Book cover for The Maiden



29 February 2024
384 pages
Imprint: Pan


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
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
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
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