The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 10


#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2019

My tenth #bookvent selection is one which . takes us back a few years … One hundred and seventy of them to be exact. I don’t read much historical crime fiction but I read book one in the series last year and absolutely loved the characters, the setting, the links to real scientific history and the story that the two authors had created. Set in one of my favourite cities, Edinburgh, this book is both scarily familiar and yet undeniably alien. Edinburgh really hasn’t changed all that much since the nineteenth century it seems, at least geographically … A story which had me completely absorbed from the first chapter, my day ten bookvent selection is:


The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry

There’s a fine line between kill and cure.

Edinburgh, 1849. Despite Edinburgh being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson. A whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.

Simpson’s protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher are determined to clear their patron’s name. But with Raven battling against the dark side of his own nature, and Sarah endeavouring to expand her own medical knowledge beyond what society deems acceptable for a woman, the pair struggle to understand the cause of the deaths.

Will and Sarah must unite and plunge into Edinburgh’s deadliest streets to clear Simpson’s name. But soon they discover that the true cause of these deaths has evaded suspicion purely because it is so unthinkable.

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books

This book is very clever. It takes a scenario which is sadly all too familiar, even in modern times, and sets it against the backdrop of Edinburgh in 1849, the time when Dr James Simpson is still at the heart of medical discovery but engaged in a bitter war with another Doctor over the rights to claim the discovery of chloroform as their own. This story focuses on the attempts of Will Raven and Sarah Fisher to clear Simpson’s name from a charge of negligence, but also to get to the bottom of series of mysterious and unexpected deaths which are plaguing Edinburgh. The story moves effortlessly back and forth between Sarah, Will and a mysterious other, who is clearly behind whatever is going on, but whose identity is kept skilfully hidden from the reader. I love the chemistry between Will and Sarah, although this time there is a new obstacle that comes between them, one I definitely wasn’t expecting any more than Will it seems. With the perfect blend of medical fact and medical fiction, the writers put the reader at the heart of a true mystery, one where the motive is as disturbing as the act in itself. With that ending, I cannot wait to see what is next, and with a whole wealth of medical history to draw from, this promises to be one exciting series.

You can read my full review here.


Happy #bookvent reading all


One thought on “The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 10

Comments are closed.