Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Rose in the Wheel by S.K. Rizzolo (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT





by S.K. Rizzolo

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GENRE:   historical mystery

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BLURB:

This well imagined, carefully detailed, and cleverly plotted debut draws on actual historical events of 1811 London.

Regency London knows Constance Tyrone as the conspicuously celibate founder of the St. Catherine Society, dedicated to helping poor women. One wet November evening a carriage mows down Constance outside her office. Why was a gentlewoman abroad in the night? And if she died under the wheel, whose hands bruised her neck and stole her monogrammed crucifix?

Dismissing the idea of an accident, Bow Street Runner John Chase forms an unlikely alliance with Penelope Wolfe, wife of the chief suspect. A young mother paying the price for an imprudent marriage, Penelope is eager to clear her husband Jeremy, a feckless portrait painter whose salacious drawings of the victim suggest an erotic interest. Barrister Edward Buckler, drawn despite himself to Penelope, shakes off his habitual lethargy to join the investigation.

As horrifying murders on the Ratcliffe Highway claim all London’s attention, the trio discovers that it won’t be easy to unravel the enigma of Constance Tyrone, a woman who revives the legend of martyred St. Catherine.

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EXCERPT

Penelope tumbled out of sleep, stifling a scream. Someone was in the room. A step shuffled; a drawer edged open with the scratch of old wood. Her arm reached instinctively for the child at her side, but Sarah still slept, warm and sweet, breathing softly.

A form detached from the shadows by the bureau and moved toward her. She heard a thud followed by a muffled curse.

“Jeremy?”

“Who left that blasted thing in the middle of the room?”

As he bent to right the rocking horse, Penelope slipped out of bed, groping for the tinderbox on the nightstand. Fingers trembling, she struck metal against flint until a spark caught. She lit her candle and turned to face him.

Jeremy stepped into the flicker-glow, slivers of light illuminating eyes, nose, or mouth, each in turn then thrust back into darkness. He was smiling.

“What do you want?” she said.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

S.K. Rizzolo writes dark regency mysteries—no dukes, earls, or ballroom debutantes need apply. After developing a childhood obsession with Henry VIII’s headless wives, she became an incurable Anglophile and went on to watch practically every Masterpiece Theatre show ever made. By day she teaches literature to high school students; by night she retreats to her dusty attic to craft her own stories. Her mystery series features a trio of crime-solving friends: a Bow Street Runner (an early English detective), an unconventional lady, and a melancholic lawyer—all of whom live much more exciting lives than she does. The Rose in the Wheel is the first title in the series followed by Blood for Blood, Die I Will Not, and On a Desert Shore. 


Rizzolo lives in Los Angeles with Oliver Twist and Lucy, her cats, and Michael, her husband. She also has a grown actress-daughter named after Miranda in The Tempest.

Social Media links:





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GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here


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My review:

3.75 out of 5 stars


The Rose in the Wheel: A Regency Mystery by S. K. Rizzolo features Penelope Wolfe, a young mother during the early 19th century, who becomes enmeshed in a murder investigation when her errant husband is named the chief suspect. John Chase, a Bow Street Runner, methodically searches for clues, but his efforts are compromised by the lack of cooperation and the disdain with which many regard his profession. An unlikely team of investigators comprised of folks from many strata of life slowly unearths pivotal information…but will it be in time to bring the perpetrator to justice, or will even more victims succumb first?

This slowly building mystery maintains the decorum and tendency of the society of this period while detailing the challenges and advances taking place at this time. The author’s research provides depth to the story that starts with the discovery of a genteel philanthropist’s body and gradually expands to encompass issues such as single motherhood and other women’s challenges, scientific experimentation, and the judicial system. Those who are disturbed by shifting points of view are advised that the action does switch between several characters and there are multiple folks who appear as the story progresses, so one might want to take notes since it gets a little confusing at times.

I enjoyed the atmosphere that is richly established as well as the intriguing twists and turns that trail red herrings or provide a different perspective about some of the details that are received. I’m a little puzzled about Penelope’s marriage, and this story definitely reminds me of the hard-won advances in women’s rights that have been made over the years. I love mysteries that gradually unfold, and I think the author did a great job of creating a layered story that will appeal to those who love historical tales that bring to life the culture and mores of a particular era. Both the main characters and many of the secondary characters are intriguing and I suspect several may well-deservedly figure in subsequent stories.

A copy of this title was provided to me for review

 



53 comments:

  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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    1. Thank you, Becky. So pleased you enjoyed it.

