Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Recipe For Treason

Friday, February 22, 2019

Recipe For Treason (2014) Andrea Penrose

Set in ~1814

The first two books in this series were fine.

This one, however, irritated me.

Let’s start with first thing to drive me to a snarky comment, 5% into the story.

The coachman had been knocked unconscious by a rock during the initial attack. But with his head bandaged by the surgeon and his belly warmed by the whisky, he had insisted he was fit to drive.

“Oh. Well that seems like a perfectly fine.”

My irritation and snark only continued from there.

Adrianna spent her formative years in the Caribbean and West Indies.

“My Spanish is excellent, as is my American accent  .  .  .” She switched to a flat drawl.

I don’t buy that. First, I’m not sure that the American accent was a “flat drawl” in the early 1800s (see also the accents of my home state, which are neither flat nor drawling), and even if it WAS, the accents of the Caribbean, which would be the ones she could easily slip into, are NOT flat, but are instead melodious and beautiful.

Then we got to this bit, which drove me to the Internet.

“I’ve removed the bullet and sewn up his shoulder. His body is beginning te look like a lady’s embroidery sampler, what with all the stitch marks te his hide. But I daresay he’ll survive.”

“Really? No concern about infection?”

Murray absently wiped his hands on his tweed pants, leaving a tiny trace of blood on the wool.

“Especially in light of such sanitary practices?”

“Fever might not be the most serious threat to his well-being,” said Saybrook softly.

And off I was, searching the internet for rates of death from infection following gunshots in the early 1800s. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find numbers, per se, but I’m not done looking. But I did learn that amputation was common during this time, so stave off death from infection (which was common).

FREX, this bit is talking about WWI.

Many soldiers lost limbs and life due to infected
wounds and disease.

In 1918 a group of surgeons took cultures of
wound swabs from their patients and found that 90.3% of the wounds
were infected.

Runcie H (2015) Infection in a Pre-Antibiotic Era. J Anc Dis Prev Rem 3: 125.

To be clear, the man shrugging off the possibility of wound sepsis fought in Europe and was himself seriously injured. Not sane person at that time would shrug off the possibility of infection.

THEN there was the melodrama.

“I realize this appears a trifle odd, but allow me to explain.”

He cleared his throat with a cough. “By all means, do.”

“We need your help. Or rather, Britain needs your help. A pair of traitors are seeking to escape to France with vital documents. A man named (name) is to (assist) them across the Channel in his (ship). They must be stopped  .  .  .”

Gee. How could be not believe that?

And then finally, this:

A few seconds later, a muffled cry rose above the thrum of the wind.

“Bang on the mark!” exclaimed Sadler. “You knocked the pistol from his hand.”

“Ha, and it fell overboard!” added Sophia.

With a pistol. From one moving vehicle to another. In 1812.

No. No no no all the nos no.

I also have grave concerns about this”

He added a large pair of iron tongs to the sack containing bullets and gunpowder.”

“What’s that for?” asked Sophia.

“Heating the lead to a red-hot glow over the fire before we load our weapons,” he answered grimly.

I won’t say it’s not something that was done, but with a black-powder pistol that seems EXTRA dangerous. (If someone could explain how that could or could not work, I’d appreciate it.)

So, no. I can’t recommend this book, nor suggest that you start the series–entirely too much aggravation.

Rating: 4/10

Categories: British, Dislike/Abandon, Historical, Mystery     Comments (0)    

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