Editor’s Pick: THE CRY OF THE HANGMAN by Susanna Calkins

by Rachel Slatter

Murder always sells. But when a series of dark and puzzling crimes takes place in seventeenth-century London, will printer’s apprentice Lucy Campion be publishing the news – or starring in it? Read on to find out why this historical mystery is this month’s Editor’s Pick.

A crisply written, cleverly plotted, and nicely detailed historical mystery, with a lively heroine and a satisfying ending

Booklist on The Sign of the Gallows

The Cry of the Hangman is the sixth in the Lucy Campion mystery series, but new readers should feel reassured that it’s safe to jump right in and join Lucy on her latest twisty adventure.

Printer’s apprentice Lucy is horrified when her much-loved former master, Magistrate Hargrave, is viciously attacked with a brass hourglass during a break-in. What was the villain searching for? And why did they first stop to steal a piece of pie? This puzzling case is just the start of a series of dark, bizarre crimes. Lucy’s determined to get justice for the magistrate, but someone is determined to stop her – whatever it takes.

Lucy is a complete gem of a protagonist, and if you enjoy female amateur sleuths but haven’t met her yet you’re in for a real treat. She’s a really sympathetic main character, with a warm, humorous voice, and both courage and brains. That her job as a printer’s apprentice, writing and selling strange news and true tales, is an unusual and fascinating added bonus!

One of the things that’s fantastic about this series in general is Susanna Calkins’ amazing grasp of time and place. A trained historian, Susanna uses her historical knowledge and research to bring seventeenth century London to vivid life. I really get a sense, when reading Lucy’s adventures, that I’m reading about a living, breathing city, along with the people in it, and getting an intimate insight into what life was like for regular people during those times.

The Cry of the Hangman has a real corker of a mystery plot too – twisty, accomplished and page-turning. If you like a complex puzzle that ties together neatly at the end, this is the book for you! I loved this book – and I’m excited for you to read it too.

For anyone interested in 17th-century England, this mystery is a treat.

Publishers Weekly on The Sign of the Gallows

Lavish period detail, romantic tension, and a complex puzzle make the heroine’s fifth adventure one of her best

Kirkus Reviews on The Sign of the Gallows

The Cry of the Hangman is out in hardback August 26, 2021 in the UK and November 2, 2021 in the US.

The ebook will be available worldwide October 1, 2021.

Order Your Copy Now

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