Moriarty by Annelie Wendeberg | Book Review

Book One: The Devil’s Grin (reviewed May 16, 2015)


This was a rather interesting novel where the lead character is a female guise as a male German doctor where the cure and preventive measure for tetanus and cholera is yet to be realized. However, suspected victims of such vile disease are the impoverish citizens of London during the year 1889. To Scotland Yard, London’s elite fighting force and known for its exemplary detective work, this is just another cholera victim, but for Dr. Anton Kronberg this is far more than the usual unfortunate pauper. And with the help of Sherlock Holmes, they are bound to discover a far more sinister work at play.

Narrated in first person, Dr. Anton Kronberg (Anna Kronberg when not guise in her male form) unfolds the secrets and horror of unethical medical practice during 19th century London. In order for her to find the culprit and expose the maltreatment of human test subjects, she must delve deeper into this world of deception and cruelty.

The description in the novel are graphic and may not be for the faint of heart. It reminds me of World War II documentaries where the Nazis physicians perform various medical tests on their captives in concentration camps (e.g. Auschwitz). Test subjects in this novel were people from workhouses and asylums with no family, no relatives.

I believe this is a three-part novel with ‘The Devil’s Grin’ as the first book. Although Sherlock Holmes do not appear in the book as often as I like, the story still holds intrigue and the storytelling is phenomenal.