5 Star Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto
Death and the Sisters
by Heather Redmond
September 25 - October 20, 2023 Virtual Book Tour
The tangled relationships between Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary’s stepsister Jane Clairmont form the backdrop for an intriguing historical mystery, set in London in 1814, that explores the complex dynamic between sisters and the birth of teenaged Mary’s creative genius.
London, 1814: Mary Godwin and her stepsister Jane Clairmont, both sixteen, possess quick minds bolstered by an unconventional upbringing, and have little regard for the rules that other young ladies follow. Mary, whose mother famously advocated for women’s rights, rejects the two paths that seem open to her—that of an assistant in her father’s bookshop, or an ordinary wife. Though quieter and more reserved than the boisterous Jane, Mary’s imagination is keen, and she longs for real-world adventures.
One evening, an opportunity arrives in the form of a dinner guest, Percy Bysshe Shelley. At twenty-one, Shelley is already a renowned poet and radical. Mary finds their visitor handsome and compelling, but it is later that evening, after the party has broken up, that events take a truly intriguing turn. When Mary comes downstairs in search of a book, she finds instead a man face down on the floor—with a knife in his back.
The dead man, it seems, was a former classmate of Shelley’s, and had lately become a personal and professional rival. What was he doing in the Godwins’ home? Mary, Jane, and Shelley are all drawn to learn the truth behind the tragedy, especially as each discovery seems to hint at a tangled web that includes many in Shelley’s closest circle. But as the attraction between Mary and the married poet intensifies, it sparks a rivalry between the sisters, even as it kindles the creative fire within . . .
Praise for Death and the Sisters:
"Death and the Sisters is a terrific blend of gritty history with a mystery that will keep readers turning pages. Impeccably researched and imaginative, Redmond’s first Mary Shelley Mystery immerses readers in the drama of young Mary Godwin and her family, as well as her budding romance with Percy Shelley, as they work together to solve a wonderfully bookish murder. I thoroughly enjoyed this series kick-off and can’t wait for the next story!"
~ Susanna Craig, author of The Lady Knows Best
"Death and the Sisters is a rip-roaring murder mystery with twists and turns that introduces teenaged Mary Godwin, not yet the author of the immortal work Frankenstein, as an amateur detective. Redmond's foray in the world of rational atheists in early 19th century London is a mesmerizing, forceful delight."
~ Eilis Flynn, author of The Riddle of Rym
"Crafted with vivid historical detail, an artfully twisted plot, and engaging characters, Death and the Sisters is an excellent start to what I hope will be a long-running series."
~ Dianne Freeman, author of the award-winning Countess of Harleigh Mysteries
"It might be the way London comes to life in all of its dark and gritty complexities, or the dynamics between Mary and her step-sister, Jane, as they set out to find the killer of the man who they discover dead in the bookshop. Everyone is a suspect—even Percy Shelley who has caught the eye of the women in the household. Propulsive and immersive, Heather Redmond is at the top of her game until the intense and satisfying end."
~ Mary Keliikoa, author of Hidden Pieces
"An intrepid cast of characters, a stunningly atmospheric 19th-century London, and a riveting murder… Highly recommend."
~ Melissa Bourbon, bestselling author
Genre: Historical mystery
Published by: Kensington
Publication Date: September 2023
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781496737991 (ISBN10: 1496737997)
Series: Mary Shelley Mystery, 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Kensington
Read an excerpt:
Heather Redmond is an author of commercial fiction and also writes as Heather Hiestand. First published in mystery, she took a long detour through romance before returning. Though her last British ancestor departed London in the 1920s, she is a committed anglophile, Dickens devotee, and lover of all things nineteenth century.
She has lived in Illinois, California, and Texas, and now resides in a small town in Washington State with her husband and son. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers. Her 2018 Heather Redmond debut, A Tale of Two Murders, has received a coveted starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
Catch Up With Heather Redmond:
BookBub - @heatherredmond1
Instagram - @hiestandheather
Twitter - @heatheraredmond
Heather Hiestand Redmond's Reader Group on Facebook
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