Medium Dead: An Alexandra Gladstone Mystery by Paula Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Title: Medium Dead
Author: Paula Paul
Series: Dr. Alexandra Gladstone, #4
Date: April 14, 2015
Sure to delight readers of Jacqueline Winspear and Ellis Peters, Medium Dead features Queen Victoria herself—and she’s rumored to have slain a local psychic in Newton-upon-Sea. Now the task of clearing her name and catching the real killer falls to Dr. Alexandra Gladstone.
Under Victoria’s reign, women are barred from calling themselves physicians, but that hasn’t stopped Alexandra Gladstone. As the first female doctor in Newton-upon-Sea, she spends her days tending sick villagers in the practice she inherited from her father, with her loyal and sometimes overprotective dog, Zack, by her side.
After the corpse of village spiritualist Alvina Elwold is discovered aboveground at a church boneyard, wild rumors circulate through the charming seaside village, including one implicating a certain regal guest lodging nearby. Tales of the dead Alvina hobnobbing with spirits and hexing her enemies are even more outlandish—but as a woman of science and reason, Alexandra has no doubt that a murderer made of flesh and blood is on the loose.
Finding out the truth means sorting through a deluge of ghostly visitors, royal sightings, and shifty suspects. At least her attentive and handsome friend Nicholas Forsyth, Lord Dunsford, has come to her aid. Alexandra will need all the help she can get, because she’s stumbled upon dangerous secrets—while provoking a deadly adversary who wants to keep them buried.
This is the fourth of the Dr. Alexandra Gladstone series, but it is the first one I have read. I rarely (okay, NEVER) read books out of order, but I made the commitment to review this book before I realized it was part of a series. I’m glad I did. There is enough backstory that I did not feel I was missing something that kept me from understanding and enjoying to book. And yes, I most definitely enjoyed the book.
There were a couple of things I would like to find out from the previous books though. One, what, if any, relationship was there between Alexandra and Nicholas before he became the Earl? And two, where did Alexandra get Zack the dog and why does Zack hate Nicholas? There has to be something going on there.
Anyway, as anyone with a passing interest in Queen Victoria knows, she was deeply in love with her late husband Prince Albert. So much so, that she delved into mysticism and mediums to try to contact him from the grave.
Well it just so happens that there is a medium living in the town where Alexandra is a doctor. The Queen arranges to spend time with Nicholas’ mother in order to consult the medium . . . and the medium ends up murdered the very next day.
Now let me say, the medium wasn’t very likable and won’t be missed, but murder is murder and the culprit must be found.
But could it really be the Queen? And if it is, does anyone expect her to be held accountable for her actions?
Speaking of unlikable characters, I don’t like the Queen. I don’t like the butler. And I really don’t like the Earl’s mother.
But I love Alexandra and Nicholas and I really like Alexandra’s maidservant Nancy. Nancy is bossy and can even take Alexandra by surprise with her managing ways.
The relationship between Nicholas and Alexandra is understated, but still the affection between them is obvious. Nancy and Alexandra grew up together and even though they are servant and mistress, they are also family. It is these relationships that are the backbone of the story, but the mystery itself is well handled.
I have to say I didn’t see it coming.
I should have. The hints were there, but it was handled so well I was completely surprised.
I guess you can’t compliment a mystery better than that.
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.