I really enjoyed this book. Emerson combined a twisty, intriguing puzzle with a classic battle of the sexes. Lady Appleton goes behind her husband's back to investigate the death of a steward found "face down in a marrow-bone pie," convinced he might have been poisoned. This enrages her husband, Sir Robert, the typical Elizabethan misogynist with definite ideas about "a woman's place" (even toward his sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth). Susanna always stays one step ahead of her husband, which irritates him to no end.
Eve P. (scrabblist) reviewed Face Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie (Lady Susanna Appleton, Bk 1) on
This book is the first in the "Face Down" series of Elizabethan mysteries. The protagonist is the practical, capable, and sensible wife of an English nobleman and courtier. In the course of managing her husband's estate while he is traveling for the Queen, she encounters and, of course, solves a mystery regarding two related deaths. The characterizations are well drawn, making both major and minor players interesting and sympathetic, while the plot is skillfully developed with authentic cultural details and historical situations. I thoroughly enjoyed this unpredictable mystery and the story of an admirable and multi-faceted woman facing life realistically but confidently, using her talents, and finding satisfactions in less than ideal circumstances. I look forward to reading additional books in the series.