In 1899, in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Noah Whitestone is called urgently to his wealthy neighbor’s house to treat a five-year-old boy with a shocking set of symptoms. When the child dies suddenly later that night, Noah is accused by the boy’s regular physician—the powerful and politically connected Dr. Arnold Frias—of prescribing a lethal dose of laudanum.
To prove his innocence, Noah must investigate the murder—for it must be murder—and confront the man whom he is convinced is the real killer. His investigation leads him to a reporter for a muckraking magazine and a beautiful radical editor who are convinced that a secret, experimental drug from Germany has caused the death of at least five local children, and possibly many more. By degrees, Noah is drawn into a dangerous world of drugs, criminals, and politics, which threatens not just his career but also his life.
Worldbuilding: Brooklyn setting, 1899-1900. It was interesting to explore the world of medicine of those times.
Characters: Dr. Noah Whitestone was subtly funny and caring, so I liked him. I also enjoyed the fact that he was a man of honor with a keen sense of justice. I understood his motivations and actions, and liked how resilient he proved to be.
I enjoyed other characters too: Mrs. Jensen was downright adorable, Alan de Kupyer was very charming too. I really liked Miriam, the feminist gutsy independent lady of her times. It wasn’t that I disliked Maritbeth, but she seemed meh while Miriam was hot stuff.
Plot: The case of poor Willard’s death was gripping. The intrigue is more and more interesting as it builds (and well documented, which only increases its appeal). The pace of events is active enough to respect the decorum of the times of the story, if you will. Big plus for me: the historical notes at the end of the novel explaining all the facts used.
Writing: Third person, past tense narrative, Noah’s POV. His voice is nice; there’s some irony there, and he;s very polite, making his inner monologue very fun.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my historical mystery moods.
I recommend Deadly Cure to fans of conspiracy theory enthusiasts on the topic of historical big pharma, amateur sleuth stories, and there’s a bit of romance in there too so you can’t go wrong, really.
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