The Devlin Diary

The Devlin Diary

by Christi Phillips
4.2 47

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Overview

The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips

From the acclaimed author of The Rossetti Letter comes a dazzling novel of intrigue, passion, and royal secrets that shifts tantalizingly between Restoration-era London and present-day Cambridge.

London, 1672. The past twelve years have brought momentous changes: the restoration of the monarchy, a devastating plague and fire. Yet the city remains a teeming, thriving metropolis, energized by the lusty decadence of Charles II's court and burgeoning scientific inquiry. Although women enjoy greater freedom, they are not allowed to practice medicine, a restriction that physician Hannah Devlin evades by treating patients that most other doctors shun: the city's poor.

But Hannah has a special knowledge that Secretary of State Lord Arlington desperately needs. At the king's Machiavellian court, Hannah attracts the attention of two men, charming courtier Ralph Montagu and anatomist Dr. Edward Strathern, as well as the attention of the powerful College of Physicians, which views her work as criminal. When two influential courtiers are found brutally murdered, their bodies inscribed with arcane symbols, Hannah is drawn into a dangerous investigation by Dr. Strathern, who believes the murders conceal a far-reaching conspiracy that may include Hannah's late father and the king himself.

Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Claire Donovan's dream come true -- until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor's unsolved murder is a seventeenthcentury diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the king's mistress. With help from the eclectic collections of Cambridge's renowned libraries, Claire and historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Devlin left behind, uncovering secrets of London's dark past and Cambridge's equally murky present, and discovering that events of three hundred years ago may still have consequences today....

A suspenseful and richly satisfying tale brimming with sharply observed historical detail, The Devlin Diary brings past and present to vivid life. With wit and grace, Christi Phillips holds readers spellbound with an extraordinary novel of secrets, obsession, and the haunting power of the past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439163443
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 05/12/2009
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 221,492
File size: 554 KB

About the Author

Christi Phillips is the author of The Rossetti Letter, which has been translated into six foreign languages. Her research combines a few of her favorite things: old books, libraries, and travel. When she’s not rummaging around in an archive or exploring the historic heart of a European city, she lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is at work on her next novel, set in France. Visit www.christi-phillips.com.

