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The Northminster Mysteries Books 1-3

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The first three volumes of the acclaimed Northminster Mysteries. Northminster, 1840: a once-picturesque cathedral city, where dirty smoke stacks now rival ancient spires. Here, young Scottish surgeon Felix Carswell and Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon are tasked to uncover the truth in three complex tales of murder and detection set in Early Victorian England. The Butche The first three volumes of the acclaimed Northminster Mysteries. Northminster, 1840: a once-picturesque cathedral city, where dirty smoke stacks now rival ancient spires. Here, young Scottish surgeon Felix Carswell and Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon are tasked to uncover the truth in three complex tales of murder and detection set in Early Victorian England. The Butchered Man When workmen make the shocking discovery of a mutilated corpse in a ditch outside the ancient walls, Giles Vernon and Felix Carswell are charged with solving the case. Intelligent and practical, Chief Constable Major Vernon has transformed the old city watch into a modern police force, and he throws himself into the investigation with the same energy. But as he probes a murky world of professional gamblers and jilted lovers, he is drawn into a dangerous emotional game that threatens to undermine his authority. Newly-qualified police surgeon Felix Carswell is determined to make his way in the world on his own terms despite being the bastard son of prominent local grandee Lord Rothborough. Called to treat a girl in an asylum for reformed prostitutes, what he uncovers there brings him into conflict with his new employer, Vernon, and throws the case into disarray. Together they must overcome their differences and find the brutal truth behind the mystery of The Butchered Man. The Dead Songbird “Death is too good for a whore like you. But He may show you mercy yet. BE PREPARED” Celebrated singer Anna Morgan has come to Northminster to escape a troubled past and sing at the city’s Handel Festival. But when she continues to receive the poisonous letters that have been plaguing her, she turns to Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon and Police Surgeon Felix Carswell to find her persecutor, drawing the two men into her charismatic orbit. At the same time a talented young tenor is found dead in curious circumstances in a locked chapel, and the hunt for a murderer is on. Together, Vernon and Carswell must untangle the web of secrets that surround the dead man, uncovering a Northminster that throbs with clandestine passions and thwarted desires, a world of illegal pornographic books and risqué theatricals. The Shadowcutter Police surgeon Felix Carswell has joined Major Giles Vernon and his convalescent wife, Laura, for a few days in the elegant spa town of Stanegate – it’s a welcome holiday from the summer stench of Northminster. But no sooner has he arrived than a Spanish colonial gentleman, dying of consumption, requires his urgent care, while Major Vernon is called away to Lord Rothborough’s country house, where a lady’s maid has been found drowned in a secluded pool. Major Vernon investigates above and below stairs in the great house, assisted by Lord Rothborough’s eldest daughter, Lady Charlotte. When a quantity of valuable jewellery is found missing, the cause of the dead maid’s death only becomes more mysterious. Meanwhile, when his patient dies in his arms after confiding a secret, Carswell is drawn into baffling intrigues involving the government-in-exile of the dead man’s homeland, the Caribbean island of Santa Magdalena.


