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by D.E. Meredith

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-55769-0
Publisher: Minotaur

A very early CSI team fights crime in 1850s London.

Forensic scientist Adolphus Hatton and his capable assistant, Albert Roumande, are knee-deep in the corpses of poor Irish cholera victims when flamboyant, none-too-scrupulous Scotland Yard Inspector Jeremiah Grey asks them to investigate a suspicious death. Irish MP Gabriel McCarthy appears to be another casualty of cholera, but Hatton quickly establishes that he was killed by strychnine poisoning. Grey, who’s not above planting evidence, is anxious for Hatton and Roumande to find forensic confirmation, perhaps from the very new technique of fingerprinting, to help solve the politically sensitive case. Hatton finds himself falling for the widow, a beauty who reminds him of a long-lost love, and is soon caught up in the investigation. The city, meanwhile, is rocked by violence and riots promulgated by a fiery Irish priest, a fighter for independence who’s certainly a suspect in the murder of McCarthy, widely considered an enemy of his people. Although Hatton is busy helping to train a promising new assistant, fighting for more money for his department and keeping up with his autopsies, he is swept up in a difficult and dangerous case that may change his life forever.

This second series entry (Devoured, 2010) neatly combines history with a puzzling mystery and solid characterization.