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  • Australian Historical Mystery

    Prudence North has just returned to Melbourne, she’s been studying at St Andrews University in Scotland and she has an interest in forensic science. In 1900, it’s an exciting new discovery, and everyone’s fingerprints have a unique pattern and she would love to find work in this field and be able to develop her knowledge. She has another reason for returning home, her mother’s suffering from Huntington’s chorea, her younger sister Valerie is showing signs of the awful disease and her father needs her support. An acquaintance of her father's and a police officer Everard Bankston corners Prudence three weeks after she arrives home, and he threatens her. He believes her father’s involved in illegal medical practices, to keep him silent, he wants Prudence to gather information about a Mr. Jasper Darke, a wealthy landowner and qualified architect. She locates Mr. Darke's house in Kew, the only person present at the property is a gardener, she feels uncomfortable driving past his house and snooping. Prudence is carrying a heavy burden, she’s trying to juggle a major family crisis, her sister’s rapidly declining health, and she’s worried her father will lose his medical license and income. Prudence meets Jasper at a party, he’s a handsome man, she’s expecting him to be nasty, and he’s not the villain he's been portrayed to be. Prudence’s family home’s being watched, a man’s found dead in her father’s surgery, she starts to question what her father’s up to, with her knowledge of science she’s determined to solve the crime, and prove her father is innocent of any wrong doing. I love Darry Fraser’s books, I feel she’s taken her writing and research to a higher level with The Prodigal Sister. The story really highlights the limited education and work opportunities women had at the time, most were expected to marry and be happy with carrying out domestic duties and bearing children. Including the new science of forensics, how it could be used to solve crimes and how hereditary diseases were being discovered, and this made the story really interesting. I received a copy of this book from Harlequin Australia in exchange for an honest review, a brilliant Australian historical mystery, and five stars from me.

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