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Published by : Alibi
Series: An Alexandra Gladstone Mystery
Sure to delight readers of Jacqueline Winspear and Ellis Peters, Medium Dead features Queen Victoria herself—and she’s rumored to have slain a local psychic in Newton-upon-Sea. Now the task of clearing her name and catching the real killer falls to Dr. Alexandra Gladstone.
Under Victoria’s reign, women are barred from calling themselves physicians, but that hasn’t stopped Alexandra Gladstone. As the first female doctor in Newton-upon-Sea, she spends her days tending sick villagers in the practice she inherited from her father, with her loyal and sometimes overprotective dog, Zack, by her side.
After the corpse of village spiritualist Alvina Elwold is discovered aboveground at a church boneyard, wild rumors circulate through the charming seaside village, including one implicating a certain regal guest lodging nearby. Tales of the dead Alvina hobnobbing with spirits and hexing her enemies are even more outlandish—but as a woman of science and reason, Alexandra has no doubt that a murderer made of flesh and blood is on the loose.
Finding out the truth means sorting through a deluge of ghostly visitors, royal sightings, and shifty suspects. At least her attentive and handsome friend Nicholas Forsyth, Lord Dunsford, has come to her aid. Alexandra will need all the help she can get, because she’s stumbled upon dangerous secrets—while provoking a deadly adversary who wants to keep them buried.
The writing is intelligent and witty with lots of dialogue. The dialogue tells more than the descriptions, but in this it lacks some of the internal emotions I often crave when it comes to the main character or characters. Then there's the flip side, because of this it moves the story at a quick pace.
The main character is Alexandra Gladstone. She is a physician in a small town called Newton-upon-Sea. As you can imagine, this isn't a common position for a woman of that time. I believe it would have been set in the late 1800's. It was said that it was during the reign of Queen Victoria Regina and it was also mentioned that she was the Empress of India, which didn't happen until 1876.
The historical details used were subtle, and I found this added to some of the realism. The characters felt a bit flat, except for Nancy who had a bit of spunk but the mystery was comfortable and created an uncomfortable atmosphere in such a small community.
I would recommend this to fans of the Maisie Dobbs series. There's a strong female character in a historical setting. She's determined, logical, intelligent and faces an unusual situation.
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