I came across a review of this book and was entranced. Historical fiction of a period I enjoy and mystery murders a half dozen of them. Plus strong women - which was unusual for the time. I was just lucky that one of the libraries in the system had this book as it was not available at Carnegie.
London and Paris - the time is 1672 and then Cambridge 2008. The story is written in these time frames with the Cambridge period unravelling the story of centuries before. A new fellow at Cambridge - a young American woman tries to solve the unsolved murder of a senior fellow. Someone she has accused of not just copying what she wanted to publish but also someone whom she slapped in public. The same night he is found dead. Unravelling the story Claire goes back to the period of 1672 both in London and Paris at the turbulent time of Charles II.
1672 London - we have Hannah a physick (rare for a woman to be involved int he field of medicine) and apart from her medical knowledge Hannah has intelligence and wit and soon uncovers the plot behind two murders of courtiers of the King's own circle and it is this knowledge that brings her into personal danger.
The story is one where the characters of Claire - the Cambridge fellow and Hannah the physick of earlier London are inter-twined. Through the diaries left behind by Hannah the story is able to be deciphered and made public. The book was one of those which you cannot put down as you always want to know what is going to happen next. Hannah was indeed a character whom one could empathize with and Claire was another who was bewildered by the archaic values of academia in Cambridge.
I think that this would be a wonderful book for a book club because at the end of it , I myself would have loved to have sat down with a group and had a discussion on this. The book left me with a sense of satisfaction at the end - true love prevails, justice is meted out and Hannah lives happily ever after.