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Do We Not Bleed? by Patricia Finney
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Patricia Finney knows how to drag readers right into the midst of life in Elizabethan London with all its sights, sounds, and smells. Yes, the murders are vicious (shades of the much later Jack the Ripper), but Finney is a pro-- leavening the action with laugh-out-loud humor in just the right places. From Shakespeare's chicken-raising landlady to people's reactions to James or his sister Portia, we laugh and we can also learn, as when one indignant woman exclaims that no decent woman wears underpants. (How times have changed!) It's also a time in which no decent woman can go out alone without an escort, and this causes James's reclusive sister the occasional problem.

The story moves along at a fine pace, and I was keeping a close eye on two particular suspects. I was half right, and the resolution was a surprise, which is always a plus. I look forward to Finney's next James Enys adventure with a great deal of anticipation. Her deft ways with all the major ingredients of storytelling-- plot, pacing, setting, characters, and humor-- make her books an absolute pleasure to read. A minor quibble with this Kindle edition of Do We Not Bleed? was its numerous instances of bad formatting, but I'm sure those will be corrected when next I see Mr. Enys... and Peter the Hedgehog. I have a feeling that that little boy is bound to cause trouble the next time I see him! ( )
  cathyskye | Oct 15, 2015 |
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Maliverny Catlin was drunk, which was unusual for him.
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Called in to solve an inconvenient murder before the whores riot, the lawyer James Enys must find a serial killer hiding among the cutpurses, lawyers, players, fugitive priests, pursuivants and whores of Elizabethan London. If he fails, he'll be charged with the crime himself. The mob just wants a murderer, after all, and he's as likely to have done it as any man.
But James Enys isn't the man they think he is. Aided by a certain bald young playwright (with a sonnet to write) who knows his secret, the lawyer finds that he must follow the trail of evidence into the closed world of Elizabethan women, where no man could venture. Only a woman would be welcome here.

It is fortunate indeed that Mr Enys has a sister. She is as intelligent as he is, and resembles him in both appearance and manner. Except, of course, that she is a woman, which in Elizabethan times, means that her opportunities are restricted. In fact, James Enys's sister is never seen in public at the same time as he is - but only Shakespeare has guessed the truth about the quiet, determined, ambitious young lawyer with a knack of seeing beneath the surface. [retrieved 11/25/2015 from Amazon.com]
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