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Susanna Calkins Books In Order

Publication Order of Lucy Campion Mysteries Books

A Murder At Rosamund's Gate (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
From the Charred Remains (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Masque of a Murderer (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Death Along the River Fleet (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Susanna Calkins is an award-winning author with a fascination for Seventeenth-Century England.

+Biography

Though she has lived in Chicago for a while, Susanna came from Philadelphia. The author’s love for reading manifested at a young age. By the age of twelve, Susanna was hooked to Agatha Christie, an author that deeply inspired her.

She was also driven by the likes of Phyllis Whitney and Lois Duncan, saving up every penny she could find in order to buy as many mystery books as she could. Her curiosity with seventeenth-century England grew in tandem with her love for the mystery genre.

She would eventually go on to acquire a Ph.D. in history from Purdue University, though she has wanted to explore 17th century England since grad school. If you ask Susanna about her obsession with the era, she will probably point to the Great Fire of London in 1666.

There is also the plague of 1664. These two events saw the world turn upside. Entire communities were shattered by death, misery, and distrust. Identity theft was also a common concern, this along with situations of apprentices and servants taking over from their masters and acquiring entire households in the process, with no one the wiser.

With so much death in the air, murder became all too commonplace. For an imaginative individual like Susanna Calkins, 17th century England is simply too ripe for story ideas, and she has succeeded in crafting many a mystery novel out of that particular period in England’s history.

Susanna Calkins will speak fondly of all the ballads she had to pour over while working on her Ph.D., encountering a surprising number of strange and unexplained events, some of them partially true and others wholly sensationalized.

Susanna was fascinated by all the ordinary people that would somehow stumble into the madness and mayhem of the 17th century. She was especially taken by stories of women that were found either strangled or stabbed, with a note signed by the murderer found in their pockets.

It was a story that she stumbled upon frequently in her studies; and even with the fascination she elicited from reading about the means through which the suspect was caught, imprisoned, tried and hanged, it was the story of the murdered woman that intrigued her; her identity, where she came from, and whether the hanged suspect had actually killed her or if he had simply been framed.

In trying to answer those questions, and more, in her mind, Susanna Calkins’ first novel began to take shape.

Susanna’s most popular creation is Lucy Campion, a chambermaid who becomes a printer’s apprentice. Susanna sees herself in Lucy, and she believes that if she had existed in 17th century England, she would have been just as illiterate as Lucy and just as determined to teach herself to read and write in the long run.

Of course, Susanna will be the first to tell you that she doesn’t have Lucy’s stomach and would run screaming if she ever saw a dead body. Prodding and poking dead bodies to find clues isn’t her forte.

Susanna attests to being surprised that she has made it so far as a writer, primarily because she knew nothing about publishing or marketing or promotion or even writer’s conferences before she snagged her first contract.

Susanna Calkins, who works at Northwestern University, has a husband and two sons.

+A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate

For chambermaid Lucy Campion, serving in the household of a local magistrate brings little in the way of excitement and joy, not when all she does is repeat the same cycle of activities every single day, from polishing pewter to emptying chamber pots.

Life begins to change when a servant dies and someone close to Lucy is suspected of the Crime. Lucy isn’t so quick to jump to conclusions. However, 17th century England isn’t kind to suspected criminals and Lucy knows that she doesn’t have much time to uncover the truth behind the murder.

She takes up the challenge with fervor, venturing beyond her comfort zone as she follows a trail she knows leads to the killer.

This is Susanna Calkins’ debut novel. Readers are introduced to Lucy. As the heroine of the story, Lucy is far more intelligent than her colleagues. She has a head for puzzles and proves as much by sneaking into places she shouldn’t be and connecting clues that other people might have missed. Susanna does a decent job of fleshing her out, though she isn’t nearly as consistent as she could have been. Lucy, despite manifesting so much intelligence in some chapters, is a little foolish in other chapters, many times falling for the same tricks and making the same mistakes over and over again.

For a first time author, Susanna’s writing isn’t bad. At the very least, her work is readable. The one unassailable aspect of this book is Susanna Calkins’ grasp of history.

+From the Charred Remains

London was already a place of death and misery before it was charred by a great fire. Lucy Campion is doing her part to clean up the mess and assist in the recovery process. This proves difficult when a dead body is discovered intact despite the fire.

The corpse is of a man who died from a stabbing rather than the plague or even the fire. Lucy has no household to serve, so she is apprenticed to a printmaker. That doesn’t stop her from working the murder investigation. More than her charm and wits, it will take a strong stomach for Lucy to unravel the mystery.

This book opens up in the aftermath of the great fire of London. Susanna Calkins paints a haunting picture of the charred remains of the great city before diving into the mystery.

The catastrophic nature of the Great Fire releases Lucy from some of the constraints that restricted her in the previous book. Society is still struggling to recover. As such, Lucy is able to move with greater freedom. The social mobility she is afforded allows her character to grow. As with the first book, Susanna continues to display her impressive grasp of history, adding details that inject authenticity into her story.

Susanna Calkins is an American woman of letters. Calkins has been juggling different occupations and writing all the while. She is an historian, an academic, and faculty developer. She undertakes faculty development during the day and writes during the night. Calkins’ birth place is Philadelphia, in the United States, wherein she was also raised. She is currently domiciled in Chicago alongside her family.

