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A Case of Doubtful Death by Linda Stratmann
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A Case of Doubtful Death

by Linda Stratmann

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This novel takes place in London, during the Victorian era, an interesting period in England's history. Unfortunately I found the author's notes at the end of the novel to be far more interesting than the story itself. At only 284 pages, this tale was still too long by 100 pages. This author managed to turn an interesting subject (corpses left on slabs, decomposing in a mortuary, ensuring no one is buried alive) into a boring read. With too many characters, and too many subplots, I lost interest and grew tired of reading this book. I will not be reading any more books in the Frances Doughty series. ( )
  Icewineanne | Aug 4, 2016 |
This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/2013/12/quick-takes-book-reviews-in-miniature...

This was my first encounter with Frances Doughty, and I liked her a lot. I have a taste for unconventional female protagonists, and, as a female Victorian detective with a rather imposing female assistant, our starring detective lives a life outside the norm. Somewhere between a light and medium-light read, the story is enjoyable and the pacing fantastic. There WERE a lot of mysteries to be solved, but I rather enjoyed the knottiness. Perfect for fans of Poirot and Christie who like a good mystery. ( )
  jewelknits | Dec 30, 2013 |
A Case of Doubtful Death is the 3rd book in the Frances Doughty series but the first one I have read. This was very much a cozy mystery and it had an excellent Sherlockian feel.

Frances Doughty had the her expected profession of being a chemist and dispensing medicine from the family shop was cut short when her father died unexpectedly and left her with too much debt. She investigated and solved some mystery for some important people and so she decided to try her hand as a private investigator. This is 1880 London so women doing investigations is a borderline scandalous undertaking, not to mention that women should leave such matters in the hands of men who are ‘more capable’ of dealing with these things. Needless to say Frances and her partner Sarah are supporters of the women’s suffrage movement.

The sister and future brother-in-law of Henry Palmer came to Frances. Henry had been missing almost a week and were afraid something awful had happened. It seemed a little too coincidental that his employer Dr. Mackenzie died the same night. Frances agreed to take the case to find the missing man. The more that Frances digs into the disappearance the less it appears to be a simple case. More and more characters are drawn into the tapestry of the story being woven by a master. Frances is determined to find the truth, no matter how often people keep lying to her.

To me it felt like it started off a little slow and took a little effort to get into the book. However, it was like a train leaving the station, it just kept picking up speed. It was an excellent mystery and it had some VERY good twists and turns. I also liked how Frances was more like a real PI where she has multiple cases overlapping all the time. Stratmann even added a little humor by crossing some of the cases in inventive ways. Highly recommend this cozy mystery series. ( )
  readafew | Aug 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0752470183, Paperback)

The third book in the series of Victorian murder mysteries set in London, with a clever and determined female sleuth

A dedicated doctor has set up a waiting mortuary on the borders of Kensal Green Cemetery, where corpses are left to decompose before burial to reassure clients that no one can be buried alive. He collapses and dies, apparently of natural causes, but on the same night one of his most reliable employees goes missing. Frances Doughty, a young sleuth with a reputation for solving knotty cases, is engaged to find the missing man, but nothing is as it seems. Suspicions of blackmail, fraud, and murder lead to a gruesome exhumation in the catacombs, with shocking results.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:21 -0400)

The year is 1880. In West London, a dedicated doctor has set up a waiting mortuary on the borders of Kensal Green Cemetery, where corpses are left to decompose before burial to reasuure clients that no one can be buried alive. When he collapses and dies on the same night that one of his most reliable employees disappears, Frances Doughty, a young sleuth with a reputation for solving knotty cases, is engaged to find the missing man, but nothing is as it seems.… (more)

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