Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Blackstone Key

The Blackstone Key. By Rose Melikan. 2008. Simon & Schuster. 435 pages. [Historical/Mystery/Romance]

The clock at Great St. Mary's Church in Cambridge tolled the half hour on a grey, gloomy, October morning in the year 1795.

Mary Finch, our heroine, is on her way to a new life, a new start. So she thinks. She's going to visit an uncle she's never met. But the journey to get there, well, it's not without complications. Life-changing complications. She'll be meeting lots of new people--some trustworthy, others not so much. Can she discern the difference? Can you?

Set during the late eighteenth century, it focuses on the conflict between England and France. What you'll get--if you choose this one as something you'd like to try--is a bit of history, a bit of mystery, and a tiny bit of romance.

Did I like it? Yes and no. On the one hand, it's detail-oriented. There's a richness to that in some ways. It's like immersing yourself in a different time period, a different world. It can be a good thing. On the other hand, it can be a bit tedious at times, a bit tiresome. To be honest, there were places I just felt so bogged down that I was at the point of giving up. And then I would have a moment, where the book felt like it was on the verge of being oh-so-good. So I would keep on going. Towards the end, the pace did pick up and I reached a place where I knew I had to finish it.

So I wanted to like it more than I did. But I think it has potential for patient readers. (Or readers who aren't reading two or three books all at once.)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Anonymous said...

Do you think I would like it, Becky? It's funny that patience really never has been one of my more conspicuous qualities - yet perhaps I might be described as a "patient reader"... :) L.

Annette said...

The title and cover is enticing. But I am reading several books at once.

Paige Y. said...

I love a good historical novel but I agree that it takes a good writer to balance enough historical details to really create a good setting without bogging down the story.

Becky said...

L, I am *fairly* sure that you would like this one a good deal. For one thing, it's historical fiction. I kept reading this one just for you. There is a sequel I *hope* to get to at some point. I'm hoping that it will click even more since I'll be familiar with some of the characters and the setting. They'll be less "orienting" to do maybe?