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The Butchered Man (The Northminster Mysteries #1)

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  539 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
England, 1840. Police surgeon Felix Carswell enters a murky world of professional gamblers and jilted lovers to solve the case of the Butchered Man.
Paperback, 364 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Silverwood Books (first published November 2nd 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Marina Boteva
Not the best of books, but good non the less.

I cannot say that I loved the book. The story was nice and the characters were good, but I somehow expected more. I don't know if it is because of the title of the book, but I expected something more like Jack the Ripper, and it was more like Barnaby living in the time of Sherlock.

Probably the only thing that kept me reading was my curiosity. That and the fact that the language of the book was impeccable. I am in awe to Harriet Smart for the way she
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Leona Grace
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This turned out to be far better than I thought it would be. At times it seemed to be set earlier in historical times, but then it all fell into place. Lovely characters and I really appreciated the way the author handed out little snippets of background info about them without being heavy-handed or 'telling'.

A lovely, enjoyable read.
Jakky
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this good old-fashioned murder mystery. Set in 1840, there are no computers, cell phones or GPS trackers. No DNA testing. Just good ol' fallible common sense, deduction and judgment. It was so satisfying a read that I immediately downloaded the second book in the series!
Jayne dArcy
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Great mystery from the 19th century!

Felix Carswell is a physician but he practices newer methods that are often frowned upon. Felix has a secret that threatens his independence and makes of him an often taciturn young man.

Giles Vernon, chief constable, brings in the young physician at the urging of one Lord Rothborough. Giles is an older gentleman who finds his passion stirred by a local woman in charge of a school for wayward women.

The two men are practically thrown together when the bod
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Deborah Whipp
Historical mystery taking place mid-19th century in Northminster, and featuring a young police surgeon paired with an established Chief Constable to solve a local murder. Honestly, it was just a little too grungy for me and didn't much connect with or like any of the characters.
Zev Valera
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a long while since I read a book that kept me up past two o'clock in the morning - reading by the glow of my iPad with my husband snoring lightly beside me and a cat sleeping on my chest. Everything about The Butchered Man was executed perfectly to grab the reader's attention and hold it until the last page. I was most impressed by the way Ms. Smart incorporated the main characters' back stories so seamlessly, naturally into the plot - something rarely done in so many of the mystery ...more
Cyndi Fowles
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The butchered man

I could not put this book down. I was transported backwards in time and held captive by the story as it unfolded.
This is a new author for me. But I will be reading the remainder of the series.
This is a series that should be adopted by PBS or the BBC. It has the potential to be skillfully brought to the small screen and warmly received by the public.
The characters are complex and yet vividly fleshed out. The mystery has several different twists and is well organized. There is rom
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Noella Allisen
Oh this book took such a long time to grab me. I really wanted to like it but found myself getting more and more annoyed with the author's writing style - especially the way she kept referring to the characters in so many ways...their first name, or maybe their last, or maybe their title...I had trouble remembering who the author was talking about. The story line was good but stories set in England just do not do it for me so I won't be looking to read anymore of them.
edifanob
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2016-reads
Introduction
Welcome to the review of a crime mystery set in early years of the Victorian era.
I know that life for people at the bottom of the hierarchy was no bed of roses especially for women and children. Upper class ladies faced another enemy: boredom and paternalism. On the other hand it was a time of invention and progress. Police work were in one's infancy. It is the mix of all the ingredients which fascinate me. Of course this has an influence on what I expect on crime and/or mystery nove
...more
ChristineStraut
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down!

Delightfully different take on Elizabethan England! Intriguing murder plot and very human characters. A sideways look at the periods mores and societies hypocritical attitudes. Very enjoyable reading.
Tom
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great murder mystery story set in the early Victorian period. I enjoyed the characterisations and narrative style along with the vivid descriptions of the Victorian underbelly, another author I will be looking to read again.
Susan
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1840 Northminister and doctor Felix Carswell and his new superior Chief Constable Giles Vernon investigate the death of a body found in a ditch.
Well-written, lovely characters and setting, with a decent mystery means I will be reading the next in the series.
Martin Watts
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like Barchester with murder.

