The Maiden (Paperback)
  • The Maiden (Paperback)
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The Maiden (Paperback)

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Paperback 384 Pages
Published: 29/02/2024
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Waterstones Says

Inspired by real-life events, Foster's electrifying seventeenth-century-set whodunit revolves around a respectable noblewoman accused of the shocking murder of her lover.

Waterstones Scottish Book of the Month for March 2024

Shortlisted for the CWA Ian ILP John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2024

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2024

Inspired by a real-life case, Kate Foster's The Maiden is a remarkable story with a feminist revisionist twist, giving a voice to women otherwise silenced by history. Winner of the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect Award 2022 and the Bloody Scotland Crime Debut of the Year 2023.

'In the end, it did not matter what I said at my trial. No one believed me.'

Edinburgh, October 1679. Lady Christian is arrested and charged with the murder of her lover, James Forrester. News of her imprisonment and subsequent trial is splashed across the broadsides, with headlines that leave little room for doubt: Adulteress. Whore. Murderess.

Only a year before, Lady Christian was newly married, leading a life of privilege and respectability. So, what led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? She wasn't the only woman in Forrester's life, and certainly not the only one who might have had cause to wish him dead.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529091748
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 278 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

The Maiden is a masterpiece. A thrilling historical murder tale but so much more. Vivid, evocative and full of humanity. I took each and every character to my heart. The fact this is inspired by a true story makes it all the more chilling and relevant. I was transported to seventeenth-century Edinburgh so completely, I’m sure a part of me is still there - Janice Hallett, bestselling author of The Appeal and The Twyford Code

This riveting debut novel by Kate Foster takes the true story of the murder [of James Forrester] and spins it into a mystery full of twists . . . Christian and Violet leap from the page, and Foster plays with the reader’s ideas about guilt and innocence. She is clever, too, on how women can become complicit in their abuse. The tension persists until the last page - Antonia Senior, The Times

Kate Foster expands the slender facts of the case into something exceptional — a tense, thrilling investigation, with a decidedly feminist slant. Foster recreates the Edinburgh of 1679 with great aplomb. A mucky, malodorous place, where a man's sexual proclivities are a given and a woman's are judged immoral, as revealed by the testimony of fierce Christian and the irrepressible Violet, a prostitute, who's all too familiar with Forrester, the world and its ways - Daily Mail

The Maiden is historical fiction at its finest. A true-life murder tale told thrillingly through the eyes of two very different women, yet both are fighting for their futures in a patriarchal world riven by hypocrisy - D. V. Bishop, author of City of Vengeance

Threat hangs over every page like the awaiting guillotine, but the women in this book gleam sharper. Witty, gritty and full of heart, their voices rise through the brutality and hardship of seventeenth-century Edinburgh, battling to be heard - Cari Thomas, bestselling author of Threadneedle

A gripping read with strong, compelling and unusual female characters - and a twisty plot that keeps the reader guessing. It cast a fresh light on a period of history when women have too often been seen merely as victims and brought them to life as protagonists in their own right - Sally Hinchcliffe, author of Hare House

I simply could not have loved this novel more. In Christian and Violet, Kate Foster has created two unforgettable characters, whose stories I became utterly and delightedly glued to. Page-turning, transportive, funny, and tremendously moving, The Maiden is a book to lose yourself in – just make sure you don’t have any plans, because once you start reading, you won’t want to stop - Jenny Ashcroft, author of Under the Golden Sun and The Echoes of Love

I inhaled The Maiden. A feminist retelling of a murder that shocked seventeenth-century Scotland. Brave, bold and at times deliciously indecent with vivid characters that leap from the page and demand attention. Kate Foster has such a fresh, exhilarating voice - Lizzie Pook, author of Moonlight and the Pearler's Daughter

A fabulous book . . . The writing is exquisite and it felt like a rare treat – a story totally rooted in its time and place, but that speaks across the generations - Claire Evans, author of The Fourteenth Letter and The Graves of Whitechapel

An engrossing, sometimes chilling, read as Kate Foster's imaginative retelling of an old tale takes her colourful characters on a complex ride through the intrigues and prejudices of seventeenth-century Scotland - Sarah Maine, author of The House Between Tides and The Awakenings

A pleasingly female-led re-imagining of true historical events, The Maiden brings seventeenth-century Edinburgh vividly to life in all its colour and stink - Mary Paulson-Ellis, author of The Other Mrs Walker and Emily Noble's Disgrace

A brilliantly bawdy, fabulously feminist take on a real life tragedy. A beautifully written thriller full of all-too-human characters. I loved it! - Tina Baker, author of Call Me Mummy and Nasty Little Cuts

Hugely compelling and completely unputdownable. Every time you think you know where the book is going, Kate Foster surprises you. The characterization and the narrative voice are both so assured - Katie Lumsden, author of The Secrets of Hartwood Hall

Foster’s imaginary Edinburgh is cinematic with its flashbacks and switches in perspective . . . The language and pace of The Maiden is fluent and driving . . . I was quickly gripped. Offers to film Foster’s novel should follow if there’s any sense in this world . . . This is an extremely promising debut by Foster - The National

Inspired by a real-life case, this historical murder mystery fictionalizes an infamous crime of passion. Kate Foster reimagines the lives of the women at the centre of the story and paints a vivid and fascinating picture of seventeenth-century Edinburgh - Yours magazine

An unforgettably vivid and very human story that had me glued to its twists and turns from the very first page. A strong contender for my top reads of 2023 already. A must-read slice of historical fiction - 17 Degrees Magazine

This is a thrilling revenge tragedy, atmospheric, compelling and delivering everything a good historical novel should - Historical Novel Society

The Maiden triumphs in its portrayal of the fight to overcome not just class, gender, and society, but the wayward, and often dubious, inclinations of the heart. - The Saltire Society

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“Edinburgh-based historical fiction for fans of 'The Familiars' and 'The Wolf Den'.”

I was most incredibly excited on discovering this book, having grown up in Corstorphine and thus already being familiar with the legend of The White Lady upon whom the novel is based. My fondness for the setting and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 23
Dan - Clifton, Bristol.

“A Historical Fiction lover's must-read!”

Words can be worse than weapons.
They burn. Cut deep. Burrow under the skin. They can be damning.
Adulteress. Whore. Murderess.
The year is 1679, Edinburgh.
Lady Christian Nimmo stands accused of a crime most heinous;... More

Hardback edition
9 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 21

“Fabulous historical debut”

I love historical novels and this is a fabulous debut novel from Kate Foster. Based on true events, we follow the story of Lady Christian Nimmo in 1679 as she is accused of murdering her lover and uncle James... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 20

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