So what's not to love. We have a doctor who is just trudging along, be set by a large amount of burdens from his fathers debts to his divorce. We have a setting which is not the fast paced Londinium, but Deva, (Chester) a little out of the way, a little backwoodsy, a little slow.
But this book opens so well. A coroners inquest, so we have a body, right at page one. But hey, this is the back end of the empire. Who cares.
No one, and that is part of the problem that holds this back from getting a better rating from me. We have a wonderful world we see in glimpses, but then a lot of time is spent at the scene of the crime. Too much time. So now we have the red herrings of who did the murder and why.
And still no one really cares. It is just a little academic challenge to disguise that the author has a love story she would rather be telling. Then in the notes we find out that some of the historical part of our our historical mystery is made up. Our hero has been worrying and trying to get a posting as Chief Medical Officer, often acronymed in the book. CMO. When he gets the CMO slot, his debts will be solved.
We are given a great foil against his ability to achieve this, and the author stops this line. Then says there is no rank scheme that really covers what she has made up. So reading once will be enough. If the history was true, a return might be warranted, but it this is a fiction that could be more science fiction then historical.