Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wages of Sin” as Want to Read:
The Wages of Sin
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wages of Sin

(Sarah Gilchrist #1)

by
3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,083 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Sarah Gilchrist has fled London and a troubled past to join the University of Edinburgh's medical school in 1882, the first year it admits women. She is determined to become a doctor despite the misgivings of her family and society, but Sarah quickly finds plenty of barriers at school itself: professors who refuse to teach their new pupils, male students determined to forc ...more
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by Tinder Press (first published March 7th 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Wages of Sin, please sign up.
Recent Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,083 ratings  ·  232 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Wages of Sin
Elyse  Walters
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarah Gilchrist knew the world could be cruel. She wasn't the type of woman content to let it remain so.
People who were closest to Sarah turned on her at a time in her life when she needed them most. Her parents had her placed in a sanatorium to cure her hysterical, melancholic behavior.
In 1882, given the type of wealthy family Sarah came from in London, if she was raped...a complete victim...she was a disgrace to her family. Shame, blame, and sin would follow her.
"The doctors at the sanatori
...more
Julie
The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh is a 2017 Pegasus publication.


I love historical mysteries, especially those set in the Victorian era, so I’m always on the lookout for a new series that fits that bill.

Thankfully, I stumbled across this little gem, which shows a great deal of promise.

Sarah Gilchrist is a character I instantly admired and respected. She’s suffered much as a woman in 1892 who has been cast out by her parents, who treat her as though she is the one who should be ashamed, and then
...more
Linda
If the eyes are the windows of the soul, then certainly the hands may convey the strength of it.

Ushering in the year of 1892, female hands were thought to solely engage in the rigid stitches around an embroidery frame and not clasped around the likes of a surgical scalpel.

But then you haven't met Sarah Gilchrist.

Sarah arrives in the upscale household of her aunt and uncle, the Buchanans, with a pleasing face and stature. This is Edinburgh, Scotland. Sarah has left behind a scandal upon the lips
...more
Dot
The combination of 19th century, feminism, and Scotland gave me high hopes, but I became more unhappy as I read. The sleuthing aspect is minimal; two-thirds of the way through the novel, the protagonist still hasn’t advanced beyond “I had no real reason to think she was murdered, but I could not stop thinking about her.” Once things start to develop, the narrative flow is cut off at the knees when the backstory of the prime suspect emerges in a long explanation given *while standing over the new ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
THE WAGES OF SIN is a historical fiction that has just the right ingredients for me. We have a strong heroine with a past that haunts her, a murder mystery and just the right amount of romance, which for me is pretty little. I love it when you can feel the chemistry between two characters and the author doesn't rush away with it instead builds it up slowly. The book also deals with something that is very close to my heart, women's right to study. Actually, it deals with more than that, the book ...more
Mackey
I have grown so bored with mysteries that torture women, terrorize them and basically make women appear to be helpless fools so when I saw the blurb "feminist heroine," I was immediately intrigued. The fact that the book was set in the Victorian Era only heightened my curiosity. I was not disappointed at all! The Wages of Sin is, unbelievably, the debut suspense novel by Kaite Welsh. The heroine mentioned is Sarah Gilchrist, a former socialite with "a past" who is now is one of the first females ...more
MaryannC. Book Freak
A very atmospheric and detailed read about a young woman named Sarah Gilchrist who was allowed to study at The University of Edinburgh's medical school despite strong objections from her family who think her desires are lofty and fanciful. After suffering an assault which left her devastated, Sarah begins to recover and put her life back together only to deal with humiliation and shame in her family's social circles and decides she wants to make something of her life and become a doctor. There a ...more
Barb in Maryland
Maybe really 3.5 stars for the first in a new series.

On the plus side: The setting is so atmospheric. Edinburgh Scotland, late 1800s--the descriptions of the city are so good.
Our heroine, Sarah Gilchrist, is one of a small group of female students newly admitted to Edinburgh's famous medical school. The recounting of all their trials and tribulations is well done. The young women have to put up with a lot, from both male students and male professors.
The mystery, the death of a young prostitute,
...more
Diane S ☔
3.5 review to follow.
Emmy
I feel like I can't say anything I'm thinking without spoiling everything. So everything is going to get a spoiler tag.

