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The Devil's Ribbon (Hatton and Roumande Mystery, #2)
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The Devil's Ribbon (Hatton and Roumande Mystery #2)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  126 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
The second in a series of gripping, elegantly executed Victorian mysteries in the tradition of The Dante Club and The Somnambulist

London swelters in June 1858, and trouble is brewing. Scotland Yard calls on forensic scientist Adolphus Hatton and his trusty assistant, Albert Roumande to help stop a series of violent murders of seemingly unconnected people linked by the sam
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published October 25th 2011 by Macmillan
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S.J.A. Turney
Jun 27, 2013 S.J.A. Turney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Following straight on from Devoured, I waded with great excitement into Meredith’s second book. Devil’s Ribbon is a slightly different proposition from Devoured. With less exotic retrospective (Lovecraft-style) it is a much more immediate story.

Based a couple of years after the first book, Devil’s Ribbon introduces new characters that are fun, fascinating and thoroughly well-crafted. Moreover, the protagonists (Hatton and Roumande) have acquired a great deal more depth and character and have mov
Jan 29, 2017 Betty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing mystery where the obvious suspects may be guilty but the not-so-obvious suspects even more so. Nice blending of the history of the Irish famine & rebellion into coverage of the burgeoning forensic sciences. Plot line tended to bounce around a bit but pulled together at the end.
Cathy Cole
First Line: Nothing but shadows and an eerie stillness in the heat of a simmering night as a figure stoops under a lintel and makes his way quickly, through a labyrinth of alleys, before finding Berry Street and heading north along the Farringdon Road.

It is July, 1858, and Londoners are suffering through the hottest summer on record. Forensic scientist Adolphus Hatton and his assistant Albert Roumande have a morgue filled with Irish cholera victims. A decade ago these people were forced into the
Nov 27, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Hatton and Roumande Mystery series. Adolphus Hatton is a forensic scientist/pathologist and Albert Roumande is his assistant. The setting is 1858 London in July. They are in the middle of a terrible heatwave and cholera epidemic in the poorest Irish neighborhoods.

Tempers are high in England following the great famine in Ireland. It's the period of the birth of Irish nationalism and the rise of the Fenians and the Irish Brotherhood A series of violent murders erupts
Tracy Terry
My first thoughts? Beautifully presented with a pretty dust-cover and ribbon-type bookmark. Perfect given the period in which the story is rooted.

Though the second in a series of books this is a self contained story.

Set in Victorian London where a cholera outbreak is far from the only danger to be faced. The Devil's Ribbon is a rich and yet somewhat dark tapestry of a read. As educational as it is entertaining, it seamlessly combines a murder mystery with the story of the exciting and fairly n
Essie Fox
Apr 09, 2013 Essie Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Devil's Ribbon is an intriguing, well-written and artful crime mystery. It is far from generic or run of the mill, as D E Meredith deals with often hard-hitting political subjects and weaves the darkness of real historical events into this compelling narrative.
Feb 07, 2013 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bleh. In theory, I should have liked this - London setting, historical context, multiple plot lines - but it was only so-so. Too much going on to no good purpose, flat characters that didn't engage any interest, bland prose: I was skimming through the last half.
Mar 18, 2017 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. I thought the story was good. However, there were a few errors that were distracting; words missing, odd punctuation in odd places, the chopping and changing of the spelling of Addy/Addie. I had trouble visualising the people due to lack of descriptiveness. For example, I visualised Patrice as a child due to the description of him. So when there were hints at romance between Patrice and the maid it was a little odd for me. I enjoyed the book over all.
Angela Buckley
Feb 22, 2013 Angela Buckley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Devil’s Ribbon is an utterly compelling story of political intrigue and gruesome murder. The violent death of Unionist MP, Gabriel McCarthy lead Victorian pathologists, Hatton and Roumande, into complex web of Fenian politics with sinister plotting, tense confrontations and dark allegiances.

