Devoured by D E Meredith is a Victorian 'forensic' mystery. The novel alludes to many themes considered as exotica - being those physical objects or ideas that came from other cultures and which soon began to permeate the very fabric of Victorian society - all of which D E Meredith will be discussing for your delight at the upcoming Thames Valley History Festival.
Devoured is the very first of Meredith's ‘Hatton and Roumande’ mysteries. It begins in London in 1856, a time of great industry and invention - but also of exploration, with scientists travelling abroad and discovering the untamed jungles where entirely new species of life are found; whether they be plant or animal.
African Tribal masks
Back home in ‘civilised’ England, where there is a growing obsession with the collecting of specimens, the glamorous Lady Bessingham is found murdered in her bedroom, while being surrounded by an array of fossils and African tribal masks. At this point, Professor Adolphus Hatton and his morgue assistant, Albert Roumande, are called in to examine the scene of the crime as well as the state of the corpse.
Victorian fossil collection
In fact, Lady Bessingham’s murder is not destined to be a single event. All too soon our medical ‘detectives’ will join forces with Scotland Yard’s Inspector Adams to follow a trail of murders which prove to be connected via a series of letters that, if published, might threaten the very faith upon which society is based.
For some, that risk to the status quo is simply too awful to contemplate.
For more on the author, D E Meredith, along with samples from Devoured and information on the facts that inspired the writing of the book, please see this link.