Sunday, March 13, 2011

Inspector Monk continued

Read in March 2011

I am hooked on these books. I have a Monk on my back. I had decided to take a break from them so as to not get burned out, but I keep on going.

A Sudden, Fearful Death
A "Crimea nurse" (one of Florence Nightingale's nurses from the Crimean War) is murdered in a hospital. Callandra Daviot, Inspector Monk's friend and business partner just happens to be on the hospital board. She enlists the help of Monk to investigate the crime. Of course, she also arranges for Hester Latterly, also a Crimea nurse, to obtain a job in the hospital so that she can get inside information.

Once again, Monk takes a back seat to Hester in the story. She is the one who finds the crucial bit of information that solves the crime. Much of the novel also involves a trial and the defense attorney, Oliver Rathbone. Monk is described as as a brilliant detective, but I have yet to see it. Still, I like his character. Little by little we find out more about his forgotten past. And, little by little, we see his relationship with Hester changing and becoming stronger.

Which brings me to The Sins of the Wolf. Hester is accused of murder and the circumstantial evidence is pretty strong. However, it is just circumstantial evidence. I would love to read a book about the justice system in Victorian England. In each of these books people are suspected of crimes and arrested for reasons that are purely conjecture.
In Hester's case, however, assuming her to be guilty seems to be a natural assumption.
Of course, Monk investigates the case. Oliver Rathbone, is her barrister. But, he can't defend her in court because the trial is being held in Scotland where the crime took place.

Hester and Monk grow even closer in this book. With Hester's life in danger, Monk realizes how much he cares for her. The problem is, so does Oliver Rathbone! Who will she choose? Alas, I already know because I had read a much later Monk novel a few summers ago.

I'm ready for the next book. It's sitting on the shelf in my office. Not tired of them yet.

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