I loved mysteries as a teenager, but somewhere along the way, I turned to historical novels, my first love. However, not long ago I took the time to read a debut mystery written by another member of Historical Novel Society. I love books set in France (as is evident by my writing), and so I settled down to read Judith Rock’s Rhetoric of Death, an historical mystery set in 17th century Paris. To my delight, the novel has all the appeal of good historical fiction—the ability to transport me to the past, to the streets of Paris, where a Jesuit monk follows leads down dusty back alleys to solve the mystery of a murdered student and the attempt on the life of another.
If you love historical novels, you will love Rhetoric of Death. Judith has another mystery just out, The Eloquence of Death. The book titles would be off-putting were the author not so talented, the plots interesting, and the characters so real. I’m recommending it to both my book groups, and highly recommend Judith’s books to anyone who wants a book they can’t put down until the final page, wishing then the read was not yet finished.