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A Shortcut to Murder (The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries Book 3) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B01M1R78L3
- Publisher : Ridge & Bourne (October 19, 2016)
- Publication date : October 19, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 4883 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 228 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #329,970 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The main character, Dr. Adam Bascom, practices medicine in Aylsham, a small town in Norwich. His closest friend, and the person off of whom he bounces ideas, is Peter Lassimer, a pharmacist and a confirmed ladies’ man. Indeed, Dr. Bascom’s unmarried status is the subject of many of their interchanges and a thread running through this book, as in the first two, but with more intensity.
After solving the previous two murders, the good doctor is anxious to get back to treating patients, and his first is the nephew of Lady Alice, young widow of one of Bascom’s former patients. Bascom becomes progressively drawn into this family and drawn to Lady Alice as the story evolves. However, he is interrupted in his practice yet again, this time called by his brother, Giles, a magistrate, to confirm the findings of a local coroner in the death of Sir Jackman Wennard, a local landowner, debauching scoundrel, racehorse breeder and baronet. His son, now Sir Robert, is an equally repugnant character and refuses to accept that his father’s death was anything more than an accident.
Sir Jackman was killed by a blow to his body, which caused him to fall off his horse and break his neck. Bascom quickly confirms the injury he sustained could not have resulted from a simple fall, but rather from running into a rope, which flung him back and all but severed his head from his body. There are many unresolved questions and as some are answered, others emerge. How could the blow be delivered with such force? How could the killer have known where and when to lie in wait? – especially since no one could have foreseen Sir Jackman’s movements on the morning of his death.
Who is the woman who caused Sir Jackman to take the path he did that morning, and why is his son so determined to prevent the lawyers from assessing Jackman’s belongings in order to probate his will? Piling on to Bascom’s confusion is the kidnapping of Sir Robert. Is it related to the rash of highway robberies plaguing local roads?
This is the densest of the author’s mysteries yet, with many threads that as they are pulled, reveal others. It also adds more depth to the main character, his determination to find the answers, his insight, and also his confusion about himself – does he want to remain a country doctor and how does he truly feel about women? Add to that a wealth of detailed information about life in Georgian Norwich, all of which gives the reader a rich slice of life at that time.
There are some drawbacks to this novel: there are long dialogue dumps and there is repetition galore as Bascom goes over and over what he knows with various friends and family. As I result, I did skim some pages.
Overall, though, I enjoyed this book as much as the previous one and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical mysteries.
The third murder mystery set in 18th century rural Norfolk, in which the now wealthy and ever inquisitive doctor, Adam Bascom, sets out to discover the truth behind evil doings.
As with the other books in this series, A Shortcut to Murder is filled with delightfully portrayed characters of the time: the chattering ladies seeking marriage for their offspring, girls either fashion conscious and empty-headed, or frustrated by how the society into which they are born places limits on their lives. There are the village folk, the innkeepers and farmers, all aware of their station in life and suspicious of folk from elsewhere ~ not unlike the Norfolk of some 250 years later.
I do like reading about the history of a county I know well, within these books; only a few years ago I ate at The Three Pigs at Edgefield, mentioned in the book, though I think it is now just called The Pigs, and I daresay the decor has changed! More interesting still, an innkeeper's wife in Cley supplies Adam with information about the area in Tudor times. Adam may have been eager to change the subject, but I wanted to know more!
Usually with Mr Savage's books I feel that the plot is secondary to the characterisation and dialogue, but with this one I gave a silent round of applause to the clever plot, too ~ I am not much of a one for unravelling mysteries, but this one had me most intrigued and I thought it was artfully put together. That's not to say I didn't enjoy the characters as much as usual, particularly the wealthy and idle Scudamore twins. The only downside I ever find with books by this author is the occasional over-egging of the plot detail, with every intricate detail discussed once too often, and in the middle there was a patch when I felt the dialogue was too information loaded and I wanted to say, 'oh, get on with it', but then it very swiftly did, and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the book.
I think that this would be enjoyed by all lovers of the historical period, by anyone who respects a well thought out mystery, and, of course, by those like myself who love Norfolk.
Top reviews from other countries
I can't decide whether to read William Savage's novels quickly to enjoy them sooner or slowly to make them last.
His Foxe stories, set in Georgian Norwich, are excellent too.