featuring Susanna, Lady Appleton

sixteenth-century gentlewoman, herbalist, and sleuth


Face Down in the Marrow-Bone Pie

The First Lady Appleton Mystery

In 1559, Susanna, Lady Appleton, an expert on poisonous herbs,
suspects murder when the steward of her husband's Lancashire
estate is found face down in his marrow-bone pie.
While Sir Robert Appleton is off in France on a diplomatic mission,
Lady Appleton heads north from Kent with her faithful band of servants to solve the mystery,
capture a "ghost" and unearth a few secrets Sir Robert would just as soon have left buried.


"Emerson takes us on a wonderful jaunt through Elizabethan England." The Purloined Letter

"A nice rural flavor, complete with authentic rustics, living conditions, and social customs, blend with family secrets

and a slightly twisted plot to make this an enticing first historical for all collections." Library Journal



Face Down upon an Herbal

Book Two

When a Scots lord is found dead, face down upon
a copy of the cautionary herbal Lady Appleton wrote two years earlier,
she feels a personal obligation to solve the crime.
It is 1561. The place is rural Gloucestershire...and there is
a cold-blooded killer loose in the castle.

"Highly recommended for readers who appreciate suspenseful historical mysteries." Booklist


Face Down Among the Winchester Geese

Book Three

When her husband becomes one of the suspects in the murder of several Southwark prostitutes
(known as "Winchester Geese"), Lady Appleton vows
to uncover the identity of the real killer in order to prove him innocent.
The year is 1563.

"A solid bet for historical mystery fans." Publisher's Weekly


eleanor cross hc

Face Down Beneath the Eleanor Cross

Book Four

This time the victim is Sir Robert, and Susanna is the most likely suspect.
After all, she is an expert on poisonous herbs.


"An intriguing plot and a strong sense of time and place make this page turner an immensely satisfying read." I Love a Mystery

"Emerson grows more confident in each of these stories, enriching them with details of daily life, the miseries of travel,

 the uses of herbs, and the horrors of the English penal and justice systems as they existed in 1565." Booklist




Face Down Under the Wych Elm

Book Five


Under the wych elm lies a man, face down, the victim of witchcraft . . . or is he?

Susanna, Lady Appleton feels an obligation to help the accused women
even though doing so means she risks being accused of witchcraft herself.

Starred review in Kirkus:
"Exploiting the chaos for its criminal possibilities,
Emerson poses enduringly hard questions about women
and worth in this exemplary historical mystery."


rebel hooves

Face Down Before Rebel Hooves

Book Six

When Sir Walter Pendennis asks her help to stop a treasonous uprising,
how can Lady Appleton refuse?

"The most satisfying book in the series." Bangor Daily News


western sea

Face Down Across the Western Sea

Book Seven

Does England have a claim to the New World?
Queen Elizabeth I thinks so and she's gathered together a group
of scholars to prove it. Drawn into intrigue and danger
through her friendship with Sir Walter Pendennis,
Susanna lends a hand to uncover ancient secrets and solve a murder.


"Original, beguiling, and eminently readable." Kirkus

"Emerson does a crackling good job." Booklist




Face Down Below the Banqueting House

Book Eight


Queen Elizabeth is threatening to pay a visit to Leigh Abbey. Will murder change her mind?


"Spirited and studded with wry humor." Kirkus

"Emerson's plot is deft and complex; she is at the top of her form here

and leaves us with a breathless ending and lovely possibilities for future installments." Booklist






Face Down Beside St. Anne's Well

Book Nine

This time it's her twelve-year-old foster daughter, Rosamond, who leads Susanna into danger.
Set in Derbyshire in 1575.


"One of her best." Bangor Daily News

"An enjoyable, tightly plotted gem of a novel which will keep

the reader guessing until the very last page." I Love A Mystery




Face Down O'er the Border

Book Ten

Set in Scotland in 1577
When Catherine, Lady Glenelg, is accused of murdering her mother-in-law,
Susanna must travel o'er the border to discover who really committed the crime.


"This latest in a consistently rewarding series has the usual strengths in pace, plot, prose, and background detail."

Jon Breen in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

"An engaging read with well-loved characters you'll enjoy meeting again." Mystery Scene

"Historical mystery fans should find this a pleasurable read." Historical Novels Review


Murders and Other Confusions

The Chronicles of Susanna, Lady Appleton
16th Century Gentlewoman, Herbalist, and Sleuth

11 short stories featuring Lady Appleton and her friends


"A fascinating mixture of fictional and historical characters . . . there

 are twists, flashes of revelations, and some great titles. It's a fun, easy read."

Historical Novels Review


All these books were first published in print format and are also available as ebooks.

The covers shown are of the first editions of each.

If you are having trouble finding print copies, some are still available from the author.

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