Book Review: The Art of Dying

This feature is in association with NetGalley.

The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry
Many thanks to both NetGalley and to Canongate Books for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of The Art of Dying.

Ambrose Parry is a collaborative husband-and-wife partnership. One is an established mystery writer, the other is a consultant anaesthetist.

I really enjoy these historical medical mysteries, to the extent that I have even started to read the books written by the husband half of the team.

The Art of Dying sees the return of Will Raven and Sarah Fisher in 1840s Edinburgh. Their beloved employer and mentor has been accused of causing the death of one of his patients, and Raven and Sarah want to clear his name. 

The story follows their adventures and investigations through the seedier side of Victorian Edinburgh and has several sub-plots running throughout. Parry brings the milieu wonderfully to life with some engaging characters.

I love these romps. Only a couple of niggles with this one.

The first niggle is the inordinate amount of time that Raven takes to carry out an urgent procedure. He thinks back to a book that he read and remembers quotes from it inside his head whilst his patient, meanwhile, is likely dying on his operating table.

The second niggle is that I felt some of the loose ends were not tied up before the end. I can’t say which ones because those would be spoilers. But they were both quite important storylines.

Apart from it falling a little flat at the end because of these loose ends, I’m still looking forward to the next one. These are good reads for anyone who likes to mix their genres. Four stars.

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