Oxford 1895: Workmen are
installing a new boiler and find a mysterious coffin in a
sealed underground vault. An inscription seems to imply that
these could be the missing bones of St. Thomas à Becket,
a find that would have important consequences for the college.
One of the tutors is Anthony Jardine, who divides his private
life between his wife Dora and mistress Rachel. When Dora
is found murdered, it looks as though Anthony is the culprit,
but Inspector Antrobus thinks otherwise…
I have long been a fan of Mr. Russell’s work; if you
enjoy imaginative Victorian gothic mysteries you will too.
This is the third in his latest series set in Oxford during
the 1890s and, like all this author’s work, manages
to suck the reader in from the first page and not let go.
He is adept at creating a scene in a few words and brings
to life the world of academe, rife with petty jealousies,
old secrets and sins casting long shadows. The answer to the
murders lies in the past and the story grows and changes as
the pages turn. To its detriment this is not a difficult case
to solve, but a lot of the fun lies in the chase and also
in catching up with the sleuths. These include the consumptive
Antrobus to the real-life figure of pioneer female doctor
Sophia Jax-Blake. I hope this won’t be the last in this
series, which has enough material to run for some time. Highly
recommended, but it helps to have read the first two in the
and An Oxford Anomaly.
of other titles in this series
An Oxford Anomaly