For her doctoral studies, Susanna Calkins went to the West Lafayette-based Purdue University. She is presently a director at the Illinois-based Northwestern University. Some of the literary figures who influenced Susanna Calkins when she was growing up include English penwoman Agatha Christie, and American authors Phyllis Ayame Whitney, scribbler Tom Clancy, and novelist John Ray Grisham. Present-day influences include English author Anne Perry, and American writers Susan Elizabeth George and Patricia Cornwell.

Section on Books
Susanna Calkins debuted in 2013. In writing circles, Calkins is is best known for the highly acclaimed and multi-award winning series called Lucy Campion Mysteries. Seventeenth century was a tumultuous period; by then England was faced with a plethora of problems ranging from political and religious turmoil to social discord. However, the most catastrophic time-frame was during the early to mid-1660s, whereby a plague and fire accident devastated London. In the Lucy Campion Mystery series, Calkins offers fictionalized accounts set in the backdrop of the 17th century England.

There are four editions of the first book in author Calkin’s Lucy Campion Mystery series. The first edition of that first book was initially published in April 2013, titled A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate, and the series is shelved under the mystery, historical fiction, and European (British) literature genres.

Another early book by Susanna Calkins is titled From the Charred Remains. It is the second book in the Lucy Campion Mystery series. There are also four editions of this book and the first one was originally published in 2014. Lucy Campion is the featured protagonist in the Lucy Campion Mystery series.

Meet protagonist Lucy Campion. She is a young woman who works as a maidservant in the Seventeenth century London. She is employed by a London-based magistrate. The magistrate has a grow up son called Adam who is Campion’s heartthrob. Unlike other housemaids who are mistreated by their employers, Campion often joins her employer’s family during mealtimes and contributes to debates which the magistrate initiates after supper.

In the first book in Susanna Calkins’ series, A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate, Lucy Campion’s life is all about household activities. However, her duties and responsibilities are interrupted by the gruesome murder of another servant. Campion’s bosom friend is fingered for the murder case and might even be hanged if found guilty. Campion believes that her friend is innocent and to save her friend from the gallows, she starts delving into the bottom of the matter. If she is not careful, her sleuthing might land her in the hands of the murderer.

The second book, From the Charred Remains, is set in the wake of the Great Fire and the disastrous plague which rocked London. After the fire wreaked havoc on London, the residents are cleaning up when they chance upon an intact corpse; even more strange is the knife on the deceased’s chest, which indicates that he neither died of the plague nor the fire but was stabbed to death. Currently a printmaker’s trainee, Campion often teams up with a regional constable and both get caught up in a murder homicide wherein she must be courageous and witty if at all she will come out alive.

Susanna Calkins Awards
Susanna Calkins’ books, especially those in the Lucy Campion Mystery series, have won and been nominated for various literary awards. For instance, in 2014, her 2013 book named A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate was nominated for the Macavity Awards, in the Sue Feder Historical Mystery category. In 2015, Calkins’ second book in the serialized Lucy Campion Mystery was among the finalists for the Bruce Alexander Memorial award, in the historical mystery category.

In 2016, Susanna Calkins’ third book in the Lucy Campion Mysteries, titled The Masque of a Murderer, won in the Sue Feder Historical Mystery category of the Macavity Awards. Furthermore, the said book was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark literary award, offered in conjunction with Simon & Schuster; the book was nominated thanks to its classification as a cozy mystery. Also in 2016, the book clinched an Macavity Award in the Sue Feder Historical Mystery category. Lastly, the book was nominated for the Agatha Awards in the Best Historical Novel category.

The last book in the Lucy Campion Mystery, named A Death Along the River Fleet and published in 2016, has also been nominated for Bruce Alexander Memorial award (historical mystery). Moreover, in 2016, Susanna Calkins received the arts-oriented Mayor’s Awards.

Best Susanna Calkins Books
The following are the best three books authored by Susanna Calkins. The first one is A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate. The second one is From the Charred Remains. Incidentally, these books have been discussed previously. The third notable book is The Masque of a Murderer. Hereby, protagonist Lucy Campion has ceased being a chambermaid and is currently working as a printer’s trainee. In 1666, in one wintry afternoon, Campion alongside the daughter of the employer-cum-magistrate are dispatched to document the finals words of a man in his deathbed.

The dying man reports that the stampede during which a horse and cart run over him was stage-managed after whistle-blowing a few days previously. Soon Campion and the magistrate’s kin discover that the dying man’s revelation might put their lives on the line and, worse still, the mysterious killer might be hiding right under her nose.

Other Book Series You May Like
The following series of books also appealed to the readers who enjoyed the Lucy Campion Mystery series authored by Susanna Calkins. The first one is called the Dr Dody McCleland series penned by Felicity Young. Doctor Dody McClealand is the featured protagonist, alongside Matthew Pike. McClealand, a heroine, is an autopsy surgeon; Pike is a detective chief inspector, working in the Metropolitan Police Service.

The second sought-after series is named the Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries authored by Ashley Gardner. The featured protagonist is Captain Gabriel Lacey who previously served as a cavalryman during the so-called Regency period. The third series is titled Lady Darby and is penned by Anna Lee Huber. This series is set in Scotland, during the 1830s, and features protagonist Lady Darby who found a safe haven in her sibling’s home.

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