From the Charred Remains (2014) London, 1666
It’s 1666 and the Great Fire has just decimated an already plague-ridden London.
Lady’s maid Lucy Campion, along with everyone else left standing, is doing her part to help the city clean up and recover. But their efforts come to a standstill when a couple of local boys stumble across a dead body that should have been burned up in the fire but miraculously remained intact—the body of a man who died not from the plague or the fire, but from the knife plunged into his chest.
Searching for a purpose now that there’s no lady in the magistrate’s household for her to wait on, Lucy has apprenticed herself to a printmaker. But she can't help but use her free time to help the local constable, and she quickly finds herself embroiled in the murder investigation. It will take all of her wits and charm, not to mention a strong stomach and a will of steel, if Lucy hopes to make it through alive herself.
"A historical mystery with originality and great attention to detail. Readers are transported to 17th century England, a time when social classes were just beginning to change. The characters are multi-dimensional--including the smart, adventurous Lucy Campion--and the mystery will keep readers turning the pages, and they'll eagerly await the next book in the series." RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)
"...an intricate tale of fraud and blackmail, leavened by a touch of romance. Calkins, who holds a doctorate in British history, puts her knowledge to sparkling use in this intriguing mystery, which combines a gripping plot with rich historical detail and one of the most admirable protagonists in the genre." -The Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Calkins is able to seamlessly weave this romance into the story without making it the main plot line, and keeping the mystery the main focus of the story....The puzzles, anagrams, and many secrets combine to make intertwining plot twists that keep the pages turning. FROM THE CHARRED REMAINS is an exciting, secret filled, historical mystery that will keep readers guessing until the very end." --Fresh Fiction (Reviewer's Pick)