This is the second investigation for expert forensic scientist, Adolphus Hatton and his assistant, Albert Roumande. When Hatton is summoned to the house of the murdered politician, he falls under the spe
Pamela Scott
I enjoyed The Devil’s Ribbon. I thought Meredith offered a decent read. The Devil’s Ribbon is one of these in-between novels. I’ve read much better but I’ve also read a lot, lot worse. I didn’t love but enjoyed it too much to hate it.

I really enjoyed all the historical references in The Devil’s Ribbon. I have become quite a fan of historical fiction recently thanks to Hilary Mantel and Edward Rutherford. My favourite parts were all the references to Ireland’s troubled history, the conflict, the
Linda O'Donnell
The Devil's Ribbon is structured with a strong plot and the scaffolding of many interesting subplots. I've not read any other works by D.E. Meredith. The book is well-researched with timely topics of the Victorian era and the brisk dialogue reflects that. I must say that the art of the bookcover caught my eye. Oh, the pains of being so visual by nature. Give me a great cover and I'm already thumbing through it.

Hatton and Roumande are faced with a cholera epidemic in London that populates the mor
This is the second book I have read by this author. I loved this book. It deals with forensics during the Victorian era. It also shows a bit about Scotland Yard. It is hard to believe that for such a populated city that London was that twelve inspectors were supposed to handle the crime. The story also takes place during an epidemic. There is unrest in the slums,as the unions try to starve out the Irish. People with no connection are being murdered, with a green ribbon left behind. It is a fast ...more
Sinead Fitzgibbon
In The Devil’s Ribbon, the second in the Hatton and Roumande series of murder mysteries, D.E. Meredith deftly weaves a suspenseful and multi-faceted tale of political intrigue, abuses of power, long-held secrets, and insatiable bloodlust. Set just a decade after the devastating Great Famine in Ireland, and featuring a host of convincing characters, the story draws its inspiration from the long and bedevilled conflict between Ireland and the rest of Britain, an ugly and long-running drama from wh ...more
Anna Lord
Jun 07, 2016 Anna Lord rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was clear from the opening sentence that the author was going for tension, mood, and pace, which they achieved admirably, therefore the dodgy grammar (apparently something often levelled at DEM) did not worry me in the least, and I am usually a stickler. I loved the authenticity of this book and the dialogue which propelled it along at a million miles an hour. The ending left me scratching my head, though it did not detract from my enjoyment one whit. Authors do NOT have an obligation to fulf ...more
Feb 16, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devoured was a fine introduction to Victorian forensic scientist Professor Adolphus Hatton and his assistant in the morgue Albert Roumande. This second novel, The Devil's Ribbon, however, is superb. Deeply atmospheric, you can almost feel yourself walking the dangerous streets of London's poorest streets, or taking tea in the parlours of Highgate. The horror and pain of Ireland's Potato Famine of the mid 19th century hangs over proceedings as Hatton and Roumande investigate a series of murders i ...more
Tracey Walsh
Mar 10, 2013 Tracey Walsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable, informative and exhilarating read. As someone who failed History O' Level, the fact that I have now been inspired to find out more about some dark days in Irish history surprises me - but my lack of knowledge prior to reading The Devil's Ribbon was shameful.

I enjoyed being reunited with Professor Hatton & Monsieur Roumande and learning more about what makes them tick, having enjoyed the previous book, Devoured, so much.

Finally, to add to the "Paper vs e-book" debate, the copy o
Suzie Grogan
Feb 15, 2013 Suzie Grogan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been lucky enough to read this just before the launch in the UK in preparation for interviewing the author and I have thoroughly enjoyed the dark mix of history and whodunnit. It is a thrilling murder mystery set against a backdrop of the Irish unrest in mid-Victorian London - the rookeries of St Giles and the Limehouse docks teeming with poverty stricken families and firebrand priests and journalists.

Hatton and Roumande, a team at the forefront of forensic science are drafted in to assis
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Although The Devil’s Ribbon is Book #2 in the Hatton & Roumande series, I haven’t read the first book and still found that Book #2 works just fine as a stand-alone novel.

It’s 1858 and London is experiencing a nasty cholera outbreak among its poorest residents, the Irish. No one knows what causes cholera, although there are a lot of theories floating around so no one knows how to stop it until it’s run its course. The Irish had come to London in droves w
Although I had some reservations about Devoured, the first in this series, I am glad that I borrowed the second as it was stronger in terms of its pacing while retaining a highly detailed sense of the period setting and a cast of fascinating characters.

