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The Crimson Rooms Hardcover – February 18, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This brisk romantic mystery, set in post-WWI London, begins with a situation worthy of E.M. Forster as Evelyn Gifford and her family receive a visit from a nurse and a young boy who claim to be the wartime lover and child of Evelyn's late brother. Evelyn has little time to ponder the implications: a lawyer in training, she is pressed into service when her firm takes the case of a war veteran accused of murdering his wife and burying her body in the woods (along with all incriminating evidence). Evelyn believes in the man's innocence and tries to unearth new evidence that will exonerate him, but complicating her investigation are Nicholas Thorne, a handsome but engaged attorney whom Evelyn falls for, and the nurse, Meredith, who, having moved in with the Gifford family, begins to force Evelyn out of her settled existence. Despite these distractions, Evelyn doggedly follows a trail of clues leading back to a wartime coverup. In this determinedly old-fashioned novel of tangled mystery and morality, Evelyn makes for a smart and resolutely modest heroine. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Even though the Great War is over, it still casts a shadow. Haunted by the death of her beloved brother, James, Evelyn Gifford leads a cheerless life. But though time seems to have stopped in the London house she shares with her mother, grandmother, and aunt, Evelyn has a career outside. As one of England’s only female attorneys, she has to work hard for acceptance and finally gets involved in two cases, one involving a mother trying to regain custody of her children and the other involving a veteran who is accused of murdering his wife. Then there is Meredith, the irrepressible young woman who shows up on the Giffords’ doorstep with a child she claims is James’ son. And a possible love interest presents itself in the person of another attorney, Nicholas Thorne. A lot of balls in the air, but McMahon does a superb job of juggling them all. Evelyn’s personal and professional struggles are convincingly rendered, and the period ambience and courtroom drama are equally satisfying. A thoroughly engrossing read that will appeal both as mystery and historical fiction. --Mary Ellen Quinn
Always the perfect gift

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Putnam Adult; First Edition (February 18, 2010)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399156224
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399156229
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.3 x 1.37 x 9.34 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 89 ratings

About the author

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Katharine McMahon is the author of 10 novels, including the bestselling The Rose of Sebastopol, which was a Richard and Judy pick for 2007.

Her evolving theme is drawing astonishing women from the shadows, and revealing passionate and extraordinary lives, even at times when to be different and powerful risked everything if you were female. All her fictional characters have foundations in real historical characters.

She has experience as a teacher and trainer, and has been fortunate to serve on the Sentencing Council of England and Wales, and the Judicial Appointments Commission, as a magistrate. She has run Guardian Masterclasses on historical fiction, and has newly been appointed Education Projects Manager for the Royal Literary Fund.

She co-wrote a song, performed on Radio Four called Check-out Lil, and writes from a hut in her very small back garden.

Visit Katharine's official website at katharinemcmahon.com

Find Katharine McMahon on twitter @McKatharine

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
89 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

H. Lacroix
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab and read it......
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 6, 2015
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Jayceeme
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but slow
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 22, 2010
Ladylee
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 8, 2021
Kat
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not memorable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 23, 2012
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars a surprising end!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 18, 2012