Edinburgh Dusk (Ian Hamilton Mysteries #2)Edinburgh Dusk by Carole Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A new author for me and I was delighted with this book. It is #2 in a series but I had no issues with it as a standalone novel.
The author, Carole Lawrence, is American but through research and consultation with a Scottish expert, she captures the very essence of Edinburgh and its inhabitants at the time of the setting which is late 19th Century.
It is a wonderful whodunnit detective story with the denouement a fitting and apt end to the tale; I say no more on that to avoid a spoiler.
The characters are great and well fleshed-out. They range from DI Hamilton himself, a thinking, sensitive policeman with his own demons through to Derek, the street urchin who is an informant for both police and newspaper. There are many in between characters, not least the strong female characters ranging from a doctor to nurses and fallen women.
The book is littered with literary references and the author uses them to great, and sometimes, comical effect. She even has a character called Arthur Conan Doyle. Indeed, the entire book is reminiscent of some of the Sherlock Holmes works by that author. I did note the use of the word “fiend” on a few occasions which I believe was a literary reference to those famous books, as it’s not a word I expect to see in contemporary fiction.
On the same topic, the author also touches on the sexuality of DI Hamilton’s brother. It wasn’t done gratuitously in my opinion, though it formed no part of the plot. Instead it got me thinking about the sexuality of DI Hamilton himself and his relationship in the book with the fictional Arthur Conan Doyle who in the book is a medical doctor – a deliberate reversal of roles? A budding Sherlock Holmes the medical man (Watson) and DI Hamilton the sleuth?
The plot is excellent and is told at a steady pace. It starts off with a man found dead – poisoned. He appears to be the first victim of a series of poisonings but with different poisons. DI Hamilton works hard through all the possible and baffling scenarios with his trusty Sergeant at his side. Eventually he cracks the case in a literally dramatic finale to this wonderful book.
Ms. Lawrence is one talented writer. Highly recommended.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley. I was under no obligation to review it and all opinions are my own.

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