Summertime….

And the reading is easy!!

Title: For Dead Men Only by Paula Paul

4 Stars ****

Publisher: Alibi (Random House) April 2016 195 pp

Genre: historical mystery, cozy, series, Victorian 

Author: Paula Paul is an award winning journalist and author who has published over 25 novels. Her genres include historical fiction, literature and fiction, YA and mysteries.

I especially like her Dr Alexandra Gladstone mystery series (now on #5) 

Story line:

We return to Newton-Upon-the-Sea in the fifth book in the Alexandra Gladstone mystery series (Symptoms of Death, An Improper Death, Half a Mind to Murder, Medium Dead). I suggest reading them in order as there has been some character development; but minor story progression. It could be read as a stand alone. Constable Snow still doesn’t believe her and Alexandra is always left to figure out the murderer using her observational skills and logic. Alexandra inherited the practice of doctor to the people of Newton-upon-sea (Essex). She is a strong female character, determined and intelligent in the socially crippling Victorian backwater. It is useful to remember what women had to deal with, the current freedoms we take for granted (and still fight to keep). There is also some antagonism between classes, which also restricts her subtle love interest Lord Dunsford (Nicholas Forsyth). I especially like Nancy, her intelligent, caring assistant, friend and housekeeper, and her Irish wolfhound Zack, who often growls at Nick. This time, Freemasons are being murdered, the local constable disappears instead of investigating, a Templar ghost is mysteriously riding nightly, and poisons are involved.

As a cozy this is not a fast paced mystery, and while it is predictable, it has an intriguing plot line and developing characters that I have come to enjoy. The sense of place works well with interesting descriptions of English village life. This would be a fun summer read. It is available on Kindle unlimited if you want to catch up on the previous books.

Read on:

If you like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Marty Wingate or Anne Perry.

Also, Imogen Robertson series of Westerman and Crowther and Tessa Harris series of Dr Silkstone. 

For more complex historical mysteries read onto Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd and Laurie R King.

Quotes:

Fitzsimmons gasped when he saw that the apron that symbolized purity and cleanliness head been defiled with dried blood, yet there was no sign of a wound on Saul’s body.

Impertinence doesn’t become you.

By now she had gone beyond smelling the embalming chemicals and thought she could taste them.

When she arrived back home, the surgery’s waiting room was already full of impatient patients. She and Nancy hardly had time to speak as they attended to the needs of those wanting tonics for rheumatism or herbs for a cough, a farmer with a dislocated shoulder, as well as villagers with various complaints.

Received as an ARC ebook from Netgalley.

 

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