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    2. Always good to hear, Becky. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Thank you for hosting me, and I so much appreciate your thoughtful review. Regarding my heroine's marriage: Until the passage of the Matrimonial Causes Act in 1857, divorce was nearly impossible to get (without a private act of Parliament and only for the very rich). So poor Penelope is stuck with her feckless husband!

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    1. A good point, S.K., but she seemed a little wishy-washy in her dealings with him, which frustrated me, lol. I appreciate you taking the time to come by and interact with my readers and I apologize for taking so long to greet you. Between my juggling act and a cold, there just never seem to be enough hours in the day. I hope the tour has been going well!

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    2. I agree! After four books, I'm still trying to figure out how she can get rid of him and marry another character. Thanks for your good wishes for the tour and for the warm welcome here. I hope your cold is better.

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  4. Thanks for sharing the excerpt & your review!

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    1. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt, Victoria!

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    2. Thank you for taking the time to read them, Victoria!

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  5. I like stories based on real events.

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    1. I do too! Fortunately, Regency England provides endless inspiration for plot twists. Thank you for your comment.

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    2. And I am always impressed by authors who can bring those events to life, Mary! Thank you for visiting!

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    1. I like both. Reading on my Kindle is easier on my eyes these days, but I still keep buying books. Too many books, if there can be such a thing.

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    2. I adore print books, Becky (which is why my house looks the way it does, lol). Thanks for coming by!

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    3. LOL My house is full of books too.

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  7. What is the best joke that you have heard recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

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    1. I haven't heard too many jokes recently, and I'm one of those people who can never remember them or who messes up the punch line. But here's a silly (and rather grim) 19th-century pun: What is the definition of awful suspense? Answer: Being hanged. I know that's terrible...

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    2. Lol. See what you started, Bernie!

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  8. What was your favorite childhood book?

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    1. That's easy: Bronte's Jane Eyre, which I read for the first time as a young teen and then later taught to high school students at least 21 times. My mom also introduced me to the work of romance/mystery author Georgette Heyer, who inspired me to set my own books in the Regency period. You should give Heyer a try if you haven't read her!

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    2. What a fun question, Becky. What was yours? I bet S.K. knows all the nuances of "Jane Eyre" and I am a Heyer fan as well, but my favorite book as a child was "Black Beauty"!

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    3. My favorites were the Nancy Drew books.

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  9. Wow, I think I just found a new author & series to follow! The cover for Rose in the Wheel ties in nicely with the blurb, which I love! There's nothing quite as intriguing as a good murder mystery, for who can resist a tale that involves Bow Street Runners and old London?! Adding to my "I Want This" list. :)

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    1. Wow, thanks so much. I truly appreciate your support! The Bow Street Runners sometimes got bad press about being easily corruptible--but my Runner John Chase is a thoroughly honest, decent sort. I hope you like him.

      P.S. I am going to run a separate contest for my newsletter subscribers to give away a few copies of The Rose in the Wheel. Hint: your chances are good.

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    2. Always great to hear, Margaret! I hope you get a chance to enjoy the series.

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  10. Where has been your favorite place that you've travelled to?

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    1. England! My husband and I took our daughter there when she was a baby. Actually, she learned to walk on the vast, green lawns of the stately homes we visited. I've been back to the U.K. a few times since--never enough.

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  11. sounds like I would enjoy the series - I have been looking for a new one to read

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    1. I hope you do enjoy the books! Best wishes to you.

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    2. That's terrific, Vesper, I hope you get a chance to enjoy them!

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    1. I so much appreciate your interest, Becky. If you go to my website and sign up for my newsletter, you can receive an introduction to the series along with three sample chapters for The Rose in the Wheel. Also, I'll put you in a drawing to win the full book (hint: your chances are very good).

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  13. Love the cover. How did it come about?

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    1. That's actually the third cover for The Rose in the Wheel (in various editions). All three have been designed by artists hired by my publisher, Poisoned Pen Press. I am very lucky to be with this company. Usually, the artists ask for my suggestions as to what themes to emphasize on the covers.

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  14. This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading, thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Nikolina. I hope you do get a chance to pick up the series. Happy reading to you!

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  15. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

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    1. Thanks, Ally. I appreciate your good wishes. Have a lovely day!

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  16. My favorite genre is mystery/suspense and this sounds awesome.

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    1. Sorry--those question marks were meant to be a smiley face--but my keyboard command didn't work. Enjoy your day, Becky!

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  17. If you could travel anywhere in the world that you haven't been to, where would it be?

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    1. I'd love to go to Japan. I've been reading a historical mystery series by Susan Spann set in 16th-century Japan and find that setting quite fascinating. What about you?

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  18. Fantastic post! I really enjoyed reading the review and learning more about this book!

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