In the sixth Dr. Thorndyke novel, as in more than one of the novels leading up to it, the narrator is a good-hearted young doctor just starting out. It may be somewhat formulaic, but the formula works for me.
Young Dr. John Strangeways has just set up practice in Rochester. He promptly falls under the spell of his landlady, a striking young ex-actress named Angelina Frood. She is living apart from a terrible husband. There's serious trouble ahead, but fortunately Dr. Thorndyke, the great medico-legal expert, will take a keen interest in the young woman's troubles, through the championship of Dr. Strangeways.
In 1924, when The Mystery of Angelina Frood was published, miserable marriages were still difficult to dissolve. This novel deals with some very modern themes: domestic violence, gender inequalities, drug addiction - and advanced methods of forensic science as practiced by Dr. Thorndyke.
At the same time, Freeman continues to write with the wry humor and urbane charm of an Edwardian. His gentlemanly fascination with architecture adds another element of interest to the narrative, for Rochester is a picturesque old cathedral town.
Freeman had a genius for creating dramatic heroines - and staging dramatic inquests. I never guessed at the startling revelations in store for me.
There are numerous Dr. Thorndyke novels, stories and novellas. The novels can be read in any order, but I'm taking the chronological route. First in the series is The Red Thumb Mark (1907).