'... a puzzler of intrigue, politics and religion, particularly the growing fascination with mysterious brotherhoods' Time Out.
'The period detail is excellent; the Aberdeen of the time is richly imagined, and the dialogue is terrifically subtle. The characterisation too is accomplished with both major and minor characters clearly and enjoyably distinct' Historical Novels Review.
'a gripping and well-written treat' Good Book Guide.
'Seaton is a compellingly flawed yet indomitable figure who inspires our respect, pity and empathy in equal measure ... Crucible of Secrets is a yarn that romps along at breakneck speed ... What is perhaps more admirable is her ability to paint effervescently vivid historical pictures that immediately bring the period to life' Scottish Field.
'Admirers of Shona MacLean's earlier novels will not be disappointed by the latest appearance of her Scottish sleuth, Alexander Seaton. Newcomers to the series be warned! You will find yourselves plunged into the claustrophobic society of 17th century Aberdeen, where fear stalks the corridors of academia and student battles besmirch the public beach ... Crucible of Secrets has a satisfying plot, but more importantly it has satisfying characters and a setting that educates as well as entertains. Alexander Seaton is well served' Shotsmag.
'an ingenious plot involving freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and the adventures of Scottish students on the Continent to explain the killing' Sunday Times.