The Birth of Blue Satan: Featuring Blue Satan and Mrs. Kean (Blue Satan Mysteries) Hardcover – 1 Mar 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
THE BIRTH OF BLUE SATAN (Hist. Mys- Gideon Fitzsimmons/Hester Kean-England-1715) - VG+
Wynn, Patricia - 1st in series
Pemberley, 2001, US Hardcover - ISBN: 0970272707
First Sentence: The tall, young gentleman with long, fair hair and aquiline features lounged impatiently before the looking-glass.
It is the early 1700s, a time of political and religious tension, when Protestant German George sits on the throne supported by the Whigs who have convinced him the Tories support Catholic James Stewart, exiled in France. Gideon Fitzsimmons Viscount St. Mars argues with his father, Lord Hawkhurst, over Isabella, woman he desires to marry and leaves his father's house in a temper.
Upon preparing to ride to a ball a lone horseman attacks him, severely cutting his arm. Gideon proceeds to the ball, where he meets Isabella's cousin, who is kind and bright and clearly being treated as a poor relation by Isabella and her mother.
Two men appear and advise Gideon his father has been murdered and the culprit had been wounded. When they discover Gideon's wound, he becomes the suspect and must run to avoid being put in prison. He must also determine wither the motive was personal or political and undercover his father's murderer.
Wynn's attention to historic detail of the time, place and social structure, is staggering and adds richness and veracity to the story.
But it's the characters and story I really loved.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did - the author is a well-known Romance writer - and I've never been a Romance reader. However, I was immediately hooked by the mystery of who killed St. Mars' father. Wynn has written a Romance novel with an excellent mystery interwoven throughout. The pace of the book could have used a boost to its speed, but other than that, it is well written. St. Mars and Mrs. Kean are excellently drawn and immediately likable. Even Isabella who is an eighteenth century air head becomes likable as the book draws to an end. And Isabella's scheming mother, while not likable, is certainly well drawn.
The mystery is a good mystery as there is no scarcity of suspects, each with a motive to do murder, and the individual actually guilty of the deed is introduced early enough to not be a surprise when he is uncovered as the murderer. The history appears to be right on the money - Wynn introduces enough period history, i.e., the rivalry between the Whigs and Tories for George's largesse, to be interesting but not to become the focus of the book, which always remains the mystery of who did the murder.
It's 1715 in England, when politics and parties are a matter of life or death for rich and poor alike, as Gideon Viscount St. Mars discovers through his father, Earl of Hawkhurst. As the story begins, Gideon is obsessed with one thought, the woman haunting his dreams. Upon getting to the ball, to see Mademoiselle Isabella Mayfield, Gideon finds himself dealing with an angry father, a deadly rider, and dangerous politics. As the story moves, these subjects possess Gideon's life and conscious sending him into hiding and reappearing as the Blue Satan in order to save his own life and find a murderer. The ending shows us the series will be a continuing adventure of politics, romance, and mystery. Other impressive characters are Mrs. Kean, Isabella's cousin, and Gideon's employees, Tom and Philippe.
The Spider's Touch,The Motive From the Deed, and the Killing Frost. I happened to read the last one first.
Then I had to read the first ones, too.
In this novel, King George I (the turnip) is making himself less and less popular with the citizens of London. The Whigs and the Tories are spying and conspiring and someone has murdered Lord Hawkhurst. His son Gideon has been accused of this crime and his fathers's frineds don't bother to defend Gideon. Howeve,Hester Kean decides to help Gideon and to find the killer in order to prove Gideon's innocence.
In a time with no police force, victims often resorted to bringing offenders to justice themselves, which St. Mars tries to do under the disguise of a highwayman (the Blue Satan), joining the alarming numbers of outlaws who populated the English heaths and woods. Hester, believing him innocence, sees her role as being the one to "observe things he could not see, the little happenings of her limited circle that might point to his father's murderer."
The story unfolds in a divided and suspicious England after the Glorious Revolution (1688) had preserved Protestant rule and thus denied the throne to the closest in line, Roman Catholic James Edward Stuart, the "Pretender." Supported by the Whig Party, German speaking George I of the Hanover line reigns. The "Pretender," however, lurks in the wings in France, supported by Jacobite spies, the opposition Tory Party, English and Irish Catholics, and nonjuring clergy (those who refused to swear allegiance to Protestant kings}. These anti-Whig discontent are found to be linked to St. Mars' father, and thus to St. Mars.
The author points out that writers have surprisingly ignored this era which she says is "a prefect time for fiction." Her book shows this to be true as it fulfills all this site's requirements - solid background information, credible period details and dialog, and an inquisitive down to earth heroine. The book contains both Historical Background and Author's Notes, and the unresolved ending opens the door to the next Blue Satan and Mrs. Kean book.