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- The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry -

Published : 7th January 2021

Publisher : Blackthorn Books

Format : Kindle, Audio, Paperback

Genre : Historical/Crime

Review #7/2021

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* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


Edinburgh, 1849.

Hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. And a whispering campaign seeks to paint Dr James Simpson, pioneer of medical chloroform, as a murderer.

Determined to clear Simpson's name, his protรฉgรฉ Will Raven and former housemaid Sarah Fisher must plunge into Edinburgh's deadliest streets and find out who or what is behind the deaths. Soon they discover that the cause of the deaths has evaded detection purely because it is so unthinkable.

Thank you @Blackthorn Books @RandomThingsTours for this stunning advanced copy.

My Review

The Art of Dying is the second historical mystery in this series.

Will Raven is a newly qualified doctor, he returns to his home in Edinburgh after having been away in Europe to complete his medical training to take up the new position of assistant obstetrician for a Professor Simpson, a doctor who is renowned for his discovery of chloroform. Upon arrival he is confused to find that Sarah Fisher, a house maid he shared his love with prior to going away, is now married to another doctor, elevating her status and is working with Simpson.

Sarah has always been fascinated with medicine and still dreams of a career but the male powers that be still make this impossible for her even though her husband openly encourages her work.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh is at unrest and people are seemingly dying though circumstances other than illness. When Simpson finds himself at the centre of controversy over the death of a patient, and his reputation is becoming tarnished by some jealous colleagues by spreading vicious rumours, Sarah decides that she is determined to prove his innocence and clear his good name, but little does she know that a serial killer is actually responsible.

Even though he is reluctant to join her due to his past feelings Will teams up with Sarah to solve the mystery of the mysterious deaths and put an end to the whispering campaign against Dr Simpson.

Told in both the third person narrative in the past and also the first person narrative of the serial killer you slowly get to unravel who is behind all the mysterious deaths that keep happening and what it will take to stop them from continuing.

Why I Loved It

This is expertly written and rich in abundance of details. I loved following Will and Sarah and found the historical and medical details totally intriguing.

I have not read the first in this series but I will be sure to look it up, I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this one ticked all the boxes for me. The attention to detail in every aspect of this story kept me page turning all the way to the end.

I cant recommend this one enough. Definitely one for the TBR!



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Meet the author

Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland.

Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty yearsโ€™ experience, whose research for her Masterโ€™s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based.

The Way of All Fleshwas shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year and longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

The Way of All Flesh is the first book in the series.


Connect with Ambrose Parry




Books by this Author

The Way of All Flesh

Claire's Similar reads

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

The Graves of Whitechapel by Claire Evans

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?

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