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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Lady in the Smoke by Karen Odden

This was a recommendation from a book blogger and I am so very glad that Netgalley sent it on to me at my request.

The setting was certainly unique. A railway accident set in Victorian times and the entire backdrop of the story was the development of the railway system in Britain, the financial implications and the vast amounts of money that could be made and lost by speculation on railway stocks, doctors known as railway surgeons who specialised in railway accidents - characters who I have never met before.

Lady Elizabeth Fraser is returning home after a disastrous fourth season. It could be her last and her mother has announced that she would most probably live and die a spinster. Her fortune seems to have been lost and she knows that without a dowry there is no hope of her making a good match. This dismal scene is further enhanced by the fact that there is a great deal of animosity and distance on her mother's side towards Elizabeth and Elizabeth herself is unable to fathom the reason for this.

When the horrific accident happens and both Elizabeth and her mother are rescued and attended to by Dr. Wilcox, Elizabeth realises that she is very attracted to the doctor but knows that in their class of society it is a hopeless attraction.

Meticulously detailed, the romance was just a by line of the main story - the unravelling of the accident and the greater implications that were discovered by lawyers and Elizabeth herself into the story behind the accident, the lapses on the part of the railway in order to further financial profit for a few and the final trial and exoneration of the good doctor.

Characterization of all the people in the story was masterful and I loved the story itself. A fairly boring subject made extremely interesting by a clever author.

Thank you to Netgalley for sending this on to me for an unbiased review, courtesy of  Random House Publishing Group Albi.


Kathryn T said...

Mystica this sounds like a really good read and a great review that has me really interested in the book. I hope the class thing never got in the way of the romance in the end. Court case and history all wrapped up. Thanks for sharing it.

Karen said...

I'm not sure how I missed this blog, but thank you so much for reading and for your kind words about my book!! I love hearing thoughtful feedback, especially as I'm working on my next one. It made my day to find this online. Cheers!--Karen Odden