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A Deadly Affection

(Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,377 ratings  ·  257 reviews
In 1907 New York, a psychiatrist must prove her patient's innocence...or risk being implicated in a shocking murder

As one of the first women practicing in an advanced new field of psychology, Dr. Genevieve Summerford is used to forging her own path. But when one of her patients is arrested for murder-a murder Genevieve fears she may have unwittingly provoked-she is forced
Paperback, 445 pages
Published September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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With sincere appreciation to Edelweiss, publisher Sourcebooks and Author, Cuylor Overholt for providing this e-galley for my enjoyment and review.
Published September 6, 2016

The Hook - In my life before the library I was an LPN, leaving me with a natural interest in books with medical themes. Early exploration of psychiatry, the field of women in medicine were certainly factors in choosing A Deadly Affection. The clincher in the end is that the author, Cuylor Overholt is a Connecticut Author. Ho
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of A Deadly Affection through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark and to Cuyler Overholt for the opportunity.

"Higher education enlarged the brain and stunted the bodies of female students."

This certainly was the general thinking of the masses in January of 1907. Breaking through these walls of faulty thinking, especially dominated by males, was a daunting task by the females of the day. It took a strong intellect, a will of iron, and a feisty dispo
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm not going to finish this. I find it gratingly unbelievable.

Beware: this is a thoroughly curmudgeonly review. I wouldn't usually review a book I left pretty early, but I wish someone had warned me before I got this far. If this helps another picky, cantankerous reader, that's my intent. If you're a more generous reader, or one more easily immersed in light storytelling despite what might to some be superficial shortcomings, no need to read on.

The setting is 1907 NYC. The protagonist is a fe
I was very pleased to discover that A Deadly Affection did cross so many genres and was such a comfortably entertaining reading experience, as promised by my reliable GR sources. Featuring Dr. Genevieve Summerford as a psychotherapist in this brand new field of medicine in 1907, author Cuyler Overholt's debut mystery launches the determined young doctor in her quest to save her patient from a murder charge.

Overholt cleverly fictionalizes the grand pretentiousness of the New York elite, during t
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
A traditional "who done it" without all the traditional trappings. I was stunned at the big reveal. (I never saw it coming) This was very well written, complex and held my interests. I finished it in a day and half and am anxious to start the next installment of the series; a rarity for me when it comes to mysteries. I usually read the first and never move onto the second.

I have only one minor quibble. I felt it dragged a bit in the middle, but the ending more than made up for it.
Annette Hallowell
A great read for anyone who likes historical mysteries. The city and the people come to life in the pages of the book. I was hooked early on and felt compelled to continue reading as the story developed. I was thoroughly invested in the characters and the outcome of the story. The conflict between the classes during the early 1900's along with the twist of a woman in medicine (psychology) was a fascinating new look at the time period. I am looking forward to a series as I was left wanting more. ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

An interesting start to a new series featuring single, 26 year old (I think) Genevieve Summerford who is just starting out in her practice as a psychotherapist in 1906 New York. Having worked hard to succeed in school in what was a mostly male dominated field, Genevieve is certain she has what it takes to help those suffering from emotional and psychic pains. When one of Genevieve's new patients is arrested for murder hard on the heels of a heartfelt discussion with her, she begins to q
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I'd give this 3 1/2 stars and think it could have been a little shorter. There is a lot of discussion about different medical situations and while some of it was necessary to the story, some of the medical details could have been edited out. It did take me some time to get into the story but it really flies at the end.

That said, I did enjoy reading this book and life in the early 1900s especially when it came to medical treatment and the beginnings of group therapy. There is discussion about Hun
Rarely do I read books that I enjoy as much as I enjoyed this one. Dr. Genevieve Summerford is a doctor of scientific psychotherapy. She has just begun a new program where she will be working with women who are suffering physical maladies with no known cause, all of whom have suffered traumatic emotional losses. Genna has made it her goal to assist them in becoming functional and maybe even happy again. Her sponsor Professor Dr. Bogard believes her program presents an exciting new opportunity, w ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, arc, netgalley
I enjoyed this turn-of-the-century mystery novel featuring a spunky female Doctor as our heroine. At this point in history, this was rare and females weren't afforded the same respect and privileges as male doctors.

Dr Genevieve Summerford specializes in "psychotherapy" or what will later be the mental health field. She herself lived through a traumatic family event as a child, and feels she might help other women who have endured tragedy and emotional loss in their own families. She begins rudi
One of the best mysteries I have read this year. I loved the early twentieth century New York setting of the book - if you love Edith Wharton's New York, you'll enjoy the atmosphere. The story does not shy away from complexity in the characters and plot and it showcases both the progress and lack thereof that we have made in medical science over the past century. Highly recommend this for lovers of historical fiction. ...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
I'm always game for a great historical fiction mystery so I was eager to read author Cuyler Overholt's debut novel set in early 1900's New York City. The story follows a young female psychologist, Miss Genevieve Summerford, as she tries to prove the innocence of one of her patients following a brutal murder.

