A Spring Cozy

Title: Medium Dead by Paula Paul
Publisher: Alibi, Random House (April 14, 2015)
(>200 pp)
Genre: historical mystery, cozy, romance, Victorian mystery, english countryside, series
3 Stars ***
Author:
Paula Paul, (aka Paula Carter) a native of West Texas, is an award winning journalist and novelist (Women Writing for the West Award, National Press Women’s Award, New Mexico Book Award, Texas Institute of Writers Award). She writes historical fiction and contemporary women’s fiction (25 novels), including the Mystery by Design series and Dr Alexandra Gladstone series.
Story line:
This is the fourth book in the Alexandra Gladstone mystery series (Symptoms of Death, An Improper Death, Half a Mind to Murder). I suggest reading them in order as there has been some character development: but minor story progression. Constable Snow still doesn’t believe her and Alexandra is always left to figure out the murderer.
Alexandra is doctor to the people of Newton-upon-sea, in a practice she inherited from her respected father. He trained her and nourished her mind in a strict rigid Victorian era where women’s place in society is not professional. There is also quite some antagonism between classes. Prince Albert has been dead some 20 years, but the Queen is courting mesmerists to contact him in the afterlife. Hence her visit to the remote village. And the death of the spiritualist she meets. Nick Forsythe is a barrister, now Earl, who provides the subtle love interest. I especially like Nancy, her intelligent, caring assistant and housekeeper, and her irish wolfhound Zack, who often growls and bites Nick.
I still have a hard time with the socially rigid Lady Forsythe being called MaMa by his barrister, now Earl son. Or the fact that he is so swayed by his mother. This is a rather chaste, cosy gothic mystery using wild rumors and shifty suspects. A light entertaining read for the winter.
They have been reissued on kindle, free to Amazon prime members. RPL has the first novel Symptoms of Death.
Read on:
Imogen Robertson series of Westerman and Crowther
Tessa Harris series of Dr Silkstone
Quotes:
She disliked the term necromancer anyway. She preferred spiritualist instead.
Alvina thought she (Her Majesty) looked very much like the German she was. Except her eyes, they were darker than she’d expected and too brooding to be radiant, but they shone with intelligence.
Being in the presence of the Queen was less exciting to her than the prospect of a sizable payment from the royal house.
Nevermind that many of the same people who condemned her also used her services.
She was glad to see that he had given up on being petulant.
You can be a barrister as well as an Earl.

Read as an ARC from Netgalley

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