This sequel to The Rossetti Letter follows Cambridge history professor Claire Donovan as she tries to solve a modern-day murder mystery through a series of Restoration-era clues. When a colleague is found dead, a page from a 17th-century diary is found on his body with a mysterious message scrawled at the bottom in the professorís own hand.
Claire and another professor, Andrew Kent, feel that itís a clue to his murder, and their search for the rest of the diary takes them through Cambridgeís hallowed libraries and their colleagueís apartment. In an effort to follow his research, they uncover a fascinating and horrifying chapter in Londonís history that is directly linked to his death.
The diary is that of Hannah Devlin, a physician who served Charles IIís mistress in London in 1672. She is attempting to track down a serial killer who is brutally slaughtering high-profile members of the kingís court. Her only clues are a series of mysterious markings that are carved into the victimsí bodies, clues that, when put together, begin to reveal a hidden conspiracy. The incompleteness of the clues suggest that the murderer isnít finished yet, and Hannah is determined to find him, and his potential victims, before he strikes again.
The conspiracy that Hannah reveals through her diary Ė concerning the death of Charles IIís sister, Henriette-Anne - leads Claire and Andrew to their colleagueís murderer.
Phillips deftly weaves two storylines together into one engrossing plot. Her meticulous research of 17th-century London, Charles IIís court, and modern-day Cambridge makes this fictional story completely believable. The Devlin Diary is absolutely mesmerizing.