Cover image for Face down among the Winchester geese
Face down among the Winchester geese
Emerson, Kathy Lynn.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
244 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


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Lady Susanna Appleton would be content to tend to the medicinal herbs in the garden of her London townhouse, but a mysterious murder prompts her to investigate and reveals that even her own husband is not above suspicion.

Author Notes

Kathy Lynn Emerson lives in Wilton, Maine. She has written many novels, including romantic suspense and children's mysteries. Face Down Among the Winchester Geese is the third book in the Susanna, Lady Appleton, series.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Susanna, Lady Appleton, is not pleased to be in London rather than at home in Leigh Abbey, but her husband, Robert, insisted on the move to the city. She and Robert circle each other warily: he has traitorous plans afoot and thinks ill of her learning and her independence. Susanna might long for a different sort of marriage, but she is strong and practical above all. When she recognizes the body of a small, dark-haired woman as a mistress of her husband, she wastes no time in connecting her death with the deaths of other women on St. Mark's Day in other years. Although the mystery is contrived, we know that at the end, Susanna will find freedom in her widow's garb. A bracing Elizabethan mystery with some very modern attitudes barely concealed under a thin latticework of sixteenth-century herbs, garments, and ambience. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

For the third entry in her sparkling series featuring Elizabethan gentlewoman Susanna, Lady Appleton, Emerson (Face Down Upon an Herbal, etc.) spins a tale of serial murder complicated by political intrigue. In April 1563, Susanna and her husband, Sir Robert Appleton, courtier and occasional spy for Queen Elizabeth, are residing in London at Sir Robert's insistence, though Susanna would be much happier at Leigh Abbey, her ancestral home in Kent. A mysterious young Frenchwoman comes calling to see Robert. The next day she is found murdered near a brothel, a goose feather lying close to her body. Intrigued by the slaying of a woman she suspects was mistress to her husband, and determined to understand what her husband is keeping from her, Susanna investigates, with the help of her loyal housekeeper, Jennet, and an intelligent brothel-owner named Petronella. Susanna discovers that the murder is only the last in a years-old series, and that her husband is a suspect, along with several other courtiers. Meanwhile, as Susanna noses around, Robert is anxiously working to put into place a scheme of his own, one that his wife's meddling could easily upset. Emerson neatly ties together the two major plotlines, generating credible characters and a convincingly detailed background, and making this a solid bet for historical mystery fans. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Lady Susanna Appleton, the series herbalist (Face Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie, LJ 4/1/97) whose husband works as a spy for Queen Elizabeth, becomes enmeshed in another murder. When the petite Frenchwoman who asks for her husband's help winds up dead the next morning in a disreputable area of London, Susanna claims the body, covers for her husband, and learns of several similar murders. Unlikely alliances with her housekeeper and a brothel-keeper bring in the clues needed to expose the killer. Authentic detailing, glimpses of historical characters, and a stand-out heroine will endear this to fans of historicals. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-Someone in London is killing petite, dark-haired women, one each year on St. Mark's Day. The perpetrator efficiently snaps the victim's neck, leaving only his signature, a single goose feather, by the body. Susanna, Lady Appleton meets the latest victim the day before her death, and her quick, intelligent mind will not rest until she solves the crime. Unfortunately, her husband, Sir Robert, is among the suspects. His mysterious behavior and history of philandering only confirm her suspicions. Nonetheless, she continues her search, undeterred by his warnings that such behavior is inappropriate for a lady. In an interesting subplot, Sir Robert is trying to kidnap Lady Mary Grey, force her to marry the mad son of the King of Spain, and then return to overthrow Elizabeth, whom Sir Robert regards unfit to rule. The tale is further enhanced by Lady Appleton's avocation as a herbalist. Descriptions of 16th-century medicinals appear within the pages, as well as glimpses of the conventions and daily life of ordinary English citizenry. In this third book about Lady Appleton, readers are rewarded not only with an exciting mystery, but also with a refreshing look at Elizabethan society.-Becky Ferrall, Stonewall Jackson High School, Manassas, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.