Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklySet in Buxton, Derbyshire, in 1575, the 10th entry in Emerson's Elizabethan historical series (Face Down Under the Wych Elm, etc.) smoothly mixes engaging characters, political intrigue, period customs and crime. Rosamond Appleton, the impetuous 12-year-old foster daughter of Susanna, Lady Appleton, is horrified when she learns that her French tutor, Madame Louise Poitier, has drowned face down in St. Anne's Well. Unable to accept the crowner's ruling of accidental death, Rosamond calls on Lady Appleton to investigate. Conspiracies and murders surrounding the imprisonment of Mary Stuart, the abdicated queen of Scots, complicate the process, but Lady Appleton and her friend and housekeeper, Jennet Jaffrey, as ever rise to the occasion. Those readers who need help keeping the characters straight can refer to a list at the front. There's also a glossary of unfamiliar Elizabethan words. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsLouise Poitier, a French tutor in the spa city of Buxton, plays the Early Modern Mata Hari, assiduously confirming everything the English suspect about the French, except of course that she isn't really French, and not much of a tutor either. When Madame Poitier drowns in the heretofore healing waters of St. Anne's Well, Lady Susanna Appleton (Face Down Below the Banqueting House, 2005, etc.), foster mother of Poitier's 12-year-old tutee Rosamond Appleton, investigates. Susanna, herbalist, housewife and detective (a real Renaissance woman, since she lives in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I) discovers intrigue everywhere at Bawkenstanes Manor, home of Lady Bridget and Sir Richard Hawley, who care for and educate Rosamond and other girls, including their own daughter, Penelope. Rosamond is impetuously convinced that Madame Poitier was murdered. Her natural mother, Lady Pendennis, is busy matching her with Will Hawley, heir to the manor and unfortunately to his father's dissipations as well. Then Susanna recognizes the substitute French tutor as Annabel MacReynolds, a spy for Catherine de Medici and Mary, Queen of Scots, imprisoned only a few miles away. Annabel claims, like Susanna, to be merely investigating Louise's death, but the possibility of sedition only adds to the danger lurking in the waters of the "spaw."Susanna's ninth investigation is slowed by more speculation than actual intrigue among the sprawling cast.
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Face Down beside St. Anne's Well (Lady Appleton Series #9) based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
I have now read all of the Lady Appleton series and I am sad to see them end. I enjoyed #10 much more than the previous book but all in all its been a pleasant way to spend some relaxing moments. Thank you for the journey. Perhaps Susanna will make another appearance one day and if so I will be happy to purchase that book as well. If you just want to while away some time in a pleasant series of books and you like the idea of a lady sleuth in the 1500's I think you will enjoy this series.
JUST WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT FROM A LADY APPELTON STORY
Three young ladies sneak out of Bawkenstanes Manor at night to go skinny dipping in a building that contains thermal baths. Madame Louise Poitier, a working gentlewoman to Lady Bridget of Bawkenstanes, discovers them. Instead of escorting them home, she tells them to leave before she meets with an intelligence gatherer concerning a plot to free Mary Queen of Scots from imprisonment. The next day Louise is found dead FACE DOWN BESIDES ST. ANNE¿S WELL. --- The coroner rules the death was an accident, but one of the girls Rosamond Appleton, heir of Lady Susanna Appleton, thinks otherwise. Susanna learns of Rosamond¿s suspicion that murder occurred so she travels Bawkenstanes to see if there is any truth to her foster daughter¿s belief. She finds ample evidence that Louise was in deed murdered and is surprised to see Annabel Mac Reynolds there as she knew her when he was an intelligence gatherer for Catherine De Medici. These women accompanied by Rosamond¿s biological mother Eleanor team up to try to find a killer and find out how it relates to the imprisoned queen. --- A Lady Appleton mystery is a very special treat and the latest book in the series is no exception. Elizabethan England comes alive due to the vivid descriptions and historical tidbits interwoven into the plot. Readers can picture the manor houses and upper class lifestyle. Kathy Lynn Emerson encourages the audience to try to solve the who-done-it because the puzzle is fascinating with plenty of suspects containing viable motives. Historical mystery is at its best with Lady Appleton¿s superb caper. --- Harriet Klausner