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The first three volumes of the acclaimed Northminster Mysteries. Northminster, 1840: a once-picturesque cathedral city, where dirty smoke stacks now rival ancient spires. Here, young Scottish surgeon Felix Carswell and Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon are tasked to uncover the truth in three complex tales of murder and detection set in Early Victorian England. The Butche The first three volumes of the acclaimed Northminster Mysteries. Northminster, 1840: a once-picturesque cathedral city, where dirty smoke stacks now rival ancient spires. Here, young Scottish surgeon Felix Carswell and Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon are tasked to uncover the truth in three complex tales of murder and detection set in Early Victorian England. The Butchered Man When workmen make the shocking discovery of a mutilated corpse in a ditch outside the ancient walls, Giles Vernon and Felix Carswell are charged with solving the case. Intelligent and practical, Chief Constable Major Vernon has transformed the old city watch into a modern police force, and he throws himself into the investigation with the same energy. But as he probes a murky world of professional gamblers and jilted lovers, he is drawn into a dangerous emotional game that threatens to undermine his authority. Newly-qualified police surgeon Felix Carswell is determined to make his way in the world on his own terms despite being the bastard son of prominent local grandee Lord Rothborough. Called to treat a girl in an asylum for reformed prostitutes, what he uncovers there brings him into conflict with his new employer, Vernon, and throws the case into disarray. Together they must overcome their differences and find the brutal truth behind the mystery of The Butchered Man. The Dead Songbird “Death is too good for a whore like you. But He may show you mercy yet. BE PREPARED” Celebrated singer Anna Morgan has come to Northminster to escape a troubled past and sing at the city’s Handel Festival. But when she continues to receive the poisonous letters that have been plaguing her, she turns to Chief Constable Major Giles Vernon and Police Surgeon Felix Carswell to find her persecutor, drawing the two men into her charismatic orbit. At the same time a talented young tenor is found dead in curious circumstances in a locked chapel, and the hunt for a murderer is on. Together, Vernon and Carswell must untangle the web of secrets that surround the dead man, uncovering a Northminster that throbs with clandestine passions and thwarted desires, a world of illegal pornographic books and risqué theatricals. The Shadowcutter Police surgeon Felix Carswell has joined Major Giles Vernon and his convalescent wife, Laura, for a few days in the elegant spa town of Stanegate – it’s a welcome holiday from the summer stench of Northminster. But no sooner has he arrived than a Spanish colonial gentleman, dying of consumption, requires his urgent care, while Major Vernon is called away to Lord Rothborough’s country house, where a lady’s maid has been found drowned in a secluded pool. Major Vernon investigates above and below stairs in the great house, assisted by Lord Rothborough’s eldest daughter, Lady Charlotte. When a quantity of valuable jewellery is found missing, the cause of the dead maid’s death only becomes more mysterious. Meanwhile, when his patient dies in his arms after confiding a secret, Carswell is drawn into baffling intrigues involving the government-in-exile of the dead man’s homeland, the Caribbean island of Santa Magdalena.

30 review for The Northminster Mysteries Books 1-3

  1. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Not too bad, but there was too much 'romance' for my taste. There are 3 stories, but the last one is a bit better than the others. You need to read them in order to understand what is going on. The stories would have been better if they were shorter too. They seemed to drag at times. Not too bad, but there was too much 'romance' for my taste. There are 3 stories, but the last one is a bit better than the others. You need to read them in order to understand what is going on. The stories would have been better if they were shorter too. They seemed to drag at times.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Coco.V

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  3. 4 out of 5

    Pam Levy

    Looking for love in all the wrong places. Yikes! These two man characters are a couple of dogs! When not thinking of the crime, they are thinking of how to get into, and under the ladies skirts. The crimes, and resolution are easy to figure out. Very descriptive forensic evidence. I would rate the book an R. For the sex, and descriptions. I think these guys have more angst than the ladies. Even considering the time and place of the events. We all have to remember what time period this is taking place Looking for love in all the wrong places. Yikes! These two man characters are a couple of dogs! When not thinking of the crime, they are thinking of how to get into, and under the ladies skirts. The crimes, and resolution are easy to figure out. Very descriptive forensic evidence. I would rate the book an R. For the sex, and descriptions. I think these guys have more angst than the ladies. Even considering the time and place of the events. We all have to remember what time period this is taking place in. I might consider the rest of the series, if they were free! HA! What happened to the kitten?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Konnie Maskell

    The series was adequate for me to finish the first three books but I will not continue. I am impatient with the two men featured as police investigators. The author has them spending way too much time wringing their hands over women and not enough over their jobs. And she figuratively chops the heads off all the people they love. Ughhh!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Jensen

    Was disappointed It seemed to be written well but is not something I want in my home! Language is a problem for me and I can't believe men are as animalistic as portrayed in these stories. So sad. It sounded promising but didn't pan out for me. Was disappointed It seemed to be written well but is not something I want in my home! Language is a problem for me and I can't believe men are as animalistic as portrayed in these stories. So sad. It sounded promising but didn't pan out for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julia Bell

