BLOG Saturday 21 March
Kirkus Review of Murder at Cirey
In my many years in publishing I was always avid to see what Kirkus Reviews had to say about an author's new book. It's a thrill therefore to share what Kirkus thinks ofMurder at Cirey. 'Exhilarating'!
'This exhilarating first stab at a murder mystery by veteran historical novelist Sawyer (Rebel, 2014, etc.) rings true.
Primarily set in France during eight days in 1735, the novel centers around military police corps member Victor Constant, who is propelled by a strong sense of justice, which often keeps him from noticing whose toes he steps upon. It's this stunning indifference to France's very strong class structure that earns Parisian Constant an involuntary transfer to the picturesque rural region of Champagne. Constant launches the investigation of the murder of a nobleman's ambitious clerk on a nearby estate. At the estate, he meets, in an inevitably adversarial manner, the playwright Voltaire, opinionated lover of the estate's mistress, Madame du Châtelet. Other members of Constant's Chaumont brigade quickly pick up a penniless outsider as a suitable suspect in the crime ... Constant is soon racing the clock to find the true mastermind behind the heinous deed as he battles provincial attitudes ... Sawyer has created a winning character in the obstinate Constant in what is the first book in a proposed series, and she has surrounded him with memorable characters, both noble and commoner. Her experience as a historical researcher shines through, such as when Constant performs the 18th-century equivalent of a ballistics match ...
A promising start in a new direction featuring a headstrong but street-smart detective.'