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Fell The Angels
The Case of the Priory Murder
John Kerr

Robert Hale
30 June 2012 (US 1 October 2012) / ISBN-13: 9780709098386
Historical Mystery 1870s London
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Beautiful young Cecilia Castello is an unhappy woman. Her husband appears to be trying to drink himself into an early grave and he beats her. When she turns to her father, he is not keen for the marriage to dissolve; instead he sends her to Malvern to try the fashionable new water cure. There she meets the inventor of this popular innovation, Dr Gully, and has an affaire with him. When her husband dies, she is left a wealthy widow, but it is then her troubles begin once again.

This is a novel based on a celebrated Victorian murder case, although the names have been changed. I don't know the true story, so cannot say how closely this novel resembles it, but it doesn't matter as what there is makes for a good yarn. The story seems to tick most of the boxes as it involves a glamorous leading lady, scandal, a frisson of the bizarre, and elements of both the classic murder mystery and the unexpected. I didn't guess the entire outcome. and this is a pacy, well-written book that hits the ground running and gathers momentum. If you like historical crime, then this ought to appeal, doubly so because it has the ring of authenticity as presumably most of it actually happened. It would be good if this author could do another similar reworking of another true case.

Reviewed 2012