    I'm giving five stars for The Northminster Mysteries since it was good value for money as a box set and I enjoyed the stories. I became very fond of Felix the doctor and Major Giles Vernon the police detective who solved the crimes committed in the three stories. I can't say which stories I enjoyed the most, since all were intriguing and kept me turning the pages. There were a few typos but nothing drastic although I smiled that in the last story Felix told the relatives of a patient he had died i I'm giving five stars for The Northminster Mysteries since it was good value for money as a box set and I enjoyed the stories. I became very fond of Felix the doctor and Major Giles Vernon the police detective who solved the crimes committed in the three stories. I can't say which stories I enjoyed the most, since all were intriguing and kept me turning the pages. There were a few typos but nothing drastic although I smiled that in the last story Felix told the relatives of a patient he had died in the afternoon, then the morning and finally at night. I'm not sure if any other readers would have noticed, but it's a shame a proofreader didn't pick up on that. I wondered at the techniques used by Giles Vernon. Sometimes they seemed a little too modern, especially 'interviewing' a suspect. I do believe this has only happened in the last thirty years and it would be an 'interrogation' that took place in Victorian times. I'm also not sure if Giles would have been in company of ladies wearing just his nightclothes. But the strength of the characters came through and the many people populating the mysteries were well-drawn. I particularly liked the fact Giles and Felix were portrayed as flesh and blood men with their own weaknesses and not paragons of virtue. A very interesting read and I can recommend The Northminster Mysteries for anyone who likes reading crime in a historical setting.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa G.

    Absolutely incredible! New author for me but my new goal is to read everything she's ever written. Her style is perfect for mystery and suspense and even though she's writing about a time when society dictated proper etiquette and behavior, she still manages to convey such humanity into each character that I love them all. There have been many times when Felix has said it done things and I've thought, "oh Felix just grow up!" but then I realized, he is young, and that the author has woven such a Absolutely incredible! New author for me but my new goal is to read everything she's ever written. Her style is perfect for mystery and suspense and even though she's writing about a time when society dictated proper etiquette and behavior, she still manages to convey such humanity into each character that I love them all. There have been many times when Felix has said it done things and I've thought, "oh Felix just grow up!" but then I realized, he is young, and that the author has woven such a perfect picture of him in my mind that he can annoy me but I still love his character. That's a gift in a writer. Can't wait to keep reading the series!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bourke

    Entertaining detective work in historical UK I really quite enjoyed these stories. Gave them a go because I’ve always loved the Sherlock Holmes kind of detective story from times before modern forensics. They didn’t let me down. I found the stories interesting and with enough twist to keep me guessing and occasionally smiling. I enjoyed the characters and it was worthwhile reading the first three stories in order one after the other to see them develop. It’s interesting to visit the world as it w Entertaining detective work in historical UK I really quite enjoyed these stories. Gave them a go because I’ve always loved the Sherlock Holmes kind of detective story from times before modern forensics. They didn’t let me down. I found the stories interesting and with enough twist to keep me guessing and occasionally smiling. I enjoyed the characters and it was worthwhile reading the first three stories in order one after the other to see them develop. It’s interesting to visit the world as it was before our modern technology sometimes and, for me, this series was a lovely escape. I think I’ll read a few more in the series in the future.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim Bean

    Depressing I suppose the time period has much to support a depressive era but the 2nd book just drags along. Book one was interesting but Felix and his sexual fantasies /daydreams weren't really necessary. He lost his virginity insome detail but who cares, it didn't lend anything to the story. In book two, the beginning of the book starts out with the Felix sexual fantasy for tge young widowed cleaning lady. I couldn't take any more so I quit reading in book two. I did like the chief constable. Mo Depressing I suppose the time period has much to support a depressive era but the 2nd book just drags along. Book one was interesting but Felix and his sexual fantasies /daydreams weren't really necessary. He lost his virginity insome detail but who cares, it didn't lend anything to the story. In book two, the beginning of the book starts out with the Felix sexual fantasy for tge young widowed cleaning lady. I couldn't take any more so I quit reading in book two. I did like the chief constable. Most of the other characters fit well in the 1840 period Maybe you will enjoy

