Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Announcing ~ "The Study of Murder" by Susan McDuffie

I was so very happy to catch up with Muirteach MacPhee and his new wife Mariota on the road to Oxford. Muirteach, you remember, is the Keeper of Records for John McDonald the Lord of the Isles, who is also his overlord. He has been charged, as we join him, with protecting and escorting Donald, son of the Lord of the Isles and grandson of the current King of Scotland.

The year is 1374 and the differences between the Scottish Hebrides and  the university town of Oxford  were stark. In addition to the usual mistrust between town and gown, we can add religious and gender inequities, which intensify stresses on the newly married couple. Muirteach seems to be accepted but Mariota, seen to be his equal in Scotland, is mistrusted for her skills and education in this country.

Riots, disappearances and murder shake and roil the town leaving many in danger. When Mariota disappears, Muirteach is desolate, distraught and sleepless but continues to search for her and gather clues about all. He is aided by Thomas Houkyn,coroner, a historical figure in  1373 Oxford Town. The coroner collaborates with Muirteach with network of searchers  as  hope begins to fade for Mariota and another missing young woman.

Jonetta, the tavern keeper's daughter, had gone missing shortly after Muirteach, Mariota and Donald arrived in Oxford. It was initially surmised that she ran off with a chapman from York who fancied her. When that proved not to be the case, suspicion turned on another attached to the school.The plot and the suspects shift and twist and change daily. The coroner's jury finds an innocent man guilty and  he will soon hang.

You MUST read this book, a superb mystery and historically correct in every aspect. Susan McDuffie is of Clan McPhee,Fee, McDuffie  and her ancestors served the Lord of the Isles, the McDonalds in the Inner Hebrides on Colonsay.She knows her Scottish history and this period intimately and is a powerful storyteller.

                                      GIVEAWAY  GIVEAWAY   GIVEAWAY
                                 Celebrating the publication of this book with an ARC of this very fine book.
Send a request from my blog using my Google email found there at the top by  the end of the Tour  on September 25th.  I will have a helper draw a number and will award the book based on the order the e-mails come in. I shall send it to the e-mail you provide in the e-mail. Good Luck!

                                                           The Author and Award
Susan McDuffie and her Editor and fellow author Alice Duncan with her 2011 Award for "Best Historical Novel of 2011" by the New Mexico Book Awards for  The Fairie Hills


  1. Kathleen, I am so pleased you enjoyed THE STUDY OF MURDER--thanks so much for your review!

  2. Sounds interesting. I enjoyed one of her earlier books. I will make time for this one.

  3. Thank you, Jeanne. Hope you enjoy this one! :-)

  4. Jeanne, Were you entering the Giveaway? If so send me the mailing address..