The Art of Dying

Canongate. (Way of All Flesh, Bk. 2). Jan. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9781786896698. $26. M
The second historical medical mystery by Parry (a pseudonym for the writing team of Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman) follows The Way of All Flesh with Will Raven back in Edinburgh in 1850, after making a tour abroad and finishing his studies. Officially Dr. Will Raven now, he goes to work as his friend and former colleague Dr. Simpson’s assistant in his obstetrics practice. His former love, Sarah Fisher, is still working in Dr. Simpson’s household as something between nurse and assistant; her intelligence and efficient abilities in the surgery make her indispensable. Unfortunately, one of Dr. Simpson’s rivals spreads rumors about the death of one of Simpson’s patients, which prompts Sarah and Will into an investigation to prove their mentor’s innocence. In the course of their inquiries, they uncover a number of inexplicable deaths that all seem to connect to one person. Is there a new disease being spread unwittingly, or are the deaths more sinister in nature? As in the first book in the series, readers will find an intriguing mystery balanced with well-researched details and a vividly rendered setting.
VERDICT Recommended for readers who enjoy historical or medical mysteries, especially those set in Victorian England.

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