Friday, July 3, 2009

The Devlin Diary

The Devlin Diary

Christi Phillips

4 out of 5

The whole time I was reading this book I kept saying to myself, “you didn’t need to read the first book in this series, The Rossetti Letter, to understand this book“. But, by the end I really think that I missed something in reading this one first. By the end there was just too much references to Princess Henriette-Anne, which is who the first book is written about.

This book alternates between Dr. Clare Donovan a present day lecturer and historian who is on a temporary loan program to Cambridge University and 17th Century Hannah Devlin the physician to the king’s mistress. Needing a new subject in the ever present publish or parish mentality of academia, Clare accidentally stumbles across Hannah’s diary in a musty chamber of Trinity College. This is no typical diary, this one is written in code and thus the mystery and challenge begins.

With the help of Andrew Kent, a main character from the first book, and a snarkey but dashing professor named Derek Goodman; who has quite a few secrets of his own, Clare begins to put the pieces together. When Goodman is found murdered with part of the diary in his hand, Kent and Donovan set off to solve murders centuries apart but apparently intertwined.

Christi Phillips puts you right into this story. From the decaying 17th century with it’s rules about women to modern day Cambridge University with it “rules” about outsiders. This two fold mystery will keep most readers enthralled. With either it’s modern day adventure or historical intrigue Phillips tells two stories that draw vivid pictures of the times and the people that live there.

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