Major Vernon of the newly formed North minster Constabulary and his newly appointed police surgeon are investigating the murder of a popular member of the Cathedral chapter but while checking the multitude of motives another case continually intrudes.
Judy
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery set in England in the early Victorian era. The characters were well drawn and appealing, although flawed, and the mystery was well plotted. I immediately downloaded the next in the series to continue to follow the process of Major Vernon and the young doctor.
Philip Reiter
Poor editing job. Maybe the combination of writing and editing.
However, interesting story of early police, 1840's, and forensic doctor joining forces to solve a crime. The story moves along, decently developed along with well-done character development. Worth a matinee read.
Ken Hines
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slow at the start but after that a great read

I enjoyed the characters and the time period. A lot of mysterious things going on in the North minister. I will enjoy this series
Mickie
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice Victorian crime mystery

Fast moving story. Does deal with sensitive subjects but does so carefully. Well developed characters with complex backgrounds and personalities.
F M Smith
Enjoyable Read

A very few typo and editing errors but a minor consideration. Good characterisation and well written, I would read more in the series.
Emmaa22
Murder mystery in 1840s England. Interesting characters, with a tangled tale with plenty of twists and nice touches of social commentary.
Mary Pat
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
he wasn't using reason

very enjoyable mystery full of confusion about motives and intents. Hope this is only the first of a good series.
Pat
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I liked this.

At times I was tired of it, but in the end I read it all, except a few pages, and found it good. I shall read another in the series.
Renee Yancy
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Jacki Quairry
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Good!

I read quite a bit and found this book held my interest throughout...to the point I could not put it down!
Gail Newman
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intrigue and mystery at its best

This book has twists and turns that kept you speculating until the end Great story and interesting characters keep you guessing till the end
IndieHeart
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy detective novels/mysteries or historical fiction
The Butchered Man is a nice start to Harriet Smart’s Victorian era detective series, The Northminster Mysteries. Set in the mid-1800s, the story focuses on the main characters of Major Giles Vernon and Dr. Felix Carswell as they sort out the events leading up to the murder of the initially unidentified man they nicknamed “Harlequin”.

Harlequin’s body was found at a local building site, dumped after a vicious murder and mutilation. Once they identify him, they are inexorably drawn into the web of
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Mary Morris
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twists and Turns

Throughout this story. The characters of Felix and Major Vernon are likeable because of their compassion and their flaws. The mystery is well thought out and plausible.
Annette
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really well written book.

We first meet Felix. He is a young doctor who has been hired to be a police surgeon. His duties will include taking care of policemen, their families and other people referred by certain city leaders. Felix is the “natural” son of a nobleman, Lord Rothborough, who wants to become more involved in Felix's life. Felix is resisting that relationship because he has adopted parents whom he loves. Felix also wants to create a life for himself by using his skill and
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Patricia
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-mystery
"And did those feet in ancient time . . .And was Jerusalem builded here Among those dark satanic mills?"
words from a poem by William Blake and a few lines from the hymn "Jerusalem" the unofficial national anthem of England. These words sprang to mind as I read this delightful tale.

In 1840 Major Giles Vernon of the Northminster police and a young doctor, Felix Carswell make a good team, an unlikely pair but effective. Both are men of science and logic--Giles wants hard evidence for a murder inves
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Ann
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Felix Carswell, the illegitimate son of a noble, is a young doctor who tries to make a living for himself. He begins working for Major Vernon, the police chief. The mutilated body of a man is discovered and Felix is called to examine the body and to assist Major Vernon in solving the crime.

The book is very descriptive and you can see the dirty side of Victorian England. The author describ ed in detail the filthy pubs, the farms and back rooms in the village, and the local school for wayward girl
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P.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little bit better than OK. The beginning is pretty good. While you are thrown into the middle of things, they get sorted out quickly and the characters are fairly interesting. Then the muddle of a plot arrives and goes from messy to worse as everyone seems to have dire secrets etc etc. while the end tests believably and fails. It is too long, with extended forays into the sex lives of the two leads, well most everyone really, which is fraught rather than interesting. An OK read but not much mo ...more
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Other Books in the Series

The Northminster Mysteries (5 books)
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