Wednesday, 15 November 2017

A very good detective story by someone who normally does research into that era "Searcher in the Dawn"

Early 17th century: In a small English village the lady of the manor dies shortly after having given birth to an heir. Eleanor is the daughter of the late village doctor and what you would now call the pathologist. She sees symptoms that seem odd.


What makes this book more than the standard detective is the unfamiliar historical background and the rich setting of village life. Eleanor is at a crossroad in her life. We see her having to decide what road to take. A recurring theme is missing out on a chance to find love. Grace, Grace's father, Elisabeth, Will and Eleanor all see life thwarting a romantic interest. Some will find happiness with another others won't. Some find happiness in work or the love of a child others turn bitter.

I thought while reading the book that it was a great detective story but that it was highly unbelievable to have a woman in this kind of profession in those times. Then to my utter surprise the writer explained at the end that she is working at a university and did research on that time frame and based the women in the book on the historical persons she had read about for her research. And when you google you indeed find her scientific publications as well.

A real 5 out of 5 stars.


Amazon description:

 It is 1623, and the young Lady Grace Upton has died, days after the birth of her son.

This is not particularly unusual, but when Eleanor Goodchild, local apothecary and niece of the midwife who delivered the child, sees the body, she begins to suspect that Grace's death may not have been natural. As the local searcher, Eleanor must report the death formally, and so begins her bid to discover the truth behind the young woman's death…

Was Grace's husband involved, or the mysterious and haughty French woman who has taken up residence in their home? Or does the truth lie further back, rooted in Grace's former life as the daughter of a village printer?

Meanwhile, Eleanor has her own life to manage. Her relationship with her brother Tom, with whom she has lived since the traumatic death of their parents some time ago, is strained and in the absence of a husband, Eleanor's future seems uncertain.

Searcher in the Dawn is an intriguing blend of murder-mystery and historical romance, and paints a fascinating portrait of village life and relationships in seventeenth-century England. A compelling story with a striking twist, it will appeal to lovers of crime novels and historical tales alike.


Lucinda Becker has spent many years researching and writing about Renaissance women and their ways of living and dying. She has produced a variety of books for university and college students and was once a newspaper feature writer. She lives in the countryside with her family and this is her first work of fiction

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