Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Birth of Blue Satan by Patricia Wynn

First Sentence: The tall, young gentleman with long, fair hair and aquiline features lounged impatiently before the looking-glass. 

Gideon Fitzsimmons Viscount St. Mars argues with his father over the woman he wants to marry and leaves his father’s house in a temper.  Learning his father was murdered shortly thereafter, he finds himself about to be arrested, and must run to avoid prison.  His unexpected helper is Hester Kean, Isabella’s cousin. 

Wynn’s attention to historic detail of the time, place and social structure, is staggering and adds richness and veracity to the story.   However, the characters and story are what I truly loved. It was one of those books I picked to read just a couple pages, and ended up reading it straight through to the end. 

The characters are wonderful. Gideon accustomed to a life of privilege now on the run.   Hester Kean is the smart, strong, proper daughter of an impoverished minister determined to help Gideon clear his name. The secondary characters are just as strong. Mrs. Mayfield, out to ensure a profitable marriage for her daughter at all cost; Isabella, the beautiful and vacuous daughter, Gideon’s groom Tom; the loyal lifelong servant determined to keep himself ‘clean’ after seeing his father die from pox; Philippe, Gideon’s perfect French valet, and many others who are all so well drawn as to be real. 
   
Ms. Wynn has a wonderful voice. She is able to bring the period and the people to life with suspense, an element of romance and a dash of humor.  I had one small complaint when Hester did something toward the end that was both incredibly stupid and, I thought, out of character for her. I know it was necessary to the story and series, but felt it should have been handled better by the author
     
The Birth of Blue Satan” is very well plotted with each suspect being identified and investigated.  The period details are fascinating.  Do take the time to read the author's notes.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

THE BIRTH OF BLUE SATAN (Hist. Mys- Gideon Fitzsimmons/Hester Kean-England-1715) – VG+
Wynn, Patricia – 1st in series

Pemberley, 2001

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