The first Amazon review for The Spice Merchant’s Wife.
5.0 out of 5 stars Continued excellence 17 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
London during and after the Great Fire is the setting for this third novel by Charlotte Betts, and to my mind her best to date.
We are taken into the home of the wealthy spice merchant’s wife’s family, with their fine furnishings, lustrous materials and servants. But when the Great Fire destroys not only the spice merchant’s home but his warehouse, and the family watches their wealth go up in smoke, like so many thousands of Londoners they are, at a stroke, destitute.
The story that follows – for the Great Fire is but the beginning – is totally believable and extremely well written, with descriptions of everything from everyday life in Restoration kitchens and boudoirs, to the underhand and extremely dangerous pursuits of some of the speculative builders of the time.
Add murder to the story, and you have suspense. Of perfume, perhaps the strongest element of this story, I shall say not one word. I’d not want to spoil it for you. I do hope that Charlotte Betts remains in Restoration England for her next novel, perhaps even to continue the story of the spice merchant’s wife.
One of the best books I have read this year, without a shadow of a doubt. I use the word “shadow” advisedly. Read the book and you will find out why.