NYC in 1907 is brought to life with vivid detail which includes the conflict between the social classes and the restrictions placed on women, especially within the field of medicine. As a fe
Genevieve Summerford was such an interesting character, and her past pulled at my heartstrings. She is passionate and truly ahead of her time. She has been granted permission to meet with a group of women who suffer from illnesses that Genevieve believes are a manifestation of their emotional state. All have suffered a significant loss. During her first meeting, she advises a young woman. Said woman is arrested the next morning for the murder of her doctor. Genevieve worries her advice provoked ...more
I would like to thank Edelweiss, Sourcebooks Landmark Publishing, and Culyer Overholt for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. This book falls into many genre groups. Medical, crime, historical mystery, and even suspenseful romance. New York City-1900's and psychiatrist Dr. Genna Summerford initiates a new medical program-"injuries of the mind" in hopes to help heal woman who have suffered a terrible loss. This tale has a similar feel as to The Knick television show. Fasci ...more
Jaime Feinman
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction and this author really did an amazing job of bringing 1900's NYC to life. For those who know the city well, it feels like a precious experience for those places we pass by and take for granted every day. ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved it! NYC 1900s, medicine, women's rights, mystery, humor, a good read with lots to learn about that era. ...more
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mon avis en Français

My English review

Most of you don’t know that but I always wanted to become a psychiatrist and I even tried two years of medicine for it. The competition being what it is in France, I was not able to complete this course and I finally did chemistry (not great similarities, I know). But when I saw that the story staged a psychiatrist, a time in the early twentieth century and of course an investigation at the same time, I admit that I could not resist and I am very happy!

Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Do no harm is easier said than done."
This book is my first giveaway win ever! And boy I loved every word of it! I devoured it in just 2 days but was occupied and couldn't sit down to write a review the book deserves. But I am here now so let's get down to business shall we?

Our protagonist Dr.Summerford, is a psychiatrist in the early 1907's where women are still considered the frail sex. I instantly fell in love with doctor. Her courage, knowledge and kindness is commendable.
In the early s
I found this novel just OK. In all fairness, I was reading it at a time when I wasn't really focused on my reading, and perhaps at a different time I would have liked it more. Form the synopsis I would have predicted that I'd enjoy the book, but the heroine wasn't quite believable and I wasn't at all drawn into the story by the time I was half-way through. I didn't finish the novel in time for a scheduled book club discussion, and felt no compulsion to complete it when it was no longer "required ...more
Stacie  Haden
Historical mysteries are usually my favorite, but this one was unnecessarily descriptive, especially with inner dialogue. It could have/should have been 100 pages shorter.
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
A Deadly Affection isn't the best historical mystery I've read. See Anna Lee Huber, C. S. Harris, or Lyndsay Faye for better examples of the genre. Yet, this was still enjoyable despite a lean toward anachronism with huge coincidences and leaps in logic used to solve the mystery. Set in 1907, Overholt takes the reader into the world of turn of the century New York and Dr. Genevieve Summerford, a female licensed medical doctor who is choosing to practice in the emerging field of psychology, speci ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I began this book I expected it to be fairly light reading, but found there is a great deal to digest. The protagonist, Dr. Genevieve Summerford, lives I. Her family home, but she is strong as manifested by the fact that she became a medical doctor—not that common for women of her day. She grows in her Indepependence as she defends a woman accused of murder and puts herself in danger. What intrigued me was the depth of information on psychology. From the brief bio on Goodreads there isn’t a ...more
Lynn Williams
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Deadly Affection is the first instalment in what I hope will turn into a series starring the rather forward thinking Dr Genevieve Summerford. The year is 1907, the setting is New York, and whilst many women during that period suffered a deplorable lack of choice Genevieve is fortunate enough to have graduated as a Doctor. One of the few (if not the only) female doctor of the era. At the start of the story as we meet Genevieve we are made familiar with he
Suzanne Bagheri
Aug 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book is interesting in so far as it gives the reader a true glance into what life was like for women in that era. The mystery part was honestly just okay but in the end it was a good read! I’m about to read the second in the series and so it was definitely good enough for me to want to continue my relationship with the characters.
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read a lot, sometimes the end of a book just isn't that exciting. The odds, quite frankly, are stacked against it, aren't they? It can be a little hard to get wrapped up in a climax - more often it seems to me that the pleasure is in the journey, the characters, the turn of phrase, etc. A book can only end so many differemt ways, right? Well, don't get me wrong - I am not suggesting that the ending of this novel was some sort of shocking surprise, but it was really, really pleasant. The v ...more
Karen ⊰✿
Jul 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
New York, 1907 and Genevieve is lucky enough to have the means, and progressive parents, that enable her to come a Doctor. Specifically, a psychiatrist who is trialling out a new form of therapy which we now know as cognitive therapy. When one of her patients is accused of murder, she is convinced of her innocence and so tries to track down the real killer.
I liked the time period and the writing, and most of the characters were well developed. I didn't really warm to Genevieve though, and I foun
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway & it was a nice surprise! It obviously sounded interesting from the description (hence, my entry in the giveaway), and it lived up to my expectations. I liked the characters and the topic was very intriguing. Though the answer to the whodunnit part of the story was fairly easy to guess early on, that didn't take anything away from the story--as soon as you think the story is going one way, the author adds another thin layer of intrigue to the plot. Nicely ...more
May 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
She-Wolf Reads
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great sense of period detail, nice forays into science of the time, great heroine who is smart, brave, and ambitious but also insecure and unsure of herself. The culprit was not obvious but was sort of a slow burn of revelation if that makes sense. I sometimes felt the dense detail slowed the pace down too much but overall, I really enjoyed this one.
Bonnie Brody
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is 1907 and Genevieve Summerford is a newly minted psychiatrist, the rare female in a male dominated profession. She is facilitating a 'class', currently known as group therapy, for women who have suffered trauma and loss. She believes that psychotherapy is the answer to emotional pain and suffering, and that the ability to share one's pain with others leads to healing.

Eliza, who is one of Genevieve's patients and who is a member of the therapy group, gave up a daughter for adoption many year
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Cuyler Overholt worked as a lawyer and a freelance business writer before turning to fiction. A Deadly Affection, her debut novel and the first book in the Dr. Genevieve Summerford mystery series, won the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award for best mystery and was shortlisted for the Strand Critics Award for best first novel. A Promise of Ruin is the second book in the series.

Cuyler shares a

Other books in the series

Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery (2 books)
  • A Promise of Ruin (Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery #2)

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