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Devlin Diary 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
AAR More than 1 year ago
THE DEVLIN DIARY by Christi Phillips is a historical mystery set in 1670's Paris, London 1672 and in modern day Cambridge, 2008. It is well written with depth and detail. It weaves modern day surprises with historical events of the 1670's. It has mystery, suspense, romance, intrigue, royal secrets and the love of Charles II. The characters are absorbing, entertaining and resourceful. This story will enchant you with the historical details and the emotional relationships between the characters present and past. If you enjoy historical intrigue, mystery and suspense you will enjoy this one. This book was received for review and details can be found at My Book Addiction and More and Gallery Books.
SeeMichelleRead More than 1 year ago
Claire Donovan, a visiting history professor at Cambridge University, is in over her head. After helping historian Andrew Kent to uncover a centuries old secret as told in Christi Phillips' previous novel, The Rossetti Letter, she's now at Cambridge upon Andrew's request but instead of enjoying her time in the history-filled campus, she's feeling out of place and abandoned. Awkwardly alone in such an unfamiliar, traditional English environment, it's not until she stumbles upon the diary of one Hannah Devlin that Claire once again finds herself in the midst of what she loves best: unraveling the mysteries of history. Because Claire will soon discover that Hannah is unlike most usual 17th century women. She's a talented physician (which is uncommon in itself) whose experiences in the royal court of Charles II could shed light on a series of brutal murders left unsolved for generations. Told from the alternating perspective of Claire and Hannah, The Devlin Diary moves along at a fast clip, yet the more fascinating story by far resides with the woman doctor Hannah. Her experiences are documented with such feeling and detail that I could picture the contrasting filth and splendor of 17th century England. While Claire's lackluster account of her dealings within the backstabbing community of Cambridge failed to ever capture my interest. Which shouldn't come as a surprise as the focus of the novel itself leans very heavily upon Hannah's unfolding story and not so much on the historian Claire. Unsurprisingly, I found myself much more drawn to Hannah and her mystery than I ever did to Claire. I think I might have liked Claire more as a character if I had been able to spend more time with her, but as it was, I didn't. I have however heard many, many good things about The Rossetti Letter - which I know follows Claire much more closely - so I'm thinking my opinion could differ from those who have already had the opportunity to meet and like Claire. The Devlin Diary immediately brings to mind a Da Vinci Code-like chase where instead of the clues being found in art, they are discovered in historical documents. Intriguing for any fan of historical fiction to say the least. Although it did seem like every time the story switched back to Claire I found myself constantly pulled out of the adventure due to her misguided attempts at crime-solving. I'm thinking if The Devlin Diary had simply been Hannah's story, without the unimaginative addition of Claire, I would have eaten it up with a spoon (which I did) and then passed it without hesitation to friends.
Callie Cox Bauer More than 1 year ago
A great read, very interesting.
Montreve More than 1 year ago
I read 'The Rossetti Letter' and was impressed. When I heard that the author had another book, I had to pick it up. It was an enjoyable beginning as it seemed to pick up right where 'The Rossetti Letter' left off. The characters, who I met and liked in the first book, were something comfortable to sink into in the new and exciting atmosphere of 'The Devlin Diary.' It switches back and forth between the present and the past, which is probably why I managed to rip through this book so fast! At the end of a chapter there is something that I can't wait to understand, to see ... And then the next couple chapters takes place in the present. Lol. It's a great way to keep the reader from putting the book down!! I enjoyed the writing style and the descriptions and the realism in the historical chapters. I can't wait to see what she will put out next. Read this book, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
gl More than 1 year ago
I haven't read The Rossetti Letter, so I approached The Devlin Diary as a standalone novel. On its own, The Devlin Diary is a satisfying read. The book opens in 1670 in the Palace of Saint-Cloud in Paris at the sickbed of Princess Henriette-Anne, the wife of the Duc d'Orlean, sister-in-law to King Louis XIV of France and sister to King Charles Stuart of England. Princess Henriette-Anne has suddenly fallen sick and is in great pain, it is clear that she is not expected to live much longer. Surrounded by courtiers from France and England, the Princess has little privacy. In her last moments, she calls on an obscure Englishman, Robert Osborne, and it is to him that she whispers her last instructions. The book jumps to London in 1672 where we meet Mrs. Hannah Devlin, the widowed daughter of two doctors who practices medicine as a physician and a "physick." Under the laws of the time, the College of Physicians and medical societies exclude women; Mrs. Devlin cannot qualify to practice medicine and risks a criminal charge of practicing medicine without a license. But Mrs. Devlin's practice is limited to poor and common folk with whom she has established a reputation for competence and skill, and she is safe as long as she remains unnoticed. It should be noted that Mrs. Devlin's medical training and skill is impeccable - she's learned from her parents who were both respected doctors. Her father had been physician to the King until a political disagreement caused him to be exiled from Court. Her mother had trained and practiced medicine in France, but upon her marriage was limited to acting as a "physick" and assisting her husband in his medical practice. Mrs. Devlin is grabbed off the streets and brought to the King's residence at Whitehall to treat a favorite's suspicious illness. The diagnosis and treatment are within Hannah Devlin's competence, but the politics and intrigue at court may be her downfall. Hannah Devlin parries with Lord Arlington, a powerful man whose stormy relationship with her father threatens Hannah's own safety. Through her work at court, Mrs. Devlin befriends Dr. Edward Strathern who is newly appointed to run the anatomy theater at the College of Physicians. When members of court are murdered in a grisly and disturbing manner, Mrs. Devlin and Dr. Strathern work together to make sense of the killer's clues and to hunt down the murderer before he can kill again. The Devlin Diary alternates between the story of Mrs. Devlin in the 1680s and Dr. Claire Donovan at Trinity College, Cambridge in 2008. Soon after solving the mystery behind The Rossetti Letter, Claire Donovan has been offered a prestigious fellowship at Cambridge University. While exploring an arcane collection in one of Cambridge's most eminent libraries, Claire Donovan comes across a slim volume written in code in the 1600s. As Claire deciphers the text, she realizes that she's found an account of unsolved murders during the time of King Charles Stuart. When a fellow historian is murdered, Claire Donovan and Andrew Kent search for links between the recent murder and the mysterious journal. Christi Phillips combines historical fiction with a complex and well crafted mystery. If you're fond of unusual mysteries and historical fiction and looking for an engrossing, satisfying read, check out The Devlin Diary. I enjoyed it so much that I've just ordered the earlier novel, The Rossetti Letter.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Claire is a college history teacher. When a fellow teacher turns up dead, she can't help but wonder if this death is connected to a brutal killer from the 1600's. At that time, there was a murderer who would leave strange markings on victims. The answer to this mystery lies in Hannah Devlin's diary. Will they be able to uncover the truth or will these killings continue? This is one of those books that as soon as you start reading it, you know instantly that it is going to be added to your favorites list. Everything about this book is intriguing.
Stacie0408 More than 1 year ago
The Devlin Diary was great! I really enjoyed the continuation of characters like Claire Donovan and Andrew Kent and the introduction of a historical British story. Set in present day (circa 2008, I think) and the reign of Charles II, the stories again alternate between two strong female leads. Hannah Devlin, a woman who practices medicine even though it's illegal for women to do so, and Claire, who landed a fellowship at Trinity College in England go through things like treating the King's favorite mistress for a STD, having research ideas stolen by other fellows, and everything else along the ride. You wouldn't have to read The Rossetti Letter before this one but it wouldn't hurt. There's some background to the present-day characters that's helpful but again, it's not a must-do. Overall, a really enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Here is a song. <br> Alone. In the dark. Then the creepy music starts. I look around to see if someones there. Behind me! I yell and scream. But theres no one there to save... Me! I turn to see! Yeah I turn to see whos behind Me! I Yell and Scream! But theres no one here to Save me! ( Song continuses in next res )
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