Publisher and Publication Date: Crooked Lane Book. May 7, 2019.
Genre: Historical fiction. Mystery.
Source: I received a complimentary copy, but was not required to leave a positive review.
Audience: Mystery readers.
About the author:
Christine Trent is the author of the Florence Nightingale Mysteries, the Lady of Ashes historical mystery series, about a Victorian-era undertaker, and three other historical novels. Christine’s novels have been translated into Turkish, Polish, and Czech. She writes from her two-story home library, where she lives with her husband, four precocious cats, a large doll collection, entirely too many fountain pens, and over 4,000 catalogued books.
Christine Trent website
For fans of Charles Todd and Deanna Raybourn comes Christine Trent’s second Florence Nightingale mystery.
Cholera has broken out in London, but Florence Nightingale has bigger problems when people begin dying of a far more intentional cause—murder.
The London summer of 1854 is drawing to a close when a deadly outbreak of cholera grips the city. Florence Nightingale is back on the scene marshaling her nurses to help treat countless suffering patients at Middlesex Hospital as the disease tears through the Soho slums. But beyond the dangers of the disease, something even more evil is seeping through the ailing streets of London.
It begins with an attack on the carriage of Florence’s friend, Elizabeth Herbert, wife to Secretary at War Sidney Herbert. Florence survives, but her coachman does not. Within hours, Sidney’s valet stumbles into the hospital, mutters a few cryptic words about the attack, and promptly dies from cholera. Frantic that an assassin is stalking his wife, Sidney enlists Florence’s help, who accepts but has little to go on save for the valet’s last words and a curious set of dice in his jacket pocket. Soon, the suspects are piling up faster than cholera victims, as there seems to be no end to the number of people who bear a grudge against the Herbert household.
Now, Florence is in a race against time—not only to save the victims of a lethal disease, but to foil a murderer with a disturbingly sinister goal—in A Murderous Malady.
Several reasons led me to give this book an excellent rating:
•Interesting “Author’s Note.” This section gave me a background on how people viewed Florence Nightingale in the mid nineteenth century, life for the people living in Soho area of London, cholera epidemic, history of the British and Afghanistan’s political relations, and the historical people mentioned in the book.
•I love the character of Florence Nightingale. She could command an army. I love her no- nonsense-can’t pull anything past her-doesn’t miss a thing personality. She can organize, take charge, and yet give gentle care to the sick.
•I enjoyed reading about medical/nursing care during the middle part of the nineteenth century.
•It’s fascinating how Christine Trent weaved a story about Florence Nightingale, and made it a mystery, and brought in the British and Afghan wars. Amazing.
•A secondary story about a family with an abuser. This element brought tears to my eyes.
•The book ends with a lead to the next book in this series which entices me to read it.
•A Murderous Malady is a murder mystery. The conclusion to the story brings a solid closure to the whole of the story.