It is that time of the reading month again to showcase one of many books on my shelves that I don’t talk about, and haven’t got around to reading yet. They may be new books, those that have been published a while now, standalones, and even books in a series. Basically any book!
Today’s instalment takes us back to the 19th Century and a world where detective work and medical science was really taking off. I’m not talking about Murdoch Mysteries, which is a book and tv series I ramble about a lot, but Beloved Poison by ES Thomson.
Date of Publication – 3rd March 2016
Format – Paperback
Number of Pages – 387
The object I drew out was dusty and mildewed, and blotched with dark rust-coloured stains. It smelt of time and decay, sour, like old books and parchment. The light from the chapel’s stained-glass window blushed red upon it, and upon my hands, as if the thing itself radiate a bloody glow…
Ramshackle and crumbling, trapped in the past and resisting the future, St Saviour’s Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors the doctors bicker and fight. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything, but says nothing.
Six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary’s old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past – with fatal consequences.
In a trail that leads from the bloody world of the operating theatre and the dissecting table to the notorious squalor of Newgate and the gallows, Jem’s adversary proves to be both powerful and ruthless. As St Saviour’s destruction draws near, the dead are unearthed from their graves whilst the living are forced to make impossible choices. Murder is the price to be paid for the secrets to be kept.
“A few months later, when the ground had been cleared, I visited the graveyard again. Apart from a muddy scar across the centre of the greensward, the place looked no different to usual. I found my mother’s headstone untouched by the waters. I had never forgotten the sight of that filthy mass of bones and rags being carted away. And now the same job on a far greater scale had landed in the lap of this raw, rosy-cheeked country boy.”
I have a feeling I’m going to really like this book and its subsequent sequels. Women and Victorian medicine have always been go-to buzz words so I can’t wait to get round to reading it. Let’s hope it lives up to expectations.
Have you heard of this book?
If not, would it be something that takes your fancy?
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!