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Murder at the Natural History Museum
Museum Mysteries – Book V
BY Jim Eldridge

Allison and Busby
20 August 2020/ ASIN: B085149PSB

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


Late summer 1895: Daniel Wilson and his partner Abigail Fenton have been hired by the Natural History Museum to discover why somebody has destroyed a dinosaur skeleton. The museum is shortly going to put on an exhibition and wants the matter cleared up quickly, but when a visiting Bram Stoker finds the body of a museum attendant, things take a turn for the serious. It all seems to lead to a rather shady connection with America’s infamous Bone Wars, or does it?
The pair delve into their most baffling (and in my opinion most impressive) case yet in this fifth entry. This is a case that unfolds gradually, with many red herrings and suspects. Just when it looks as though it is wrapped up new clues emerge that send the sleuths racing off in a different direction; surely the mark of a really good, twisty mystery. We are now familiar with the detectives who are a couple that have their differences but are mercifully free of the usual “battle of the sexes” snipping dialogues that most fictional couples engage in. This is not a romance and everything takes a backseat to the actual detecting, and apart from the odd anachronism (mention of a slow cooker made me smile!) we are firmly in the 1890s. Several historical people appear, and the book’s most memorable scene is when the pair interview Oscar Wilde in prison. Usually if he appears in a novel he is depicted in his prime, but here he is shown as a broken man near the end of his life. It is a chilling reminder of our laws in the past and makes the reader think how, in many ways, the past truly is a different country. This is a series that keeps on getting better and better, and I hope it runs for a good long time.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020