Sunday, April 1, 2012

Danger In The Wind by Jane Finnis

book cover

Danger In The Wind
by Jane Finnis

ISBN-13: 9781590588901
Hardcover: 330 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: December 6, 2011

Source: Borrowed from my local library.

Book Description from Goodreads:
A fine summer in 100 AD and good government under Trajan Caesar promise well for the Roman settlers in the frontier province of Britannia.

Aurelia Marcella runs an inn on a busy road to York. June is always busy, but one day two unusual events occur: a soldier is murdered in his bed at the inn, and a letter arrives from Isurium, a small fort north of the city. It is from a cousin, Jovina, inviting Aurelia to a midsummer birthday party. But the missive also reads as a plea for help, referring to “danger in the wind.”

The murdered soldier also bore a message, locked in Aurelia’s strongbox, indicating violence would erupt at the very same fort on the day of the party.

At Isurium, Aurelia finds Jovina and her drunken husband and unruly children caught in a tangled web of greed, love, intrigue, and death. When violence engulfs the district, Aurelia suddenly finds herself in peril from enemies engaged in an anti-Roman plot and from family members bent on misguided or evil agendas of their own.

My Review:
Danger In The Wind is a historical mystery set in 100 AD in England. This book is the fourth in the series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one, and the previous novels are not spoiled if you read this one first.

There was a nice level of cultural and everyday historical detail, and it didn't slow the fast pacing. However, the characters used modern phrases and wordings in the dialogue which tended to break my immersion in the time period.

The characters were engaging, but we didn't get to know them very well. Aurelia was a very practical heroine. Her lover is basically a detective, and they worked together to ask questions and find clues to solve the mystery.

The mystery was of the more realistic sort, where "whodunit" wasn't an unexpected surprise. The problem was sorting through the events and clues to determine which of the "obvious suspects" had done the deed. I wasn't certain whodunit until Aurelia was, though it was technically possible to understand the critical clue before she did. The suspense was partly from the potential physical danger to the main characters and partly from wondering how the whole mystery was going to settle out in the end.

There were no sex scenes (or sex, though affairs were talked about). There was a minor amount of "he cursed" style of bad language. Overall, I would recommend this enjoyable mystery.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One:
The letter arrived at breakfast. It jolted me out of my quiet morning mood and sounded an alarm in my head as shrill as a bugle.

I don't get many letters, and they still give me a childish thrill of excitement. Half the fun is trying to guess who they're from before I look inside. This one gave nothing away: it was an ordinary wooden note-tablet, folded in half and tied with a cord. It was addressed to Aurelia Marcella, the Oak Tree Mansio, coast road from Eburacum, and someone had written URGENT in large black letters above my name. But then everyone does that, even though we all know it makes precious little difference to how quickly the message arrives.

I gave up the guessing game and untied the cord. I was pleased to see the note was from my cousin, and the first few lines were cheerful enough.

Read more using Amazon's "Look Inside" feature.


Jessica L. Buike said...

Hi! I also entered to win the IBBA and found you among the list of entries! :) I'm a new follower! I still hope I win (instead of you lol), but it never hurts to make some new friends along the way. ;)

Genre Reviewer said...

Glad you dropped by. :)