The Devlin Diary, a diary holds the key to a centuries old mystery, by Christi Phillips


This story is set in two time periods. Modern day 2008 academic University town, Cambridge and London of 1672, the time of King Charles II when he has been reinstated to the throne, after his exile in France.

Hannah Devlin is the daughter of a court doctor, who died under mysterious circumstances. She learned at his side, and is as good as any trained physic. But being a woman she cannot practice, only among the poor where nobody will notice her.

One day she is in a most clandestine manner brought to court to treat the King’s mistress. She is his favourite and nothing must happen to her. Hannah can help, they know she can because her father could have helped and she knows all her father knew.

At court she meets, a charming courtier, Ralph Montagu and Dr. Strathern. When two members of court are murdered and appear with symbols on their bodies, which seem to tie in with her father’s death, a mystery is afoot. What is the connection with her father and what do the symbols mean. Can this knowledge overthrow both King Charles and his relative by marriage, King Louis. Who of the two men will prove her counterpart.

Travel forward to Cambridge, Trinity College, Claire Donovan an American, excited to be teaching history for a few semesters. She has been invited by a colleague Andrew Kent. What will old books reveal in the library. Who will stop at nothing to publish their papers first, even stealing other peoples ideas? How does all this tie together with 1672? And a modern day murder.

It was a good read and the description of modern day University life, with all the perks and recognition that go along with being a don. Interesting enough to want to read on and not skip parts. I’m not quite sure what is up with both the heroines having Irish names, just a choice of the author I guess.

I have lived quite near to Cambridge and will be there again in a month visiting, so was able to relate to the town, but the cloistered community of Cambridge academia is another world.

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