Primary Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Mystery
Published: 7 May 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
Page count: 336
Would I recommend it: Maybe
Commission Link: https://amzn.to/2Yjb0Ll
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Summary from Goodreads
Cholera has broken out in London, but Florence Nightingale has bigger problems when people begin dying of a far more intentional cause—murder.
The London summer of 1854 is drawing to a close when a deadly outbreak of cholera grips the city. Florence Nightingale is back on the scene marshaling her nurses to help treat countless suffering patients at Middlesex Hospital as the disease tears through the Soho slums. But beyond the dangers of the disease, something even more evil is seeping through the ailing streets of London.
It begins with an attack on the carriage of Florence’s friend, Elizabeth Herbert, wife to Secretary at War Sidney Herbert. Elizabeth survives, but her coachman does not. Within hours, Sidney’s valet stumbles into the hospital, mutters a few cryptic words about the attack, and promptly dies from cholera. Frantic that an assassin is stalking his wife, Sidney enlists Florence’s help, who accepts but has little to go on save for the valet’s last words and a curious set of dice in his jacket pocket. Soon, the suspects are piling up faster than cholera victims, as there seems to be no end to the number of people who bear a grudge against the Herbert household.
Now, Florence is in a race against time—not only to save the victims of a lethal disease, but to foil a murderer with a disturbingly sinister goal.
This is a fictional mystery using real historical people. Here are my pros and cons:
- I enjoyed reading about the work Florence did in the hospitals.
- I like reading books about strong women and this fit that bill.
- Mary is a nervous but competent sidekick for Florence.
- It is a solid mystery, albeit a tad convenient at times.
- The afterword provided by the author was informative and interesting. It provided some real history about the people she used in the story.
- Yoda makes an appearance… okay, not really. One character in the book – Oswyn Davis – speaks like Yoda! “I’ll say that taking your money I won’t be.” “Difficult it’s not.” “Burning them maybe I should be.” I have read a lot of Victorian-period novels and I’ve never come across such obvious Yoda-speak before. I found it amusing.
- Seems a little strange to me that Florence Nightingale would willingly become an amateur detective with everything else she was trying to accomplish. It seems like a strange direction to take Nightingale.
- Some of the plot points were just a tad convenient (i.e., chance meetings with just the right people, being in exactly the right place at the right time, etc.).
There usually isn’t a lot I can write about a book like this. I enjoyed the story and the history. It was straightforward and a generally likeable book. I’m not sure this book will be memorable to me as time goes on; however, it was a nice read for a weekend. This book is part of a series and with my TBR list as long as it is now, I’m not sure I would actively try to squeeze in future books in this series. However, I would recommend this book (this series) to anyone looking for a solid historical mystery, an easy read, and a nice distraction.
Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for a free eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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