The Sign of the Gallows
by Susanna Calkins

A dead man at a crossroads. A secret message. A ring with a warning about death . . . Printer’s apprentice Lucy Campion is caught up in a strange and puzzling murder case in this twisty historical mystery set in seventeenth-century London.

London, 1667. On her way to a new market to peddle her True Accounts and Strange News, printer’s apprentice Lucy Campion quickly regrets her decision to take the northwestern road. Dark and desolate, the path leads her to the crossroads – and to the old hanging tree. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she’s not sure ghosts don’t believe in her.

But before she even reaches the crossroads, she’s knocked off her feet by two men in a hurry. What were they running from? To her dismay, she soon discovers for herself: there, dangling from the tree, is the body of a man.

Did he commit self-murder, or is there something darker afoot? The more Lucy learns, the more determined she is to uncover the truth. But this time, even the help and protection of magistrate’s son Adam, and steadfast Constable Duncan, may not be enough to keep her safe from harm . . .


A crisply written, cleverly plotted, and nicely detailed historical mystery, with a lively heroine and a satisfying ending


Lavish period detail, romantic tension, and a complex puzzle make the heroine’s fifth adventure one of her best

Kirkus Reviews

Calkins makes fine use of advances in mathematics and cryptography of this period, while also drawing in the chaos of the Great Fire and plague in London as agents of change in society. For anyone interested in 17th-century England, this mystery is a treat

Publishers Weekly

Calkins is an excellent storyteller and draws the reader into Lucy’s world effortlessly ... This is a wonderful series, a really wonderful array of characters, and best of all a great mystery at the center of things

Aunt Agatha's Bookstore

An enjoyably complex mystery with a clever heroine neatly interweaves detailed historical background with fascinating characters

Kirkus Reviews on A Death Along the River Fleet

An involving tale. Solid historical mystery, with intriguing hints about the future

Booklist on A Death Along the River Fleet

This fourth series entry stands well on its own . . . A nice option for devotees of Anne Rutherford and Samuel Thomas

Library Journal on A Death Along the River Fleet

Absorbing . . . Calkins’ tantalizing clues and rich historical details depicting everyday life and class differences draw readers into the seventeenth century

Booklist on The Masque of a Murderer

Assured . . . Calkins’s familiarity with the period and her use of obscure details, such as the fire court set up to adjudicate claims after the Great Fire of 1666, are a plus

Publishers Weekly on The Masque of a Murderer

Susanna Calkins

Susanna Calkins is the author of the award-winning Lucy Campion mystery series, set in seventeenth century London, and the Speakeasy mysteries, set in Prohibition-era Chicago. She has a PhD in history and works at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science . Born and raised in Philadelphia, she currently lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons.

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The Sign of the Gallows by Susanna Calkins is available in the following formats

Paperback978178029741531st May 2021140 X 215mm240£13.99
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