I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Let me start by saying how much I love Edinburgh and historical novels so this was right up my alley. I think I was already half-inclined to love it just from the cover and the setting. The author did the rest. His writing is visual and visceral. Some parts were a bit gruesome but the story called for it, in my opinion. This was not a lovely picnic on Arthur’s Seat on an early fall day. This was a murder mystery with a number of grisly murders….all in the name of science. A touch of Burke and Hare and their life of crime/murder adds to the historical feel of the book.
The protagonist, Liz, is a medical student who happens to be female. An uphill battle in the 19th Century for sure. She makes friends with another female student as they fight for their rightful place in the school. She also makes friends with a young man and the local police medical examiner. She’s accepted as an assistant with the coroner and gets some valuable experience in actual medical science, albeit on dead bodies, not living patients. But then she is also asked to assist in a local clinic and learns valuable skills. She seems to be on her way to being successful as a doctoress even though the powers that be at the school want the females out.
The story has many twists and turns and a number of exciting sequences where the reader fears for the protagonist and her friends’ safety. It was a ride for sure. The author is excellent at building suspense and even though I figured out the villain early, the book was still a page turner and very enjoyable. The side plot with the medical examiner is a great addition to the tale.
Overall, this was a delightful read…even with the violence and macabre parts. I give it 4.5 stars.
It seems there will be more adventures with this protagonist and I, for one, plan to be on the lookout for the next volume.
I love to support Toys for Tots. Every year, my kids and I would go and shop for children less fortunate than them. My youngest is working here in our hometown and we still donate every year. I was pleased to hear that one of my publishers was putting together a horror/fantasy anthology to benefit this charity and I wanted to participate.
My husband inadvertently gave me the idea for a story when he accidentally poked his eye on a bamboo plant putting it in the floorboard of the car. When he went to the eye doctor, she said the plant had scratched his cornea and gave him a fungus.
Well, it was off to the races with my imagination. What if someone got a fungus in his eye and it grew and grew into a mushroom crawling out on his face??? And what if someone decided to try to rescue him and was given seemingly impossible tasks to do so? And what if all we’d ever believed about magical creatures was turned upside down?
It was a super fun story to write and I can’t wait for it to be out in the world.
To hold you over until Sept, here’s a fungus/mushroom growing on an oak tree in my yard. Almost like it was hanging out to be part of the story, right? 🙂
This story is set in my hometown, Pensacola, and features many local landmarks as well as restaurants I love to visit- all local owned and operated, some by more than one generation! It’s a tour of my town as well as a bit of a thriller with some romance woven in. Buy link
I turned in the first edits on this novel back in February and have been awaiting the second edits patiently. Finally broke down and asked for status again last night and I should have them shortly. There was a computer crash and lots of edits had to be recreated. So, I’m hopeful for a release date soon as well as a cover. I did also learn that the editor loved the story so yay for that. I confess, I was getting scared since it was taking longer than normal. I was thinking it must be a trash book. Writers have such fragile egos! Lol.
I love this story. It takes place in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. It has a lawyer and a cop as the protagonists and there is even a scene or two at Angola Prioson where they have a rodeo every year. I wanted to use that in a book someday and have now done so. I think it’s awesome that the inmates have something to do to also give back to the community. It’s a real thing and keeps them busy all year preparing.
I hope the world loves this book as much as I do when it comes out. In fact, now that I’ve got it on my mind, I’m in need of a po-boy.
When I am working on a current story- which will already have its own playlist, I start amassing a new series of songs- just by what pops in my head or what appeals to me as I listen to Sirius Radio- as you can tell, I’m a fan of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.
Anyway as I collect songs, I jot them down and then when I finish my current WIP, I make a playlist for my next WIP on my iPad and immerse myself in the songs as I work my day job. I find that plot ideas come to me based on the songs my subconscious was attracted to as I worked on the prior story. It’s kind of like magic as I start with no clue how these songs will come together and blend in my head but I do know this: It’ll happen.
Here’s the newest list I made on Monday. I’m immersing now and when I get the new story done, I’ll do another post on how these songs gelled for me.
Love is like oxygen 1978 by Sweet I want a love I can see. Temptations – this was their first recorded song, I believe. Hey baby by Bruce Channel- 1962 Tighten up. Black keys You never can tell. Chuck Berry 1964 Incense and peppermints by Strawberry alarm clock 1967 You got to me. Neil diamond 1967 I’m gonna make you mine. Lou Christie 1964? Automatic by the Pointer Sisters 1984? Power of Love. Huey Lewis In my room. Beach boys. 1963-64 Have I the right. Honeycombs 1964 Only Women Bleed. Alice cooper Don’t Tell Me Goodnight. Lobo Living on a Prayer. Bon Jovi Ain’t She Sweet. Beatles Liar liar – The Castaways