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The Maiden

A novel by

The Times bestseller and winner of the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect Award and the Bloody Scotland Crime Debut of the Year.

'A masterpiece' – Janice Hallett, author of
The Appeal

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.

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 . . .

'Exceptional – a tense, thrilling investigation, with a decidedly feminist slant' Daily Mail

'Riveting . . . the tension persists until the last page’ — The Times

Genre: Historical Mystery

Praise for this book

"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

"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

"The Maiden is historical fiction at its finest. A true-life murder tale told thrilingly 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

"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

"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 17th Century Edinburgh so completely, I'm sure a part of me is still there." - Janice Hallett

"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

"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

"A pleasingly female-led re-imagining of true historical events,The Maiden brings 17th century Edinburgh vividly to life in all its colour and stink." - Mary Paulson-Ellis

"I inhaled The Maiden. A feminist retelling of a murder that shocked 17th 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

"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 17th century Edinburgh, battling to be heard." - Cari Thomas

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