A Murderous Malady by Christine Trent

A Murderous Malady is the second installment of the Florence Nightingale Mysteries series. I must confess that I’ve not read first, though after reading this one, I surely will. The author blends fact and fiction marvelously, as she depicts a tale in which Florence Nightingale(Flo) is not only a nursing and medical research icon, but also an astute an excellent detective. It is such a clever idea to construct Nightingale as an investigator. As a nurse myself, I found the idea very intriguing.


“The London summer of 1854 is drawing to a close when a deadly outbreak of cholera and grips the city. Florence Nightingale is back on the scene marshaling her nurses to help treat countless suffering patients at Middlesex Hospital as the disease tears through the Soho slums. But beyond the dangers of the disease, something even more evil is seeping through the evening streets of London.

It begins with an attack on the carriage of Florence’s friend, Elizabeth Herbert, wife to Secretary at War Sidney Herbert. Florence survives, but her coachman does not. Within hours, Sidney’s valet stumbles into the hospital, mutters a few cryptic words about the attack, and promptly dies from cholera. Frantic that an assassin is stalking his wife, Sidney enlists Florence’s help, who accepts but has little to go on save for the valet’s last words and a curious set of dice in his jacket pocket. Soon, the suspects are piling up faster than the cholera victims, as there seems to be no end to the number of people who bear a grudge against the Herbert household.

Now, Florence is in a race against time -not only to save the victims of a lethal disease, but to boil a murderer with a disturbingly sinister goal- in a A Murderous Malady.”

I love this book! The writing and articulation made me feel as if I had somehow fallen back in time. Trent certainly knows her history or has done lots of research. If you love Downton Abbey and mystery this is the book for you.

Told from Florence’s perspective, this seems in accurate depiction of what her thoughts and demeanor might have been for the time period. The vernacular, customs, and manners of that era are realistically portray throughout the book. Though Trent does implement some historical license with actual timelines, I found it unerring otherwise. One can certainly appreciate the authors’s eloquent writing talent. Her proficiency bring an authentic voice to the narrative.

Overall the plot is engaging in the characters a well-developed. I was engrossed in this book from the beginning to the end. The story wraps up nicely, leaving the reader both satisfied, and eager to see what Trent may have in store for Flo. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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