While the story of a search for a scrying stone was of interest, the portrayal of Dee as a bungling, incompetent idiot made it extremely difficult to enjoy. Even the title is misleading -- while Dee was historically accused of heresy, the most that occurs are some references to this.
A much stronger story would have been a straightforward search by Dee into if a scrying stone worked and his efforts to obtain one. The side story of Dudley, his wife's death and Queen Elizabeth was only distracting. That a man of known intellect and education might search for the truth behind visions, foreseeing and other occult matters is a story that that still holds sway today. Instead, the search for the stone isn't a real quest, it's simply a bungling effort to avoid Cecil and Q. Elizabeth. The issue of "did Dudley kill his wife" is another mystery that would have been interesting, but at the end, a simple "the Spanish and Cecil did it" is provided with no effort at all by the protagonists. The relationship between Dudley and Elizabeth is assumed to be one of great passion-- yet no discussion is made of the historical question regarding Dudley's ambition and Elizabeth's reluctance to marry and lose her power.
The story is a narrative by Dee so that differentiation is not extensively required. The other characters are reasonably portrayed, but sometimes Barrett changes Dee's tone and manner of speaking with no particular good reason.
No, unless the basic story were severely rewritten.
A disappointing historical fiction even though it is largely based on actual known facts about Dee (he did search for the unknown, he was a well known scholar, he did work for Queen Elizabeth.).
I've got the entire Reichs series and was disappointed in this short story. First, we have the usual problem of a forensic pathologist playing active investigator. This is usual, but how many times can the heroine act as "i'll just go and physically play the police" before she mucks up a crime scene or gets herself (or someone else killed)? She is NOT "law enforcement". The second problem was the preachy end of the story with the diatribe on "puppy mills". The issue of inhumane treatment of animals (canine or otherwise) was more or less stuck into the story with no real justification other than to provide a motive (which had nothing to do with the rest of the story) and a reason for an evangelistic type plea -- as if all breeders of dogs were inhumane. Dog breeders include groups like the Seeing Eye (who breed their own guide dogs). The "out of thin air" motive and diatribe not only put me off this particular book, it rather poisoned the entire series.
no preaching, please. If you are going to investigate, take a trained policeman. Or should the heroine invite her Canadian friend to practice forensics?
The book was worth getting, but it's probably not one I'll listen to a second time as I might re-read a book. While the concept of a killer fog is quite good (and historically accurate), the doctor seems to be rather slow on the uptake on much of it. Also, the heroine is again notable for her incredible lack of backbone.
It's worth getting if one is interested in historical mystery/ fiction. But it could be a lot better with less transparent villains and a stronger female character. The idea that one can instantly love a child one never knew for 6 years is a bit hard to believe.
The mentor managing to slip both the formula and a sample of the drug to the doctor in the midst of an arrest.
possibly, if the characters were strengthened.
yes as the story is good
not entirely. Sometimes the narration seemed flat.
Background noise made this audiobook somewhat harder to hear than most.
This is a good listen and well told.
The issue of Dr. Hunter could have stuck with history. The murderer being the abortionist would have been more appropriate. If Silkstone had studied under Hunter, Hunter being under suspicion would have increased the mystery and the challenge. It's hard to believe Silkstone would NOT have known Hunter if he studied in London. Silkstone is an American during the Revolution -- yet it's glossed over. Silkstone comes across as a bit unrealistic in his objection to body snatching -- during this period, anyone studying anatomy would have dealt with "resurrection men" providing the bodies. In fact, it would have made for a stronger moral dilemma.
The heroine is pretty hopeless. She clearly has not got the kind of inner strength found in her American contemporaries like Abigail Adams or Martha Washington. Her "secret" is pretty flat too. Give the girl some backbone.
The portion of the giant being harassed while trying to find his girlfriend.
a character who was not a total idiot
yes. the reader was acceptable, but the story was so poor I did not finish the book.
The scene where the main character decides he has to save his brother who tyrannized him and who committed murder (we only LATER learn he questioned the story. Initially, it is only said that the main character wants to save his brother, which is unbelievable.). Most of the story is not believable. If the hero believed his brother innocent, then saying so as a reason for him trying to save his brother might make sense. Saying this as an afterthought just makes the story not credible. I've read the Judge Dee stories and they are excellent. This is just pathetic.
Twist at the end was good. Some of the story seemed to drag a bit.
a bit flat.
Acceptable but not intellectually challenging book.
I've loved the Haney and Robinson "Ancient Egypt" stories. This one is equally well researched and well presented. Even though a historian knows the overall "what happens", the author's view of HOW it might have happened is excellent.
The means of tying historical fact and characters to the story was excellently done and presents a new take on things.
The stories of some of the minor characters could have been explored, but overall, this was well done.
One hopes this author will write another.
I would try the authors again but only because I have already read other books by them and know this one is not typical of the quality.
yes, but only because I had already read other books by them.
not really. Delivery was very flat.
theater scene for the Rosetta stone story dragged on and on and ON.
None of the authors' usual characters are present; the story connections are at best improbable; only one of the short stories was entertaining. It would be interesting for these authors to try a connecting artifact that has good qualities or is pivotal in solving a mystery. In this case the "evil play" was just unbelievable.
revisiting some of the early Dr. Who stories
Steven -- as one of the Dr.'s early companions, he is quite different from Rose and others, yet one sees similarities too.
The dr complaining about the horse was pretty funny
Two -- both times leaving while chaos took over
worthwhile for anyone who is interested in early Dr. Who.
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