An Enthralling Historical Mystery: Read Our Review of The Prodigal Sister by Darry Fraser

An Enthralling Historical Mystery: Read Our Review of The Prodigal Sister by Darry Fraser

1900, Melbourne, Victoria. Miss Prudence North is freshly returned from university in Scotland and determined to find her place among the male-dominated world of the new forensic sciences. When a high-ranking policeman waylays her, he threatens to charge her father for illegal medical practices unless she helps him build a case against local landowner Jasper Darke by spying on him.

With her sister’s illness worsening, if their income disappears, Prudence will have to take on nursing and domestic duties and she’ll never have the freedom she craves. Prudence has no choice but to agree.

Immediately taken with the handsome Mr Darke, a seemingly good and honest man, Prudence can’t see what nefarious activities she’s meant to be reporting on. She’ll have to get closer…

But when a body turns up at her father’s surgery, the forensics reveal to Prudence there’s more going on about all this than meets the eye. It’s clear that it’s up to her to uncover the truth – of this murder, of whatever’s going on at the surgery after hours and, especially, of the intriguing Jasper Darke. Her life, her family and her future rely on it.

Whenever I pick up a Darry Fraser novel, I know a great read is in store. Over the years, she has steadily built a reputation for herself as one of Australia’s leading historical fiction novelists. Her previous novels have been big hits with BR readers, including Where the Murray River Lies (2017) and The Widow of Ballarat (2018), which both made our Top 100 list, and her last two novels, Elsa Goody Bushranger (2020) and The Last Truehart (2020). Her works often feature strong female protagonists and rollicking plot lines, all set against a vividly depicted Australian landscape. The Prodigal Sister is no different. It’s an enthralling, fast-paced historical mystery, and it might just be one of Fraser’s best works yet.

The Prodigal Sister follows headstrong Prudence North, who must face off a dangerous blackmailer who threatens both her family and her dreams of escaping domestic drudgery. Prudence makes for a bold, captivating female lead, one who is more than capable of rising to the challenges thrown her way. She also has a keen interest in forensic science – a field of study that was closed to women during this period – and it was fascinating to see her put this knowledge to good use throughout the novel.

Richly imagined, meticulously researched and utterly engrossing, The Prodigal Sister is an exhilarating historical fiction adventure with an unforgettable heroine at its heart. I can’t imagine a better read to curl up with this Christmas.

Buy a copy of The Prodigal Sister here.

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9 December 2021

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                Publisher details

                The Prodigal Sister
                Author
                Darry Fraser
                Publisher
                HarperCollins
                Genre
                Fiction
                Released
                01 December, 2021
                ISBN
                9781489294562

                Synopsis

                Headstrong Prudence North faces a dangerous blackmailer who threatens her family and her dreams of escaping domestic drudgery. An enthralling historical mystery from a bestselling Australian author.

                1900, Melbourne, Victoria

                Miss Prudence North is freshly returned from university in Scotland and determined to find her place among the male-dominated world of the new forensic sciences when a high-ranking policeman waylays her. He threatens to charge her father for illegal medical practices unless she helps him build a case against local landowner Jasper Darke by spying on him.

                With her sister's illness worsening, if their income disappears, Prudence will have to take on nursing and domestic duties and she'll never have the freedom she craves. Prudence has no choice but to agree.

                Immediately taken with the handsome Mr Darke, a seemingly good and honest man, Prudence can't see what nefarious activities she's meant to be reporting on. She'll have to get closer...

                But when a body turns up at her father's surgery, the forensics reveal to Prudence there's more going on about all this than meets the eye. It's clear it's up to her to uncover the truth - of this murder, of whatever's going on at the surgery after hours and, especially, of the intriguing Jasper Darke. Her life, her family and her future rely on it.

                Darry Fraser
                About the author

                Darry Fraser

                Darry Fraser's first novel, Daughter of the Murray, is set on her beloved River Murray where she spent part of her childhood. Where The Murray River Runs, her second novel, is set in Bendigo in the 1890s, and her third novel, The Widow of Ballarat, takes place on the Ballarat goldfields in the 1850s. Darry currently lives, works and writes on Kangaroo Island, an awe-inspiring place off the coast of South Australia.

                Books by Darry Fraser

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