The Riddle of the River

The Riddle of the River by Catherine Shaw.  Shaw has a nice gentle, flowing writing style, which is very relaxing.  Thankfully, this Victorian mystery doesn’t include Lords and Ladies like so many others, but rather ordinary people, though some celebrity names are dropped in peripherally.  This is the fourth in the Vanessa Weatherburn series set in Cambridge, but the first that I have read.  In this episode, Weatherburn, married to an extremely understanding academician husband who allows her to disappear on her adventures at will, is asked to identify the body of a murdered woman found in the nearby River Cam.  Our heroine uses some intuition, her deductive abilities and a fair amount of luck to succeed in this initial task and then follows the trail by going undercover to solve the crime.  Shaw incorporates the technological advancements of the time and the Victorian interest in the paranormal to reflect the times at the end of the nineteenth century.

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