Who would want to murder a man who already supposed to be dead?
When doctor James Carlyle is given a dead body to investigate, he makes a shocking discovery Innovative fingerprinting techniques reveal the dead man was Artus Skuja. But Skuja was hanged a year ago…
Carlyle discovers that his new friend, local preacher Matthew West was present at the hanging, and seeks out his help in solving the mystery. And when more deaths occur, it seems a larger plot could be at large.
What really happened to Skuja? Who covered up his death? And why was he targeted after his escape…?
I really really like this series! The writing is just fun and easy to read, so much so that I picked up this second book whilst only having read one chapter in the first book. That’s how good it is.
The cases are interesting and at first make you think something supernatural is going on. In this case Dr Carlyle finds a man on his slab who has the same fingerprints as a man who was hanged a year earlier… a hanging preacher Matthew was present at. What follows is an investigation into how one can fake a hanging, and a Lot of corpses.
But this story is a lot more than that. It also shows the beginning stages of fingerprinting. There is a lot of page time given to Carlyle’s daughter fighting for women’s rights and trying to get elected in the LCC. And there is the romance between her and Matthew. All of this is done very satisfactory in only 200 pages.
The mystery itself was just fine, though a bit too obvious. The fact that all potential suspects got murdered one by one made it even more clear that indeed the people I suspected from the start were responsible. And I had hoped that the motive might have been a bit more interesting.
But that doesn’t make this book any less enjoyable. The characters are just great, and both their banter and discussions are a joy to read. Having both a man of science and a man of religion at the center of the case, and the author not favoring either perspective, gives a nicely rounded narrative.
A great series I would highly recommend if you like your historical mystery. You can find my review for the first book over here.