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The Devlin Diary [Kindle Edition]

Christi Phillips
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $27.99
Kindle Price: $15.99
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Book Description

From the acclaimed author of The Rossetti Letter comes a dazzling novel of intrigue, passion, and royal secrets that shifts tantalizingly between Restoration-era London and present-day Cambridge.

London, 1672. The past twelve years have brought momentous changes: the restoration of the monarchy, a devastating plague and fire. Yet the city remains a teeming, thriving metropolis, energized by the lusty decadence of Charles II's court and burgeoning scientific inquiry. Although women enjoy greater freedom, they are not allowed to practice medicine, a restriction that physician Hannah Devlin evades by treating patients that most other doctors shun: the city's poor.

But Hannah has a special knowledge that Secretary of State Lord Arlington desperately needs. At the king's Machiavellian court, Hannah attracts the attention of two men, charming courtier Ralph Montagu and anatomist Dr. Edward Strathern, as well as the attention of the powerful College of Physicians, which views her work as criminal. When two influential courtiers are found brutally murdered, their bodies inscribed with arcane symbols, Hannah is drawn into a dangerous investigation by Dr. Strathern, who believes the murders conceal a far-reaching conspiracy that may include Hannah's late father and the king himself.

Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Claire Donovan's dream come true -- until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor's unsolved murder is a seventeenthcentury diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the king's mistress. With help from the eclectic collections of Cambridge's renowned libraries, Claire and historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Devlin left behind, uncovering secrets of London's dark past and Cambridge's equally murky present, and discovering that events of three hundred years ago may still have consequences today....

A suspenseful and richly satisfying tale brimming with sharply observed historical detail, The Devlin Diary brings past and present to vivid life. With wit and grace, Christi Phillips holds readers spellbound with an extraordinary novel of secrets, obsession, and the haunting power of the past.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Fans of historical romance and traditional whodunits alike will welcome Phillips's second novel, which like her debut, The Rossetti Letter (2007), alternates between past and present. In the present, historian Clare Donovan, who delved into 17th-century Venetian intrigue with handsome Cambridge fellow Andrew Kent in The Rossetti Letter, is now a temporary lecturer at Cambridge's Trinity College, packed with scheming academics roiling in a hotbed of nearly every human frailty imaginable. When dashing and venal Professor Derek Goodman is found slain clutching a page of a coded diary by 17th-century physician Hannah Devlin, Clare and Andrew get on the trails of vicious killers from different centuries. The mysterious death of Charles II's sister, Princess Henriette-Anne, wife of Louis XIV's dissolute brother, propels the main historical narrative. Phillips's command of period detail and her sure touch with emotional relationships help make this a stand-out. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A follow-up to the well-received The Rossetti Letter (2007), Phillips once again simultaneously follows seventeenth-century and twenty-first-century mysteries. A serial killer is loose in seventeenth-century England. Are his gruesome crimes random, or are they part of a royal conspiracy? Hannah Devlin, a rare female physician, becomes convinced of the latter. Meanwhile, in twenty-first-century Cambridge, England, Clare Donovan finds Hannah’s diary. Shortly thereafter, an academic rival is murdered. Are the crimes connected? Both women work to solve their mysteries, while also becoming embroiled in parallel romances. Although the twenty-first-century plotline and ending are the weaker, both sets of mysteries and romances are engaging. An excellent afterword answers questions about historical accuracy and literary license. A novel sure to appeal to readers of Philippa Gregory. --Marta Segal Block

Product Details

  • File Size: 614 KB
  • Print Length: 452 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1847373194
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (April 24, 2009)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001NLKVTU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,845 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
(104)
4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
In a nutshell; a wonderful book. Christi Phillips manages to give readers both a scholarly and detailed historical account of life in 17th century England as well as a tautly written and compelling mystery. I found myself dwelling on the interesting historical elements as much if not more, than the story itself. I usually give books about two chapters to prove themselves and The Devlin Diary met that test. I also enjoy any novel where the pace increases each chapter. The Devlin Diary met that test as well but really accelerated about halfway through and clearly `red lined' near its end. The finish was satisfying and I would have read even more than its 448 pages offered.

The book centers on a 17th century mystery in the King's court in London. There are a series of murders and a real political cover up that occurs and which the characters are trying to resolve. The counterpoint to this story is a present day tale of two scholars in Cambridge England who stumble upon these historical events while investigating a present day murder on their campus. Going back and forth between the two eras is not only interesting, it's fun. Although the book is a stand-alone work, it contemporary story picks up where it left off in Phillip's last book, The Rossetti Letter. So, there is a sense of continuity here that is gratifying. Whereas the Rossetti Letter in 17th century Venice was also a great read, the contemporary story which continues in the Devlin Diary is richer and generally more satisfying and interesting than in the previous book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical/Modern Murder Mystery May 31, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This wonderful book follows two parallel murder mysteries separated by 4 centuries. In the first, in 17th century London, a serial killer is on the loose, and the crimes which are growing more and more gruesome, appear seemingly random - or are they??? Hannah Devlin, a woman physician, an illegal "career" for women of her time, becomes convinced the crimes are NOT random, and thinks they may be tied to a royal death and its cover up. In the 21st century, at Cambridge University, Clare Donovan, a visiting American scholar, finds Hannah's diary, and shortly afterwards become embroiled in a murder mystery of her own, when a fellow professor is found murdered. Could both of these crimes, though separated by 4 centuries, be related? Both of these women use their knowledge and intelligence to solve their respective mysteries, while also becoming involved in parallel romances. The plots twist and turn until both finally merge in a satisfying and unexpected climax.