Here Meredith tackles the thorny issue of the conflict between the British and Irish as played out in Victorian London with a series of deaths with seemingly political motives. The conclusion came as a real surprise, which is always a treat, and
Val Sanford
Great material, ingenious story and terrible dialogue. A compassionate pathologist and his innovative partner work and research in the morgue of a London hospital. Corpses are purchased fresh from the hangman and delivered by the police. It is mid19th century England. Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone, Charles Dickens and Darwin are household names. And the Irish have fled from famine and disease, brutally "aided" by the British. A spoiled and corrupt Scotland Yard Inspector, a beautiful wido ...more
Oct 07, 2012 April rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this Hatton and Roumande mystery set in London in the mid-1800s to be both graphically unsettling and somewhat tedious. The author seems to linger lovingly over descriptions of decaying corpses, of which there are many, given that Hatton's profession is coroner. The characters are also not incredibly likeable either....Hatton is full of anger and judgement, whereas the police lieutenant (Gray) he is forced to work with is, at different times, foppish and appallingly violent. The setting ...more
Although I enjoyed this better than the first in the series and it received wonderful reviews, once again, there was something about the novel that just didn't grip me. The pacing is a little slower than I like and some of the supporting characters (i.e.: the Inspector) just annoyed me, but I think that was intentional. Other than that, I liked the two main characters, early forensics should be compelling, and Victorian England is one of my favorite historical settings...and I still can't love t ...more
AA Palliser
Jan 02, 2012 AA Palliser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying the second outing by DE. Im drawn into the twists and turns of is dark, and forensic gold mine. I enjoy this writer.. She never overwrites, and the characters are never one dimensional. Unlike authors such as Cornwell, this book is rich and multilayered. No silly scientific acronyms here. Just a ripping mystery, with smart turns and fantastics twists. Policital and well reasearched,and the relationship between Hatton and Roumanade is always entertaining! I would love to see t ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Danielle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i was a bit disappointed with this story. I found it difficult to focus on the story because of a number of egregious grammatical errors throughout the story and, although that's probably the fault of the editing crew, it slowed down the story when I was hitting so many unfinished sentences and half phrases. The mystery felt rather slow compared to what I was expecting, and I ended up skipping large sections just so I could get to the end and see who the murderer was.
Rachel Nowakowski
Just finished this book and really liked it. I really had no idea about the events of the potato famine in Ireland but the way this story is written really demonstrates how terrible it must have been and how the Irish have a perfect right to hate the English. I loved the relationship between the french Roumande and the terribly english Hatton. They are a great pair. Surprised at the end and who the perp turned out to be. Will look forward to reading more.
Jan 31, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
finished. 1/31/12. my rating. 4
Jacky Rossi
Good plot line, set against backdrop of British rule in Ireland and the Great Famine. Main events are, I believe, historically based woven into fictional characters seeking revenge. Very readable.
Jul 27, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting setting and premise. Good characters and plot.
Matthew Ogborn
Feb 07, 2012 Matthew Ogborn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classy cabal of characters which had me hooked from the outset, the plot slowly revealing itself until the atmospheric finale. Shall seek out the next
Georgia Lengyel
Apr 02, 2014 Georgia Lengyel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second book in the series, was better than the first. I never figured out who the killer/killers were.
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Q&A with D.E. Mer...: The Devil’s Ribbon Book Club 1 5 Oct 18, 2011 11:45AM  
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D. E. Meredith is the author of the HATTON AND ROUMANDE historical crime series: DEVOURED (Book One), THE DEVIL'S RIBBON (Book Two) feature the first forensic scientist, Professor Adolphus Hatton, and his trusty French morgue assistant, Albert Roumande.

After reading English at Cambridge, D. E. Meredith ran the press office at the British Red Cross, where she oversaw media response all internation
More about D.E. Meredith...

Other Books in the Series

Hatton and Roumande Mystery (2 books)
  • Devoured

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