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Death at St. Vedast:
A Bianca Goddard Mystery

by Mary Lawrence


Of Blood and Brothers

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Bianca and John are delighted to share in the glad fortune of their friend, Boisvert, the silversmith, who is to wed Odile, a wealthy widow. But a pall is cast over the nuptials when the body of a pregnant woman is found beneath the bell tower of St. Vedast, where the couple is to be wed. Tragedy strikes again at the couple’s reception, when Odile suddenly drops dead in the middle of the feast. Accused of poisoning his bride for her money, Boisvert is taken to Newgate prison. Bianca links the two deaths and a series of others to the interests of three prominent London Guilds. In a race against time, Bianca must expose the perpetrator before more victims succumb to the murderer’s twisted plan for redemption and Boisvert is hanged for murder.


Reviewed by ReviewingTheEvidence.com

... Lawrence's evident research is seamlessly woven into the telling of this tale, adding depth to the setting with both subtle references and detailed descriptions of the place and time. The mystery itself is intriguingly complicated, and the pacing is perfect as Bianca uncovers the secrets of all those involved while, at the same time, she and John further define their relationship. Perhaps most importantly, Bianca herself is a delightful character. She's smart, curious, and self-assured, making her someone you'll want to spend time with. The other characters, too, are well drawn, and the combination of plot, setting, and character is well balanced, with each element serving to improve the whole. The book works as an entry to the series, too, with some enticing—but not spoiling—references to the previous novel (THE ALCHEMIST'S DAUGHTER) that make it easy to start with this novel but hard to resist going back to read the first one. (Reviewed by Meredith Frazier) [Read full review...]

Reviewed by iam-indeed.com

... Mary Lawrence never fails to intrigue and set a wonderful sense of place and time in her stories, and as Bianca has grown and developed in her detecting, the feel of Tudor England gains in stature and redolence.

... While the mystery is clever and compelling, the story gains tremendous depth from the historic detail and description that show the world Bianca occupies, similar and yet so different from our own, with that bird’s eye view of Tudor England that feels as present as a tree outside your window. Whether historic fiction or mystery is your draw, this is a story and series sure to please many. [Read full review...]

Reviewed by MysteryMavenBlog.com

I enjoy a good historical mystery where you can tell the author has at least one foot in that era.  Such a mystery is “Death at St. Vedast” by Mary Lawrence.  Lawrence proved in her first “A Bianca Goddard Mystery,” “The Alchemist’s Daughter,” that she had thoroughly researched the social, economic, political and cultural history of England at the time of Henry VIII.  “Death at St. Vedast” is an inventive continuation of alchemist, healer and amateur sleuth, Bianca Goddard’s story. ...

Lawrence carefully explains in an afterword where she has changed some details to fit the storyline, primarily in where she locates some of the guildhalls.  It is clear that she has a very good grasp of what life in Tudor England was really like.  There are plenty of colorful descriptions, interesting plots, exciting action and authentic dialogue to make “Death at St. Vedast” a page-turner for all who appreciate fiction set in early Renaissance England. [Read full review ...]