(view spoiler)
...more
Yara
The Wages of Sin by Kaite Welsh is the first book in the Sarah Gilchrist Mysteries series. The book follows first-year medical student Sarah Gilchrist as attends the University of Edenborough the first year it admits women into their medical school.

The book is a murder mystery but it’s also a historical commentary about the plight of women in the late Victorian area as women have beginning to make inroads in gaining their independence. The story has an additional layer of showing this from the p
...more
nikkia neil
Thanks Pegasus Books and netgalley for this ARC.

Tantalizing first look at a new series that has everything I love in a historical mystery. Intrigue, rebellion, love, murder with a girl-power theme
Kate
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Atmospheric and heady mystery set in Edinburgh's dark side in the 1890s.

vicky.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unapologetically feminist historical fiction novel set in Victorian Edinburgh with a female lead that deconstructs every single aspect of the patriarchy not only to herself but also with other women and men.

I love Sarah. I love how brave and smart she is, and it shocked me how much I could relate to her. She feels so modern and full of anger; she just wants to be a doctor and not deal with any sexist bullshit.

I've found a new historical series to look forward to.
Michelle
I don’t know whether it is a case of every novel being timed perfectly to have the most meaning in today’s political climate or a greater awareness of certain issues in general, but it does seem as if every novel I read lately is particularly important in illuminating the history behind current political viewpoints. The Wages of Sin certainly fits that bill. With its discussion of women, particularly poor women and their lack of choices when it comes to earning money, it covers women’s rights or ...more
Tess
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars

Historical crime/mystery (with a touch of m/f romance). The first 3/4s was compelling, but I didn't enjoy the resolution. Apparently, this is the first of a series.
Kirsten Fleetwood
OK, OK, I get it: Victorian women were repressed no matter which class they were from. Men were mostly misogynistic bastards who wanted women for sex or breeding, and woe betide any woman who tried to climb out of the pit of ignorance.

This book veers between earnest musings on how women were repressed forever and hysterical drama. I didn't much care for any of the characters, even my beloved Edinburgh seemed like a hell hole. And the whodunnit in the end was so tremendously implausible that it
...more
Hilary
It is 1892. Sarah is a social pariah, sent away from her home in London to her family in Edinburgh, where she has joined the first class of female medical students. Supplementing her official training with hands-on work, she meets Lucy, and feels a strange connection with her, and this will change her life.

The social and professional interactions between the genders (including women-women) and students-lecturers were well handled, and all the women themselves varied from the extreme to the moder
...more
Moray Teale
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wages of Sin follows the trials and tribulations of Sarah Gilchrist, an English medical student at the University of Edinburgh. Kaite Welsh sets her scene with verve and passion, establishing the Auld Reekie atmosphere of Victorian Edinburgh with its dark and dingy closes, Cowgate squalor and apparent moral turpitude, contrasting the whorehouses and tenements of the Old Town with the more refined life of the New Town. It’s a setting rich with possibility for a historical crime drama and she fill ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Headline for a review copy of The Wages of Sin, a historical novel set in 1892, Edinburgh.

Sarah Gilchrist has offended Victorian propriety and is ostracised by her family but they have allowed her heart's desire to be one of the first women to study medicine at Edinburgh University. As a woman of dubious moral values she is encouraged by the aunt and uncle she is staying with to undertake Christian volunteer work which she does at a local hospital for the poor
...more
Karen Wellsbury
Interesting and atmospheric overall.
Fantastic sense of place in the Victorian Edinburgh setting, great premise in that Sarah is studying medicine in Edinburgh as she was shipped from London for getting her reputation tarnished, and becomes convinced that a prostitute patient at a clinic she's seen has been murdered.
For about 50% of the book the plot is mainly Sarah being convinced that Lucy, a pregnant prostitute, has been murdered and that everyone in her life is judging her because she was se
...more
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
Welsh’s novel is hard. Her protagonist, Sarah Gilchrist, has suffered horribly. I won’t dwell too much on the details; suffice to say, she was sexually assaulted and suffered the cures for nymphomania. Torment at the hands of cruel doctors, pseudo-cures for a pseudo-condition that are really about punishing women. Edinburgh, which I love, doesn’t look good in Welsh’s novel. It’s puritanical, judgemental, and its poor and downtrodden live in the most miserable of conditions. Nevertheless, Sarah a ...more
Laura
"Go back to your lecture hall, Sarah. Save your tears for your examination papers, because they won't do any good here. It may sound harsh, but it's the truth. You can do more for these women with a clear head than you can with a big heart. Your compassion may seem like a good thing now, but if you care too much, it will destroy you."
"How do I stop caring?"
I looked at Fiona, with her pale, drawn face and the evidence of sleepless nights written across it, and I wondered if she took her own advi
...more
Kirsty
This one's good. Female lead training to be a doctor in the late 19th century and ends up trying to solve a murder. Can we have a sequel please?
Beth
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot wait to read the next one.
Keara Dee
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As I work in Edinburgh, it was really fun to read this novel and imagine what Sarah's streets were like, and how they differ to the ones I walk.

