Death and the Dear Doctor

Written by Valerie Fletcher Adolph
Review by Holly Faur

Yorkshire, 1947. While on the run from an abusive husband, Trudy Bickerstaff meets Alice and Alastair Mackie, proprietors of a private home for the elderly. Alice is warm and inviting, while Alastair prefers a bottle and his grouchy moods. Hired on to help, Trudy meets the eclectic collection of residents who live at the home as she settles cautiously into her new life, but when Alastair turns up poisoned, both Trudy and Alice are instantly suspected of his death. With Trudy’s husband at her heels demanding her back, nosy housemates underfoot and a handsome and mysterious doctor on call, Alice and Trudy must piece together the confusing clues and clear their names.

Filled with quirky village life and a wide cast of interesting characters, Death and the Dear Doctor is a fast and easy read with an abundance of trouble, poison, and twists and turns. Each chapter alternates in point of view between Alice and Trudy, both of whom are clear but busy narrators, so the reader can experience each unique perspective as the pair tumbles into danger as amateur sleuths. But the switching also had me struggling to fully connect with what was happening. Perhaps because of this, I felt the urgency waned in spots, and a few details seemed overlooked. Overall, though, the case is solved to satisfaction, with a few surprises and quite a lot of personality along the way, leaving the new pair of lady detectives eagerly waiting for their next case.