A Sudden, Fearful Death by Anne Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this fourth of the William Monk series we find Prudence Barrymore, a nurse with Florence Nightingale in the Crimea, murdered in a local hospital. She was talented and even desired to be a doctor. Nurses of that era had reputations little better than prostitutes, but Prudence was skilled enough to work with the city's best surgeon. How did she end up dead then?
William Monk, a private detective, had taken the case and Hester Latterly has agreed to go to work at the hospital and work under cover. This turns out to be a big mistake which ends with Barrister, Oliver Rathbone, fighting for her reputation and maybe even her life.
In this book, we are beginning to see signs of respect for Hester in both Monk and Oliver Rathbone. In fact, it is hard to see anyone Oliver respects and admires more and he shows it, albeit discreetly. Monk is also beginning to change his opinions about women after looking into more of his past.
This book is engaging as far as the mystery goes, but it is even more fascinating as it describes the restrictions on women in the Victorian era and the unfairness of the law. The old cast of characters also includes Oliver Rathbone who must really work to make sure justice is served and the wrong person is not executed.
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