Sometimes early reviews -- even the not so encouraging ones -- could actually motivates me to read a book. Especially if the reviews are listing those I could love. I have to thank my friend, Loederkoningin who wrote the review I read, with these words exactly ... "Perhaps it's a good bet for historical lovers who are kind of fed up with MCs fucking up their mystery with their penises?" Such a poetic way to close a review *laugh*. But it was EXACTLY what driven me to this book. I loved my mystery but I admit that I usually thought that the romance would get in a way. So this was a very encouraging statement.
And guess what -- I loved this. It is definitely mystery first and romance second, in a historical genre, with interesting characters, blackmail, scandal, action, and revelation to the murder that is quite satisfying. Exactly what I have been looking for. I admit that while I was reading this, it brought me back the feeling of my reading Christie's all those years ago, except with a tad of romance between men.
Cadell Meredith is a medical student. In order to hone his surgical skill, Cadell occasionally dig graves of the paupers and then haul the dead body to his own place, so he could practice on them. I admit, I was questioning his morale at that time. I mean, really, Cadell, grave digging?!? But it was also a different time period. Cadell reasoned that it was difficult to work actual surgical method on machine. Plus these were bodies that would not be missed.
Anyway, until one night, Cadell's dead body turned out to be, well, a murdered one. A man who definitely not a pauper. Cadell was motivated to find out what had happened to the young man; it was like an obligation for him to find answers (since he already used the body for his practice). Even if he needed to imitate police officers (and probably break a lot of laws *lol*) while trying to get off the trail of a detective who suspected him.
In the beginning, Cadell came to me as a little arrogant -- like he looked down on others. But it was also clear that he had a good sense of justice. He also had friends who were willing to help him, so he couldn't be that bad, right? Along the way, as Cadell discovered more clues, made more friends, as well as having sexual tension with the detective Blaine Breton, I found him mellowing a bit.
The mystery moved forward alongside Cadell's adventure -- so while I could guess some of the 'players' but I practically set myself to enjoy the ride with Cadell's investigation. The scandal was surprising but definitely satisfying.
As for the romance -- ah, like I said, this was mystery first and foremost. Yes, we had sexual tensions. And nope, you will not get a sex scene (the author devilishly cut off the page before it even happened) but it didn't even matter to me. It was a great historical mystery and I didn't care that it lacked romance.
I really hope that Keedwell will make this into a series. It will be fun to have a team of surgeon/police to deal with dead bodies (ala Rizzoli and Isles ^^)