I picked this book up at the library because the cover intrigue me. I love a good Victorian mystery novel and I was not disappointed!
This story takes place in Edinburg 1892. Our heroine is Sarah Gilchrist. A former lady of society she is now studying to become a doctor at the University of Edinburgh.
Sarah is fighting to overcome her past, her family and the prejudice of society. She was attacked by a so-called gentleman and raped. Unfortunately that meant she was in disgrace, reputation in tatters and family dishonoured. Her family ship her off to a sanatorium to recover.
Turning despair into hope Sarah uses her situation to travel to Edinburgh to stay with her Aunt and Uncle. It gives her the opportunity to enroll at University and volunteer at a clinic set up by a female doctor. This clinic is run in the poorest area and Sarah sees a lot of suffering.
At University she is shunned by the other girls and bullied by another woman who knew her in London. Her Aunt and Uncle disapprove of her education and try to find her a husband. .
One of these unfortunates appears on her dissecting lab days after being diagnosed as pregnant in the clinic. Sarah is horrified. The young girl is recorded as a suicide but Sarah recognises the bruising associated with restraints. She knows this girl did not commit suicide.
What follows is a romp through Edinburgh as Sarah tries to track down the culprit who murdered this young people. It leads her to many unexpected places and helps her to come to terms with aspects of her own situation. Full of misunderstandings, adventure and revelations we are treated to a wonderful tale of murder and mystery.
I believe this is supposed to be the start of a series. I would definitely welcome a continuation of Sarah’s story.
This book highlights the prejudice women suffered during the Victorian era and I really enjoyed having a woman as the heroine rather than a supplementary character.
The mystery itself was good, even if the resolution left you a little deflated. The ending felt a little rushed. The book built the suspense of who killed the woman. Full of red herrings and suspects. At the end it was a little ‘it was this person, they’re dead, the end.’ I didn’t feel full satisfied.
However, I really enjoyed this novel overall. I would definitely continue reading this as a series. I really love the main character, Sarah. She is really well written and developed as a character. You really care about her at the end of the book. To me, that is the sing of a good story.
This is one for your winter reading list. Best enjoyed curled up with your favourite hot drink!
Get it here: Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh
Have you read the Wages of Sin? Let me know what you think below!