- File Size: 1559 KB
- Print Length: 282 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Ridge & Bourne (October 11, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 11, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075LM2TZP
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,191 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.99|
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A Tincture of Secrets and Lies (The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries Book 4) Kindle Edition
|Length: 282 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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I read this via an ARC after it was submitted to Rosie Amber's Book Review Team, of which I am a member. However, I would have bought the book anyway as I have read and reviewed all of Mr Savage's books, which speaks for itself. The 4th in the series, it stands alone, but I'd suggested reading the earlier books first to become acquainted with the players.
The first 35% or so of this novel takes place in the bedroom of our hero, Norfolk doctor and crime solver Adam Bascom; he is suffering from dire injuries following an accident, and, whilst recovering, is brought news of foul deeds and heinous crimes that deserve his attention. Anyone who can hold my attention with the first third of a novel set in one room (and I read every word) is worthy of applause ~ indeed, in many ways, this is the best so far of Mr Savage's novels. As well as the nicely plotted murder mystery, he has included more scene-setting, more detail about the day-to-day living of the time, and the history of the area; North Norfolk is particularly close to my heart, and the setting of his books is part of their appeal for me.
The story brings to life so well the class hierarchy of the time, and tells how for the inhabitants of coastal villagers, involvement in smuggling was a way of life; I'd love to read another Bascom book based around this. It also shows how those in power in England were concerned that the rebellion of the French peasantry would influence those in this country to rise up in the same manner.
With Adam housebound, the novel needed to step outside his Aylsham house eventually, to add drama, and I was pleased to see some chapters from other characters' points of view: Ruth Scudamore, who is absolutely my sort of girl (she has no time for fripperies and society trivia), her brother Charles, who finds himself far outside his life of genteel leisure when he joins in a military attack to stop a scuffle with a group of rebels, and Adam's groom, William, sent to uncover a mysterious 'quack' who sells his elixirs to the gullible public. I was also very impressed by a chapter written from the point of view of rebel Peter Gort, who sees himself as a swashbuckling hero of the underclasses.
I was slightly underwhelmed by the wrapping up, and would have liked to see the baddies get their comeuppance(s) rather than just hearing about it in reports and letters, and just a bit more drama and impact, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the book ~ and the delightful way in which it ended: will Adam's romantic life unfold as he wishes, after all his doubt and frustration? I look forward to the next episode, to find out!
It is a pleasure to meet again the incorrigible apothecary, Peter Lassimer as well as Adam’s reliable staff, housekeeper Mrs Brigstone, nervous Hannah, the parlour maid and faithful groom, William. But new characters are also introduced, including the warm hearted young widow, Mrs Munnings and the strange Dr Panacea, who offers a cure-all medicine after a compelling speech to the crowd.
As in the previous books we learn much of Norfolk life in the years following the French Revolution, of the widespread hardship of the poor and the anxiety of those in power about the possibility of invasion or disorder. Adam goes through a period of depression, trapped in his house and convinced that he will soon lose touch with Lady Alice, but he concentrates his mind on solving crimes and his bravery and moral conviction command loyalty from his friends.
Another enjoyable return to the past, written in the style of the time, with an intriguing storyline.