I had not read the two previous books about Lucy Campion but that was ok, I didn't get too lost as far as storyline. Lucy Campion is the protagonist, with her ability to solve crimes. This time she is working with the local constable and the magistrates son, Adam to find out who ran down a Quaker man, Jacob Whitby, was it an accident as everyone thinks or is there something more sinister afoot. Lucy hears the man's dying words telling her that it was no accident. Lucy used to be a ladies maid to the magistrate's wife and is still friends with the son Adam. Adam's sister Sarah, whom Lucy is friends with, left home to live with the Quaker's against her father and brother's wishes. This story takes place in 1664, shortly after the Great Plague and the Great Fire, the people are unhappy with the Church of England and the Quakers are formed.
The Conventicle Act of 1664 was an Act of the Parliament of England that forbade conventicles (religious assemblies of more than five people outside the auspices of the Church of England) thus making the Quakers very leary of the police. They feared being arrested for having their services. They are very distrustful of anyone not of the Quaker persuasion anyway and they are not happy that Lucy is poking into what they think is none of her business.
As Lucy delves further into the mystery of who wanted Jacob Whitby killed. She feels that the household, including Jacob's wife Esther and sister Julia are in danger from the murderer. She is right because soon after Julia goes missing and is found murdered by a body seeker. Body seekers were popular at this time as they were able to find the dead. Lucy is an aprentiss to a printer and it is common practice in the 17th century to print up pamplets as to a dying person's last words. This is why Lucy is at the bedside of the dying man, to write down whatever he says as he is dying.
I enjoyed this particular Historical mystery very much, learned abit about printing at the time and the Quakers. But mostly loved the authors writing. Like I stated before, I had not read the first two books and that really did not create a struggle for me to understand what was going on or Lucy's past. A gripping mystery that fans historical fiction are sure to love.