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4.2 out of 5 stars30
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Frances Doughty is faced with many cases in this latest episode in the series. She finds her fame is spreading throughout Bayswater without her needing to advertise and she has as plenty of work to keep her busy. She is even the, loosely disguised, heroine of a series of penny dreadfuls which are for sale in the area.

Her most important case is to try and find the whereabouts of Harry Palmer who disappeared after the unexpected death of one of his employers. His sister has stopped eating because she is so worried about him and Frances agrees to try and track him down - living or dead. But she finds the two doctors who own the Life House are not willing to assist her. The Life House caters for those wealthy clients who are worried about being buried alive. For a few days their bodies are kept in the Life House to see if they are in fact dead before they are buried in the normal way.

This is quite a gruesome story but it is compelling reading. I loved the portrait of Victorian life and the characters are very well drawn. I enjoyed the way the author carefully weaves together the many strands of this fascinating story to make a satisfying whole. Fakes and charlatans as well as villains are tracked down and exposed and the police are involved where appropriate.

If you want a well written historical crime series where the research is impeccable but does not swamp the story this is an excellent series to try. They can be read in any order but it helps to read then in the order in which they were published starting with The Poisonous Seed: A Frances Doughty Mystery
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on 12 August 2013
I did enjoy this but felt there were too many factors being dealt with in the story line. There is good development of character and you are left wondering what will happen next. Wasn't paying attention to my kindle so was surprised when the book ended. So many times another aspect had been added to the investigation that I felt it would never end. Would recommend but suggest reading the other two first.
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on 14 May 2013
When the first Frances Doughty mystery appeared it was a revelation.
Could the second be as good?
Not only could it, it was actually better.
The Third?
Always a need for caution.
How many "Doggy Third Albums" have you heard?
But no need for doubt.
The redoubtable Miss Doughty is back and in splendid form.
Brilliant plot, no cheating, great characters and a view into the life of Bayswater in the 1800 which is truly remarkable.

This book is the best mystery in years.
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Frances is on a new case - that of a living mortuary assistant's disappearance. I knew about the Victorian habit of bells and tubes so that no one was buried alive but I had never heard of living mortuaries where they held on to the dead bodies for a few days to make sure they were really dead - what a great idea given the state of the medical profession in those days. I felt this book was a little long but the historical detail was fascinating. Frances is a great character - a strong woman chafing against the confines of Victorian London and so credible as she is not strident in any way, just determined to work around these confines to do her job. The plot is not taxing and it does not require massive brainpower to keep up but the solution is ingenuous and worth waiting for. I enjoyed this book and will be reading the next one.
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on 9 May 2013
a very good book found i could not put it down once i started to read
a mystery right to the end it is the first book that i have read from linda stratmann
and will read her other books
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on 26 February 2014
I would read these books purely for the heroine. I'm not sure why because there isn't an overtly obvious character trait which I'm interested in, she's just savvy and rounded. I thought she was particularly well written in this one.

There's a dark humour to the plot of this book. These books are just graphic enough - they're realistic enough not to feel like a distant Victorian crime solved over scones and tea and they sometimes elicit an 'ew!'. They're not gratuitously gory and violent either.
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on 2 August 2013
I have just finished reading the third book of the Frances Doughty Mysteries. It is really interesting to see how this character is developing. A lovely strong and decisive Victorian woman who believes in her new job of "private detective" and succeeds in resolving the utmost complicated ins and outs of the crimes she is working on. If you like a good Victorian mystery I would certainly recommend this series. Hope there will be a follow up soon.
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on 19 July 2013
I enjoyed reading this book. The plot immediately makes you realise how bizarre the Victorians could be. The personal circumstances of Frances Doughty were slightly unbelievable given that it was set in the 19th century. However, it is a work of fiction and as such I thoroughly enjoyed it. There were several strands to the plot and they were all brought together very neatly at the end.
All in all, a good read.
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on 3 December 2015
An intriguing premise -- possible premature burial that may be something more sinister. However the plot is tedious in the extreme, especially towards the end when it seems the author really had no idea as to what denouement to offer, while the characters are pallid and unmemorable. There is also a feeble attempt at introducing humour via repetitive references to a stuffed crocodile.
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on 16 July 2013
This is one of three written by this author about a Victorian girl who becomes a private detective. Very easy to read and gives a good insight into that time. A little bit difficult to believe that Frances would be allowed to do some of the things she does but still an enjoyable read; perhaps more of a 'girlie' book.
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