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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Brilliant, Not Like Her Jane Austen Sleuth Series, 23 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: A Flaw in the Blood (Paperback)
It's December 1861, and the Prince Consort lays dying at Windsor. Irishman and lawyer Patrick Fitzgerald is summoned there for an uncomfortable audience with the queen, but it is quickly apparent that there was another motive behind the meeting, as Patrick is attacked on his way home with intent to kill. The other problem is that he had with him the young woman he stands as guardian for, the lady he secretly loves, Miss Georgiana Armistead, who coming from a line of doctors and having trained in Edinburgh, has had some dealings with the Prince Consort herself in respect to his young and rather frail son Leopold. When she is injured and Patrick's mentor and friend, fellow barrister Septimus is left for dead, Patrick decides to embark on a mission of his own. Their bid to escape the warped justice of a grieving queen and uncover the explosive secret that is the only way to save their marked lives will take them through English and European cities and principalities, uncover personal secrets and emotions along the way and put not only themselves but their loved ones in mortal danger.

'A Flaw in the Blood' is a good read overall for its prose and pace. However, if you are reading this, as I did, because you love the author's Jane Austen sleuth series, you may be disappointed. This is a much more serious take on a view of Victorian royalty, half told through the auspices of Queen Victoria herself, and not wanting to give too much away and spoil the reading for anyone else, I found the storyline a little farfetched and the portrayal of Victoria the same. Needless to say, though it was worth a read and I appreciated the research that must have gone into it, I won't be keeping this book, unlike her others.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 15 Feb. 2009
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UMUK (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Flaw in the Blood (Paperback)
Having really enjoyed Ms Barron's Jane Austen series I was seriously disappointed by her most recent endeavour. A thin and far fetched story line combined with treacle like prose made me want to stop before having even reached the third chapter. Unfortunately it did not get any better. My recommendation: give this one a miss.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Really poorly done, 4 Mar. 2009
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L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Flaw in the Blood (Hardcover)
First Sentence: When the agony of the state dinner was over and his wife was preoccupied with the other women, he ceased to talk quite so feverishly before the crowd of people who'd come to the Rosenau to see them.

Irish barrister, Patrick Fitzgerald, has been summoned to Windsor Castle where Prince Albert is dying. Although she stays in the coach, with Fitzgerald is Dr. Georgiana Armistead, niece of the late Dr. Snow, who had been physician to Queen Victoria.

As Patrick and Georgiana leave Windsor their coach is overturned by catching the horses up in a vicious temporary fence of nails, of which no evidence can later be found. It soon becomes apparent that someone wants the pair dead and the orders are coming from the Queen.

I am one of those who does not like historical figures used as major characters in mysteries. For that reason, I had not read Ms. Barron's Jane Austin series, but bought this as I it had a different protagonist.

What I didn't realize is that the other major character is Queen Victoria. I found the conjecture interesting, but because it is fiction, I didn't know what information to trust. The character of Victoria is unpleasant, which may have been true, but I found the alternating POVs, done without indication, distracting.

Of our other two protagonists, there was very little character development. I would have much preferred the book had the information motivating the intent to kill Patrick and Georgiana been revealed through investigation and kept Victoria behind the scenes.

I credit the author as, from the bibliography it is appears she did her research, however because I found the story unpleasant and one that strained credulity, I did skim a lot of it. It's just was not to my taste and was unanimously panned by my mystery readers' group.
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A Flaw in the Blood
A Flaw in the Blood by Stephanie Barron (Paperback - 30 Dec. 2008)
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