Death of an Alchemist
(A Bianca Goddard Mystery)
2nd Book in Series
Mystery – Women Sleuths
Publisher: Kensington (January 26, 2016)
Paperback: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00X2EOZRU
Alchemy conjures up for me the fantastic. Stories of dragons and knights or of wizards, ancient and contemporary. I had never given much thought to the idea that an alchemist may have been more than just a plot device in great fiction. The amount of detail about alchemy along with the science and spiritual standing of the time in question was staggering and added weight to the story beautifully.
I truly enjoyed reading “Death of an Alchemist” by Mary Lawrence. It is a book that is hard to place in a genre; historical fiction: Tudor England, to a fine degree, making the reader see, hear and mostly smell what it was like to live in that time period. A mystery thriller: with a thrilling mystery, without the egoistic grandstanding of typical mysteries, that never loses sight of the brilliant story underlying all. How about just great fiction.
Just as the textures of daily life are omnipresent in this novel, so are the contextual vagaries of the various relationships between the characters. Bianca and John are obviously in love, however the author doesn’t choose to sugar coat it, they are also a married couple with all the hills and valleys that implies. Parent/Child relationships are the crux of this tale. They are dysfunctional and imperfect, yet unbreakable bonds that lead parent and child to do the unexpected. The interactions between characters offered realistic presentation, that further conveyed the typical of the time period.
I have not read “The Alchemist's Daughter,” book one of this series. This story stands alone quite nicely and all the information the reader needs to know is beautifully woven into this tale. I will make it a point to be on the lookout for anymore books forthcoming.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
About The Book:
In the mid sixteenth century, Henry VIII sits on the throne, and Bianca Goddard tends to the sick and suffering in London’s slums, where disease can take a life as quickly as murder. . .
For years, alchemist Ferris Stannum has devoted himself to developing the Elixir of Life, the reputed serum of immortality. Having tested his remedy successfully on an animal, Stannum intends to send his alchemy journal to a colleague in Cairo for confirmation. Instead he is strangled in his bed and his journal is stolen.
As the daughter of an alchemist herself, Bianca is well acquainted with the mystical healing arts. As her husband, John, falls ill with the sweating sickness, she dares to hope Stannum’s journal could contain the secret to his recovery. But first she must solve the alchemist’s murder. As she ventures into a world of treachery and deceit, Stannum’s death proves to be only the first in a series of murders–and Bianca’s quest becomes a matter of life and death, not only for her husband, but for herself. . .
About The Author:
Mary Lawrence studied biology and chemistry, graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Cytotechnology. She won the Celtic Heart Golden Claddagh Award for historical fiction, and was a finalist in both the RWA® Golden Heart contest, and the Gotham Young Adult Novel Discovery competition. Along with writing and farming, Lawrence works as a cytologist near Boston. She lives in Maine. The Alchemist’s Daughter is the first book in the Bianca Goddard Mystery series. Visit her at marylawrencebooks.com.
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