DEATH OF AN UNSUNG HERO by Tessa Arlen / Mystery / Released March 13, 2018 by Minotaur Books
Review by Colleen Donnelly
Let me say first that the cover for “Death of an Unsung Hero” by Tessa Arlen was well chosen for it does indeed fit the mood of this story. And not only does the cover suit the book, but the pace and style this WWI era mystery was written with also seem appropriate for the time period. Not trendy, or in any way resembling contemporary mysteries, this book will be best enjoyed by the person who not only loves to solve a crime, but who also appreciates how a story is told. From the beginning, “Death of an Unsung Hero” feels like a slice of life in a unique and unpopular hospital setting where the invisible wounds of soldiers are treated rather than the bleeding ones. The staff and patients alike unfold in the book’s beginning, their relationships and their dilemmas compounding until one of them is murdered. And eventually another…setting in motion fear for those on site as well as fear the hospital will be closed down. Not willing to risk leaving the institution or its people at the mercy of an incompetent investigator, two older staff women assume the task of solving the crimes themselves, sorting through complex clues while navigating negative social opinion as they do.
Again, this story wasn’t written to be a fast-paced whodunit, jumping from incident to incident, but rather a daily walk in the lives and shoes of the characters. The author does indeed put us into the characters’ day-to-day, and does a good job of sticking to the main plot while resolving minor issues that complicate the crime. The two heroines were worthy sleuths, the investigator easy to despise, and the crime well concealed as clues amassed. There was nothing graphic, no vulgarity, just truly a slice of life story with murder complicating the mix.
I thank The Book Breeze for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. As an author, reader, critique partner, and part time copy editor, I appreciated the literary style of this book, the way the setting and characters helped reveal the tone and mood of the era, and the mystery that stayed a mystery while it was being solved.
Colleen L Donnelly
Amazon #1 Bestselling Author