  10. 4 out of 5

    R M C

    Intriguing Harriet has done an impressive job of intertwining multiple storylines with the mystery aspects of each book and with the extended story of the main characters personal lives as they unfold throughout each book as well. The characters are real, flawed, intelligent and endearing in their own ways. The setting is obviously extremely well researched and believable. I’m hooked. She’s gotten me invested and I must find out what adventures and drama are to come next. Well done!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Miss J

    Book 3 The Shadowcutter.....Spoilers Seemed very long winded this story as if the author suddenly felt that another 100 pages were needed. When actually they were not (may not have been 100 pages but it sure felt like that and more) for unnecessary loose 'threads' could have been tied off well before this point. It's a real shame as well that a character is killed off so soon in the series, just was they were getting known. So basically not a good as previous 2 novels as just felt so dragged out... Book 3 The Shadowcutter.....Spoilers Seemed very long winded this story as if the author suddenly felt that another 100 pages were needed. When actually they were not (may not have been 100 pages but it sure felt like that and more) for unnecessary loose 'threads' could have been tied off well before this point. It's a real shame as well that a character is killed off so soon in the series, just was they were getting known. So basically not a good as previous 2 novels as just felt so dragged out......

  12. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    The first 2 books were nothing too interesting. I was able to figure out the murder much before the Investigators but maybe that was because they were so busy jumping into beds. And I thought the homosexual elements were overdone - 2 incidents in the same area within months of each other? I thought that was thoroughly unbelievable. By the third book, the author seemed to get her story more connected and that one had some twists and surprises. Overall, though, I thought it took much too long for The first 2 books were nothing too interesting. I was able to figure out the murder much before the Investigators but maybe that was because they were so busy jumping into beds. And I thought the homosexual elements were overdone - 2 incidents in the same area within months of each other? I thought that was thoroughly unbelievable. By the third book, the author seemed to get her story more connected and that one had some twists and surprises. Overall, though, I thought it took much too long for her to get it together.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sue Ben-Dor

    More (not so) jolly old England These three books were actually pretty good. My issue and I admit it is personal is that there was too much. Would that I had been able (see now I am doing it) to take them one at a time. Being very much an “all men are created equal” kind of gal all that class stuff gets to me quickly. I am however that the author wore stays as research. How long were you able to stand it?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maria Coro Arruti

    Liked the three books, Very entertaining and I love those English times of yesterday, the way of life, the clothes, the food, all very well described. But, and there is always a but, the principal character of this series is a whinnying man with a full weight of "oh, poor me", and insecurities and social doubts on his shoulders. But, not all heroes can be Mr. Right or the Charming Prince. Will continue reading the series. Liked the three books, Very entertaining and I love those English times of yesterday, the way of life, the clothes, the food, all very well described. But, and there is always a but, the principal character of this series is a whinnying man with a full weight of "oh, poor me", and insecurities and social doubts on his shoulders. But, not all heroes can be Mr. Right or the Charming Prince. Will continue reading the series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laura Doty

    Great realistic account of the early Victorian Age. This set of mysteries was a wonderful introduction to Ms Smart's works. I completely enjoyed the entire three volume set. Looking forward to more of her books....especially this series. Her character development is very good and the mysteries make sense. I recommend the Northminister Mysteries to anyone who may want to give in to a bit of "self indulgence". They are real page turners. Great realistic account of the early Victorian Age. This set of mysteries was a wonderful introduction to Ms Smart's works. I completely enjoyed the entire three volume set. Looking forward to more of her books....especially this series. Her character development is very good and the mysteries make sense. I recommend the Northminister Mysteries to anyone who may want to give in to a bit of "self indulgence". They are real page turners.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura Poppenwimer

