The Art Of Dying by Ambrose Parry – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Edinburgh, 1849. Hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. And a whispering campaign seeks to paint Dr James Simpson, pioneer of medical chloroform, as a murderer.

Determined to clear Simpson’s name, his protégé Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher must plunge into Edinburgh’s deadliest streets and find out who or what is behind the deaths. Soon they discover that the cause of the deaths has evaded detection purely because it is so unthinkable.

My Review

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a signed copy of this book when it was released and jumped at the chance to take part in the blog tour. I had no doubts that it would be just as good as the first book, The Way Of All Flesh. You could read this book without reading that but I would recommend that you do read them in order.

It starts in Berlin, but only for a short chapter, where Raven shows that he doesn’t make life easy for himself. He returns to Edinburgh to work with Dr Simpson again and is wary of how Sarah would be with him, but he is unprepared for what happened with her during his time away. Things aren’t quite as they first seem though, and he is soon aware that she is going to need friends. And they both need to be a support to Dr Simpson even though he doesn’t want them to be involved.

The book consists of three narrators, Raven, Sarah and the unnamed killer. All were brilliant, some of the chapters were very short and made this a very quick read for me. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen with all of them. Whilst enjoying reading about all of them it is Sarah who was my favourite. I loved her determination to be more than ‘just a housemaid’, her loyalty and her spirit. 

The historical aspect was perfect and even though I didn’t understand some of the medical terminology it made this book more fascinating. And I feel very relieved that methods have changed. As for the setting, Edinburgh is somewhere I have visited but I don’t know it well. I need to return and visit the areas mentioned, to try and visualise them as Raven and Sarah.

I’ve always enjoyed historical crime and this series of books is now one of my favourites, despite only being two so far. Book three is definitely one that I am looking forward to reading and hopefully adding to my signed collection.

The Way Of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Edinburgh, 1847. City of Medicine, Money, Murder.

In the city’s Old Town a number of young women have been found dead, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. Across the city in the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson.

Simpson’s patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education.

With each having their own motive to look deeper into the city’s spate of suspicious deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.

My Review

The Way Of All Flesh was a book that I was lucky enough to  receive a signed copy of at last years Theakston’s Crime Festival, so I was pleased to be asked to join the blog tour.

Edinburgh and its history is something I know little about and I was unaware when I started this novel that many of the characters in the book were real people. I googled often, looking at the history of various establishments and the people involved who were responsible for improving medical practices. 

The two main characters, Raven and Sarah were very likeable. It was evident that Raven wasn’t as he seemed but I didn’t feel that he was a malicious person. His secrets were down to other reasons which were revealed steadily throughout the novel. I thought Sarah was wonderful. Clever, brave and outspoken enough to get into trouble for it. I had a lot of sympathy for her, not being able to do something she would excel at because she was female. I found myself muttering at times at the attitudes by some towards her just because she wasn’t male, one more than any other was the assistant in the chemists. 

It is quite medical but not understanding all of it didn’t stop me enjoying this book a lot. I was pleased to see that there will be another book in the series.