Dr Dody McLeland, Britain’s first female autopsy surgeon, is chaperoning her sister Florence on a country house visit towards the end of 1912. When the ancient-looking bones of a young girl are discovered in a field, the find goes from archeological to criminal when Dody finds a bullet hole in the skull. Dody’s lover, Chief Inspector Matthew Pike, joins the investigation, which soon takes in the local workhouse, ghostly hounds, spiritualism, snobbery and serious threats to Dody’s safety. West Australian writer Young deftly blends history, social politics and crime into an enjoyably readable mix.  It is the third in the series.

Verdict: satisfying *** 

Published: February 2014