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The Resource Devoured, Denise Meredith

Devoured, Denise Meredith

Label
Devoured
Title
Devoured
Statement of responsibility
Denise Meredith
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When a glamorous woman is found murdered at the peak of London's mid-19th-century craze for collecting unusual specimens, Adolphus Hatton and his morgue assistant uncover a series of murders connected to a packet of seditious letters
Member of
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Like the Victorian era that provides its setting, Meredith’s first novel is a carefully contrived surface, hiding dark things. For a while. The MacGuffin here is a series of letters the botanist Benjamin Broderig sends from steamy Borneo to his wealthy benefactress in London. She is murdered. The letters are stolen. The scientific establishment is even more desperate than the police to get back the letters because, we’re told, their contents would rock the known world. But excerpts will have readers scratching their heads. This is soft-core Darwinian stuff. Surely more is going on? There is, and fear of disclosure precipitates a series of murders whose details are comprehended only by the overworked pathologist Hatton and his assistant, Roumande. Their investigation goes from morgue to sweatshop to drawing room, all told in a polite, muted style that would seem to make this a lap-robe and pot-of-tea sort of novel despite the horrors that finally emerge. Its audience will comprise those who like to live in a book and are willing to let the author take her time. -- Crinklaw, Don (Reviewed 09-15-2010) (Booklist, vol 107, number 2, p32)
  • Set in 1856, Meredith's so-so debut mixes murder with the growing anxiety in Victorian England about evolutionary theory. Insp. George Adams of Scotland Yard brings in St. Bart's professor Adolphus Hatton, who serves as adviser on medical jurisprudence to the London police, to consult on the murder of Lady Bessingham, who was bludgeoned to death with an ammonite fossil. The victim was a controversial figure in society because of her patronage of men of science unconstrained by the biblical account of the creation of humanity. More figures connected with the Bessingham inquiry die strange deaths. Meanwhile, Hatton and his morgue aide, Albert Roumande, also investigate the murders of several girls, all around 12 years old, whose skins bear curious pinpricks. The author fails to do her intriguing premise justice, nor does she bring Hatton and company sufficiently to life. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed September 13, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 36, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ The brutal murder of Lady Bessingham, a free thinker and leader in 1856 London society, is assigned to Inspector Adams, a rising star of Scotland Yard. He in turn calls in Professor Hatton, a pioneer in forensic science, and his assistant, Albert Roumande. The crime revolves around a missing packet of letters written by a young scientist that, if published as Lady Bessingham had planned, could radically change Victorian society. VERDICT Meredith's debut novel delves into the ugly secrets of that straight-laced time and believably renders life among the different social strata. There have been a number of extraordinarily good novels set in this time period recently. Think Michael Cox (The Meaning of Night ) meets Jonathan Barnes (The Somnambulist ). Strongly recommended for fans of historicals. --Jo Ann Vicarel (Reviewed November 1, 2010) (Library Journal, vol 135, issue 18, p49)
  • 1856. Depravity reigns from the jungles of Borneo to the drawing rooms of London. Deep in the basement of London's St. Bart's hospital, Professor Hatton and his able assistant Roumande work in the new field of forensics, which has led Scotland Yard's Inspector Adams to call on them for clues in the death of Lady Bessingham, an eccentric who courted controversy. Lying semi-naked and butchered, with an unusual scent around her, the corpse is surrounded by her collection of tribal masks from the Malay Archipelago. Unfortunately, some of her jewelry is missing, as is a cache of letters written to her by Benjamin Broderig on an expedition to Borneo. He is desperate to retrieve those letters, which question whether man evolved from beasts, a theory violently disputed with the Duke of Monreith in the House of Lords. More deaths follow: a bookseller pinned to the floor like a specimen, a radical reporter with his neck punctured and stitched up, a Cambridge don skinned and stuffed, a spate of pubescent girls. Egged on by Broderig to investigate the Duke, who has unseemly sexual proclivities, Inspector Adams, who has a few impolitic ones of his own, demurs. While Hatton and Roumande sift clues, the most telling secrets are revealed by excerpts from Broderig's correspondence with Lady Bessingham. It takes all Hatton and Roumande's skills to assign blame appropriately and settle matters with discretion. A so-so debut for forensic scientists Hatton and Roumande, with a few grisly bits and an endearing glimpse of a botanist collecting specimens in Borneo. (Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2010)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
373322
Cataloging source
UKM
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Meredith, Denise
Index
no index present
Literary form
novels
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
A Hatton & Roumonde mystery
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Forensic scientists
  • Detective and mystery stories
  • London (England)
Target audience
adult
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a Hatton and Roumonde mystery
Label
Devoured, Denise Meredith
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
000046081273
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
viii, 291p.
Form of item
regular print reproduction
Isbn
9780312557683
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
System control number
(OCoLC)653082686
Label
Devoured, Denise Meredith
Publication
Control code
000046081273
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
viii, 291p.
Form of item
regular print reproduction
Isbn
9780312557683
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
System control number
(OCoLC)653082686

Library Locations

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