    What a great set of mysteries that take place in the 1800's. This is the first I have read of this author and this series, three in all. Each one a bit different and builds on the previous story but could stand alone as well. The characters are complex and evolving as the stories play out. The characters at the end of the 3rd book are changed, but still recognizable as the people they were, just fuller and in come cases more mature. What a great set of mysteries that take place in the 1800's. This is the first I have read of this author and this series, three in all. Each one a bit different and builds on the previous story but could stand alone as well. The characters are complex and evolving as the stories play out. The characters at the end of the 3rd book are changed, but still recognizable as the people they were, just fuller and in come cases more mature.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anita Savage

    Well written. I found his box set to be very well written and informative regarding the time it represented. The author obviously had done extensive research and brought the characters to life. There were many twists and turns that kept me reading late into the night. I will definitely read additional books in this series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Will Van

    A hearty read set in a bygone era I liked the open approach to the subject of sexual freedoms for the female characters. The males playing off the strengths provided them by the strong wills of the women, pulled them away from their inbred archaic beliefs onto the birm of modern thinking. I will continue reading with great anticipation this continuing saga.

  19. 4 out of 5

    E.

    Enjoyable Victorian mysteries In spite of some annoying editing issues, I did really enjoy these books . I will definitely consider reading more books by this author. If you like Victorian mysteries, then you should definitely give this series a try. I look forward to more adventures with Vernon and Carswell.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Bradford

    This historical murder mystery is well written and engaging. It depicts Victorian institutions and the class, religious and gender prejudices of the era. The characters personalities are well developed and you feel like you want to know how they act in the different situations they find themselves in.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Tkach

    Enjoyable Read Even though it’s a little slow in places and occasionally a word seemed to be missing, I really enjoyed these books (I read the first three as a set). Once I got into the rhythm of her writing, I had a hard time putting it down. The main characters are a bit like Sherlock Holmes. They may not be for everyone, but I’m on to the next three.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Wynona R

    Perfectly drawn mysteries Excellent picture of the birth of forensics in Great Britain and the affects of unregulated industrial sprawl. All three novels were compelling and difficult to put down. If you enjoy mysteries you will not be disappointed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mick Dubois

    Best book yet I absolutely loved the first 2 stories, buy the 3th one was sublime. So much tragedy, twists and turns, love problems, unexpected surprises. I want to read the rest of the series, even when I have to pay for them.

  24. 4 out of 5

    sharon sobzak

    Entertaining Set in the 1840's as police work becomes more organized and forensics begin. The cases are interesting and interwoven with the personal lives of the Doctor and Police Chief. The stories move slowly like the times. Entertaining Set in the 1840's as police work becomes more organized and forensics begin. The cases are interesting and interwoven with the personal lives of the Doctor and Police Chief. The stories move slowly like the times.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michele Eccleston

    Northminster The Northminster Mysteries was a page turning emotional rollercoaster. It was easy to get lost not just in the mysteries but the characters personal stories as well. I did not want to put it down.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Murphy

    A feel good book. I found this book to be very enjoyable cozy reading. The characters were charismatic and interesting. The story was compelling and the suspense was enough to keep my interest.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Cacek

    Entertaining mysteries Clever mysteries set in earlier England. Realistic characters and situations. Story moves along, intriguing and believable situations. Rich with historical facts of the social lives and living conditions of that time.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christine Blinn

    Well written mysteries with well developed characters. I really enjoyed the fact that each.murder was not easy to solve. The personal back stories of the main characters were very unexpected. Really loved these books.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ernie Klapp

    Three enjoyable mysteries featuring good plots and solid characters. Ms Smart is a highly accomplished crafter of well told tales. Her characters are finely drawn and wonderfully real. These are period pieces researched carefully and presented in a style similar to Conan Doyle.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marie Shirley Griffin

    Interesting mysteries The characters are interesting, as long you bear in mind that it's written in the1840 time period. Women who are married are "just" property, it's a raw life for most women. Interesting mysteries The characters are interesting, as long you bear in mind that it's written in the1840 time period. Women who are married are "just" property, it's a raw life for most women.

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