory chapters.

Overall, The Firebird’s Feather is an interesting novel that will appeal to mystery lovers and Edwardian-era enthusiasts alike.