Reviews

Die I Will Not

"Die I Will Not tells of an unhappy wife and young mother who fears her family will be beset by scandal and danger. Her father was accused of treason and murder decades ago; now a dead editor's secret leads Penelope to battle scandal, risk her reputation and life, and search out a killer. History and 1813 London come alive in this powerful saga, highly recommended for fans of historical mysteries who are looking for a combination of powerful history background and involving plot."

––Midwest Book Review

     January, 2015




"Set in 1813, Rizzolo's intricate third Regency mystery (after 2003's Blood for Blood) centers on the era's heated politics. Twenty years earlier, Eustace Sandford fled England to avoid arrest for seditious writings under the name Collatinus and the alleged murder of his lover, courtesan Nell Durant. Though Eustace is not the source, new radical writings begin appearing in the press under the Collatinus pseudonym, alluding to the murder of “N.D.” Penelope Wolfe, Eustace's daughter, attempts to see newspaperman Dryden Leach, who has vowed to expose the new Collatinus, in hopes he can identify the writer. After an unknown woman fatally stabs Leach, Penelope calls on barrister Edward Buckler and Bow Street Runner John Chase for help in clearing herself and her family's reputation. Despite the overly complex backstory, Rizzolo vividly depicts Regency London through her trio of contrasting but equally likable protagonists—Penelope, Buckler, and Chase."                                                         

     – Publishers Weekly



"The 1813 murder of a newspaper editor intrigues Penelope Wolfe, but the resulting scandal could involve her. The editor was about to reveal the identity of Collantinus, who's been writing letters attacking the Prince Regent. Twenty years ago, Penelope's father had used that name to pen treasonous letters. Fearing arrest after the murder of a lady known only as N. D. and with ties to the Prince Regent and himself, he fled the country. Now someone uses his alias to seek revenge for N. D.'s murder. To protect her family, Penelope enlists the aid of two friends: barrister Edward Buckler, who's in love with her even though she's already married, and John Chase, a Bow Street Runner. Together they risk their lives and careers to unmask the villains and protect Penelope.

The complicated mystery is neatly solved, while the personal relationships are intriguing. Readers unfamiliar with the previous books in the John Chase mysteries may feel disoriented by the characters and period language, but as the story unfolds this fades away. From the rigid, prim-and-proper rules of society to the seamier sides of the city, Rizzolo vividly brings to life the world of Regency London."

                                                                     

                                           –Historical Novel Society


"Dryden Leach, editor of a Tory newspaper in 1813 London, is stabbed to death by a mysterious figure who is seen running from his offices. All fingers point to a rogue using the name Collantinus to publish treasonous letters against the Prince Regent. Twenty years earlier, Penelope Wolfe's father wrote letters under the same alias before fleeing England, and the young mother fears suspicion will fall on her and her family.

Within days of her husband's murder, Leach's wife Mary, an acquaintance of Penelope's, also dies under mysterious circumstances. Even though well-respected married ladies risked disgrace by becoming involved with politics or crime, Penelope knows she must find who's behind the murders, and whether they are connected to her exiled father. A woman in a man's world, Penelope can't rely on her ne'er-do-well husband (an artist who has squandered her money), so she calls on two men for help: John Chase, a Bow Street Runner (London's first professional police force), who helps Penelope at the risk of expulsion from his department; and barrister Edward Buckler, who also puts his job and reputation on the line to assist Penelope (with whom he shares a mutual attraction).

This is the third in Rizzolo's John Chase series to feature these three intriguing and contrasting investigators. Rizzolo neatly sets up early 19th-century London with her superb descriptions of time and place as she takes us from the stink and filth of the streets to the overheated drawing rooms of the rich and powerful. Fans of regency mysteries are in for a treat."

Sharon Magee

Mystery Scene Magazine


S.K. Rizzolo

Author of the John Chase/Penelope Wolfe Regency Mysteries