Of the two stories, I found Hannah's story to be the most interesting and the most fully developed. The characters are real, believable, and come to life as the story unfolds. They also show the depth and extent of the author's research of the period. The modern characters, while also real and believable, seemed less well developed.

This book is one that will keep the reader's interest from the beginning to the end. If you like a good mystery, then this book is a treasure, with two parallel situations, and two wonderful, intelligent protagonists. If you are a fan of history or historical fiction, then this book, with its extensive historical research, is a gold mine! It is an interesting, spell binding story that transitions smoothly between the two periods, and is truly a historically rich, satisfying and completely wonderful book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Done June 6, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Enjoyed very much this suspensful story and I found it hard to put down. I am a big fan of historical novel/fiction and was impressed by this particular story. I have not read any of Christi Phillips' work before, but I certainly plan on buying The Rosetti Letter after reading The Devlin Diary.
I loved the back and forth between the two time periods and how they related to each other. It had a nice surprise ending which I will not reveal.
If you like mysteries, historical fiction, etc. I highly recommend Phillips' work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Mystery Across Time June 23, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A serial killer in 1670s England, stalking the court of Charles II. The murder of a history fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. How are they related? Are they related?

That's what Claire Donovan is trying to find out. Claire, the heroine of Phillips' first novel, The Rossetti Letter, is trying to fit in at Trinity - not an easy task for a female American who isn't a full fellow. Even worse after she punches a colleague in the face -- and he turns up dead the next day. Something in Derek Goodman's research revealed a secret that someone didn't want made public -- a secret they were willing to kill to keep secret. And the clues reside in a 350 year old diary written in some sort of code.

I didn't read the Rossetti Letter before reading The Devlin Diary. That's not really a problem -- the story stands on it's own. There are a few potential spoilers though, so be warned. And you will want to read The Rossetti Letter by the time you finish The Devlin Diary.

I've read a lot of thrillers lately that really sucked me in, and pulled me along. The pacing in those books was frantic. The Devlin Diary is different; I really didn't feel pulled along, there wasn't a real sense of urgency. There were cliffhangers, but they didn't keep me up all night. This book didn't pull me so much as it enticed me. I got very curious about how things were going to progress, both in the 1672 mystery and the modern day mystery.

I think that's what I loved the most with this book. You're really solving several murders, most of which took place 350 years in the past. We're following two strong women who are in positions where many people resent their strength.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for more Christi Phillips
I've loved both her books. Why are there not more? Please don't tell me she isn't writing any more!
Published 1 month ago by Matthew M. Grimm
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Good book
Published 8 months ago by AMH
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed
If you are a historical fiction reader, your will truly enjoy this novel. Liked it so much went out to purchase The Rossetti Letters. Like Phillips style of writing. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Fly Fishing Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Christi Phillips!
What a great way to keep the same characters from The Rosetti Letter in a new way. New location, new dynamics between the characters but still keeping the educational historical... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Vinvermom
3.0 out of 5 stars Devlin Diary
I enjoyed this book, particularly with the historical perspective, albeit some of it created for the purposes of a good story. Read more
Published 21 months ago by kathyo
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Story
The Devlin Diary is a sequel of sorts to The Rosetti Letter. Although I have not read the earlier book, I had no difficulty following this one. Read more
Published on March 25, 2013 by Dina
5.0 out of 5 stars The Devlin Diary
The Devlin Diary was well written and held my attention. This book was one of the best I have read in a long time. Read more
Published on January 21, 2013 by Carol A. yarborough
2.0 out of 5 stars Why?
I truly loved Phillips first book, the Rossetti Letter. It took me a while to get into it but it was a very engaging read. Read more
Published on October 6, 2012 by sunny
3.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable but not great
A very fun novel historical mystery going back and forth from between the court of King Charles II and modern day academia. Read more
Published on July 24, 2012 by Lilly Flora
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and very entertaining
I was a fan of the authors 'Rosetti Letter' but I think I like this one even more. The story is immediately absorbing and the characters really drew me in. Read more
Published on May 12, 2012 by myz
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More About the Author

Christi Phillips is the author of The Devlin Diary and The Rossetti Letter, which were published simultaneously in the US and the UK. Her books have been translated into 10 languages and sold in more than 20 countries worldwide. Her research combines a few of her favorite things: old books, libraries, and travel. When she's not rummaging around in an archive or exploring the historic heart of a European city, she lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is at work on her next novel, set in France.

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