Tuesday 24 October 2017

A Discovering Diamonds review of: An Oxford Scandal by Norman Russell

Amazon UK £8.99
Amazon US $8.86
Amazon CA $8.98

19th Century
Oxford and London

This is the third in Norman Russell's series involving Detective Inspector James Antrobus and his assistant Sergeant Joe Maxwell, but it can easily be read as a stand alone book.

An amazing discovery is made at an Oxford College and Professor Anthony Jardine is excited when he translates a Latin inscription. But his world falls apart when his wife is found murdered and he is arrested for the crime. Released on bail, his life is in tatters and he seeks solace in his mistress, Rachel Noble. Antrobus is about to be discharged from hospital – he has tuberculosis – and is immediately thrust into the investigation, with a little help from his friend Dr Sophia Jex-Blake (a real person, incidentally). And then Rachel is murdered and Antrobus' findings lead him to London and the connection between the two comes to light.

A decent tale, well written with nice descriptions of Oxford the way it must have been back then. I enjoyed the way the two policemen bounced ideas off each other, and, with his illness, Antrobus is not your usual gung-ho, action hero policeman.

As an aside, the cover is eye-catching and easily recognisable to those who know the city.

Recommended for readers who enjoy good detective stories

© Richard Tearle

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