There is not a woman in this realm who does not understand what it is to be afraid.
–Ambrose Parry - The Art of Dying - Prologue, c.2019
This was the latest book chosen for my book club read. I don’t think any of us were aware it is actually the second book in a series when we picked it. And while I always prefer to read books in a series in order I didn’t realise until I started reading this and came across the references to the previous “adventures” of the protagonists. To be fair, while I am sure reading the previous title would provide additional details this book works just fine as a standalone novel. The characters lives have continued but there is no sense that I was missing any plot details needed for this story to work.
Unfortunately this book didn’t work too well for me. It started out fairly well but around half way through ran out of steam.
It is an historical medical murder mystery but it never gripped me, and the characters never really came alive for me. And while I do appreciate the highlighting of how limited women’s lives were by societal expectations it seemed more shoehorned it than actually part of the story.