Amy Corwin's Reviews > Hue and Cry

Hue and Cry by Shirley Mckay
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's review
Jan 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-mystery
Read from January 10 to 26, 2012

I'm about half-way through so far. I'm enjoying it although there are some sentences I've had to skip because I couldn't quite figure out what was meant. Not a lot, though, and not enough to ruin the story.

Now that I'm done, I have to say I enjoyed it, although it was a little on the longish side. It reminded me, however, of the challenges of historical novels in that when characters such as the doctor are true to their time and start talking about "balancing the humours in a body" to make them well, it's so frustrating. You want to shake the character and tell them to wake up and realize that bleeding someone almost to death isn't doing them any big favors. You'd have thought that experience alone would have taught them that well before the middle of the 19th century, but I guess that's why the "scientific method" we take for granted today was such a brilliant new innovation when it finally occured to someone in the 19th century. LOL

Not to go off on a tangent, you understand, but the obscure, off-the-wall theories humans used to believe "way back when" is one of the things that can drive you crazy, particularly in a historical novel. It's really hard to identify with a character whose mindset is so different and superstitous. Fortunately, the doctor is only a minor character and the main character is of a very different sort with a modern enough view on life to make the reader care about him and identify with him.

I was not particularly surprised at the end, but that didn't affect my overall pleasure with the book.
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