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The Riddle of the River by Catherine Shaw
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The Riddle of the River (2007)

by Catherine Shaw

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This is a mystery. And book number four in a series. I don't read mysteries, and I don't start in the middle of a series. But – dad gum – I enjoyed this!

Victorian England historical fiction, set in Cambridge, involving a missing Shakespearean actress, the Charles Darwin family, prostitution, social classes, scientific advances, boating, a bookstore, and a female detective. It was a good, fun, little mystery and I'll definitely look for the earlier books in this series. ( )
  countrylife | Aug 10, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0749080116, Hardcover)

On a balmy summer in 1898, Vanessa Wetherburn is contentedly feeding a clotted cream scone to her young son in her Cambridge garden when she is startled by the abrupt arrival of her long-time friend, the journalist Patrick O'Sullivan. Eager to discover the identity of a beautiful young woman found floating in the River Cam, Pat has called on the one woman he knows is sure to be able to solve the mystery. Over recent years Vanessa has garnered a reputation for solving crimes including murders, thefts and blackmail attempts - but never before has she faced an unknown victim. She is at a loss to know where to begin. As Vanessa considers what to do, her first important clue arrives in the form of Ernest Dixon, who is worried by the disappearance of his favorite actress; a young woman named Ivy Elliot, who was playing the part of Ophelia. Could the missing girl and unidentified body be one and the same woman? Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, this latest case for the talented Mrs. Weatherburn proves to be her most perplexing yet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:42 -0400)

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"1898. Enjoying the sunshine in the garden of her Cambridgeshire home, Vanessa Weatherburn is startled by the abrupt arrival of her long-time friend, the journalist Patrick O'Sullivan. Eager to discover the identity of a young woman found floating in the River Cam in order to get a scoop for the local newspaper, Pat has called on the one woman he is sure will be able to solve the mystery. Over recent years Vanessa has garnered a reputation for solving crimes - including murders, thefts and blackmail attempts - but never before has she been faced with the problem of identifying a victim, as well as a murderer. She is at a loss to know where to begin." "In desperation, Vanessa agrees to go to London to attend a seance meeting, but has little hope of gathering any important information. Yet, to her astonishment, she hears the medium cry out, 'Murder, murder, grisly murder!' Can the flamboyant woman really connect with the spirit of the dead? Forced to go undercover to continue her investigation and helped along as always by the cream of Cambridge's academic community, Vanessa employs all the skills she has learnt over the past years to reel in the murderer - but will it be enough to solve the riddle of the river?"--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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