The Spendthrift and the Swallow | #bookreview #shortstory #historicalfiction #Edinburgh | #AmbroseParry @canongatebooks

I spotted a little treat for the holiday weekend on Chris Brookmyre’s Twitter page. Ahead of the publication of the fourth novel in the Raven and Fisher series by Ambrose Parry, there is a free ebook and audiobook available on all the usual platforms. Now I admit I’m a little behind on this series (okay, I’ve only read the first one!) but I snapped up The Spendthrift and the Swallow anyway.

About the book

Edinburgh, 1853.
In a city where reputation is everything, it doesn’t take much to destroy a man.

When Cora Carlton, socialite and wife of a free-spending entrepreneur, dies suddenly on New Year’s Eve, the knives are out for her physician, the esteemed Dr James Young Simpson.

Determined to separate medical fact from malicious rumour, Simpson’s protégé Dr Will Raven and aspiring medical practitioner Sarah Fisher traverse the heights of society and the depths of the underworld to uncover a grisly truth.

In this digital exclusive short story, wander through the dark alleys of Victorian Edinburgh with Raven and Fisher, and listen/read on for a sneak preview of Ambrose Parry’s new novel Voices of the Dead.

My Thoughts

With this being a short story, this will only be a short review. I really enjoyed meeting up with Will Raven and Sarah Fisher again and it’s put me in the mood for catching up with the rest of the series. If you haven’t read any of the books before, this would be a good introduction as the characters’ back stories are briefly outlined.

Despite it being a short story, there’s a plenty of intrigue as Raven and Fisher try to get to the bottom of the sudden death of one of Dr Simpson’s patients. Her husband says it was a tragic accident, her father says it was murder but who is telling the truth? Interestingly this, and another case mentioned, is based on a real historical case in Edinburgh’s dark past.

I noticed that the title is the same as one of Aesop’s Fables so I had a read of that too. It’s possibly where the phrase ‘one swallow does not a summer make’ comes from although it may be from further back in Greek legends. What I will say is that once you’ve read the story, you will realise just what a clever title the authors have chosen!

If you haven’t read any Ambrose Parry before, get yourself a copy of this so you can see how good their writing is. If you have read it, you’ll be eager to read this short tale featuring Raven and Fisher. And the good news is that this short story includes a sneak peek at the next Ambrose Parry book, Voices of the Dead, due out in June.

The Spendthrift and the Swallow is published by Canongate Books.
You can order a Kindle copy here: The Spendthrift and the Swallow

About the authors

Ambrose Parry is the pen name for husband and wife Chris Brookmyre (known mostly for his crime novels) and Dr Marisa Haetzman, a consultant anaesthetist. It is the latter’s interest in medical history that lead to their collaboration.

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