Minotaur, Oct 26 2010, $24.99
Perhaps the Victorian Age is misnamed and should be replaced by Darwinian Age as by 1856 scientists, treasure seekers and amateurs seem to be traversing the world in search of new species and odd or exotic ancient artifacts. London is not immune to the chaos as murder for possessions is not unique.
Collector Lady Blessingham is murdered in her bedroom. Yet in spite of the homicide, her vast collection of valuable artifacts, tribal masks, and fossils seem untouched. Working from out of the morgue’s basement with no funding, Forensics Professor Adolphus Hatton and his assistant Albert Roumonde arrive at Blessingham’s home to conduct a scientific autopsy of the corpse. Their insistence on seeing the dead body at the murder sight is considered blasphemous by some Londoners especially religious people. They soon expand their search of the home for clues like motive as something was sought by the murderer and opportunity as the killer gained easy entrance. The pair assists Scotland Yard's Inspector Adams’ search for the culprit.
This fantastic Victorian Age whodunit is as much a historical tale as it is an investigative thriller. The wealth of detail is incredible as readers will believe they are in London in 1856 yet with so much vividness, D.E. Meredith never takes her eye off the mystery. Readers will relish this engaging story as Hatton and Roumonde apply the new “voodoo” science of forensics to the homicide.