Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo


This well imagined, carefully detailed, and cleverly plotted debut draws on actual historical events of 1811 London.


The Rose in the Wheel
by S.K. Rizzolo

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GENRE:   historical mystery

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Regency London knows Constance Tyrone as the conspicuously celibate founder of the St. Catherine Society, dedicated to helping poor women. One wet November evening a carriage mows down Constance outside her office. Why was a gentlewoman abroad in the night? And if she died under the wheel, whose hands bruised her neck and stole her monogrammed crucifix?

Dismissing the idea of an accident, Bow Street Runner John Chase forms an unlikely alliance with Penelope Wolfe, wife of the chief suspect. A young mother paying the price for an imprudent marriage, Penelope is eager to clear her husband Jeremy, a feckless portrait painter whose salacious drawings of the victim suggest an erotic interest. Barrister Edward Buckler, drawn despite himself to Penelope, shakes off his habitual lethargy to join the investigation.

As horrifying murders on the Ratcliffe Highway claim all London’s attention, the trio discovers that it won’t be easy to unravel the enigma of Constance Tyrone, a woman who revives the legend of martyred St. Catherine



Excerpt:

London, November 1811

The clatter of wheels broke the stillness. Two horses strained in harness, nostrils flaring, breath steaming in the night air. Wrapped in a greatcoat and low-crowned hat, the driver rode hunched over, face hidden by his scarf. A gloved hand cracked the whip. Faster.

The woman lying in the road seemed unaware of her peril. She kept her eyes fixed on the church rising against the night sky. As the mists parted, the rose window emerged, a circle of textured shadow patiently awaiting the sun’s fire.

The horses reared, and the woman’s body tumbled beneath hoof and carriage, arms and legs a-tangle. Whipping around the wheel, her cloak yanked her back and up so that for one instant she was held suspended. Down she tumbled to land in a heap. The coach tilted wildly, regained control, and sped on. Hoof beats echoed away. The silence closed in with the fog.


I quite enjoyed this well written historical mystery. With elements of religion, medicine, social change and a detailed portrait of the times, specifically in London's rougher neighborhoods, this mystery will keep you thinking you know who murdered the philanthropical Ms. Tyrone, then changing your mind.
The vocabulary is exemplary, attention to detail, first rate.

The main investigative characters of Penelope and Chase are strong with wonderful appeal.
Secondary characters are developed well enough to play firm roles and make us want to know more about them. Maggie reminds me of a jovial yet more responsible Caroline Arliss from Lark Rise to Candleford. 

The pacing is steady, allowing the reader to feel dark and fogged in, as bleak as the London weather.
The exciting, danger final scenes will have you on the edge of your seat.





S.K. Rizzolo writes dark regency mysteries—no dukes, earls, or ballroom debutantes need apply. After developing a childhood obsession with Henry VIII’s headless wives, she became an incurable Anglophile and went on to watch practically every Masterpiece Theatre show ever made. By day she teaches literature to high school students; by night she retreats to her dusty attic to craft her own stories. Her mystery series features a trio of crime-solving friends: a Bow Street Runner (an early English detective), an unconventional lady, and a melancholic lawyer—all of whom live much more exciting lives than she does. The Rose in the Wheel is the first title in the series followed by Blood for Blood, Die I Will Not, and On a Desert Shore. Rizzolo lives in Los Angeles with Oliver Twist and Lucy, her cats, and Michael, her husband. She also has a grown actress-daughter named after Miranda in The Tempest.

Social Media links:


Buy links:





iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-rose-in-the-wheel/id1181302239?mt=11




22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Laura. And I appreciate your thoughtful and beautifully written review!

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  2. Sounds amazing! Thank you fir hosting & introducing this great read!!😍
    Thank tou for tge chance!💋xoxo🍀

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your interest in my series, I appreciate it!

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  3. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  4. Thanks for the review and excerpt, sounds like a great read, and for the chance to win

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    Replies
    1. I appreciate your interest. Best wishes!

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  5. Enjoyed the review and excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway chance.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your great review!

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  7. I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased you're enjoying the tour!

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  8. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

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  9. I love historical mysteries, and this one looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
    Congratulations. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your good wishes, Kate. Happy reading to you!

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  10. I love novels taking place in foggy London. There is no better place for a good mystery. ;)

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    1. I agree! Not that we would actually want to live in the 19th century--but so much fun to visit.

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  11. I had lived in London off Baker Street for almost 2 years. There is a Sherlock Holmes Museum. the funny thing is that the street is not so long to get to the number of Sherlock's townhouse. ;)
    The Metro station is decorated with wall tiles with Sherlock's profile with the pipe. So cool.

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    1. I've been to the Dickens and the Samuel Johnson museums but not to the one for Holmes. Lucky you to have lived in London!

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