This was a fascinating insight into the plight of female medical students, and the cast of characters was very well done. I raced through the story in no time at all, and I can't wait to see what happens next! Gripping read.
Leah Angstman
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The best part about this book is its historical atmosphere and research. It definitely takes you right into the world, and with great accuracy. I saw in another review, someone commented on assumed historical inaccuracies, saying:

"Bloomers had their heyday in the early 1850s and their resurgence several decades later doesn’t count as being 'recently pioneered.' The first female medical students to take classes at the University of Edinburgh began in 1869 so why is the class of 1892 causing such
...more
Tara Chevrestt
I liked it, but there were times I became disinterested in it. The problem for me was not enough mystery. The case of the dead prostitute was overshadowed by the drama with fellow student, Julia, and constant subtle referencing to the heroine's own "sordid" past. I'd rather her past have been revealed asap than have a guessing game the entire novel. So the prostitute and murder became pale next to all this and the ending came out of nowhere. It was a WTF??? ending. And while I love surprise, I a ...more
Katherine
In theory this could be a good book, full of suspense and some mystery. However, the main character is so bogged down in her own pity party about the injustice done to her by society and the repetition of this over and over and over again, that the book loses its appeal. The plot drags due to this repetition and becomes too tedious to maintain interest. I understand the consequences of Sarah's assault and the terrible treatment she received, however it seems that nothing in this story will get p ...more
Jo
It's 1892 and Sarah Gilchrist is one of the first women to study medicine at Edinburgh University. She's doubly scandalous because she was raped and this makes her a fallen woman. When a body brought in for dissection is that of a young prostitute whom she treated in a nearby pauper hospital, Sarah begins investigating the circumstances of her death. This leads her into all sorts of trouble that a young society lady should never get close to. This was brilliant, so well-written, but infuriating ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Beloved Poison (Jem Flockhart, #1)
  • Death of a New American (Jane Prescott, #2)
  • Murder at Kensington Palace (Wrexford & Sloane, #3)
  • The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits (A World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery #1)
  • The Art of Dying (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson, #2)
  • The Way of All Flesh (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson, #1)
  • A Stroke of Malice (Lady Darby Mystery, #8)
  • A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder (A Gentlewoman's Guide to Murder #1)
  • A Cruel Deception (Bess Crawford, #11)
  • Penny for Your Secrets (Verity Kent, #3)
  • Murder at Morrington Hall (A Stella and Lyndy Mystery, #1)
  • A Trace of Deceit (Victorian Mystery #2)
  • Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar (A Laetitia Rodd Mystery #2)
  • The Art of Theft (Lady Sherlock, #4)
  • Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders (A Woman of WWII Mystery #1)
  • At Midnight In Venice (Charles Dickens Investigations #5)
  • The Right Sort of Man (Sparks & Bainbridge Mystery #1)
  • A Deadly Affection (Dr. Genevieve Summerford Mystery #1)
See similar books…
140 followers
Kaite Welsh is an author, critic and journalist living in Scotland.

Her novel The Wages of Sin, a feminist historical crime novel set in Victorian Edinburgh, is out in 2017 from Pegasus Books in the US in May and Headline/Tinder Press in June. It is the first novel featuring medical student, fallen woman and amateur sleuth Sarah Gilchrist, with two further books due in 2018 and 2019.

Her fiction has
...more

Other books in the series

Sarah Gilchrist (2 books)
  • The Unquiet Heart (Sarah Gilchrist #2)

Related Articles

Philippa Gregory is best known for reimagining the lives of famous royal women in bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn...
69 likes · 32 comments