A CROWNING MERCY by Susannah Kells

A CROWNING MERCY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A bouncy period adventure--jouncing with narrow escapes, durances most vile, and snarling villains during the last doomed years of Charles I. Lovely lass Dorcas Slythe is the virtual prisoner of her nastily pious Puritan father, his monstrous housekeeper, and her disagreeable brother--all of them neurotically devoted to a fanatical crusade that will join with other anti-Charles factions to depose the king. But then Dorcas meets nice young Toby Lazender, upper caste with a Royalist bent, who dubs her ""Campion,"" offering kindness and love. And luckily, just before her enforced wedlock to porcine Samuel Scammel, Dorcas/Campion's father dies--leaving behind an odd will that leads Campion to a miraculously jeweled seal, a bag of money. . . and an escape to London. There, however, she stumbles into the deadly web of unsavory lawyer Sir Grenville Cony: forced to marry Scammell, Campion is rescued ""intact"" by Toby, who whisks her off to his home, Lazen Castle, and his mother--formidable, acidtongued, but engaging Lady Margaret. And, before the full mystery of her father's will is solved, mishaps proliferate for our heroine: Campion will be tried for witchcraft, nearly burned at the stake; Lazen will suffer under siege; Campion will meet elegant Mordecai Lopez of Amsterdam, learning of her real parentage; and there'll be a final showdown (a night of brilliantly dirty tricks) with ugly, drunken spy Vavasour Devoroz. . . . as Campion and Toby sail off to freedom and wealth. Violence, mystery, and peppy people: a long but fast and punchy serving of costume-drama folderol.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1983
Publisher: Viking