Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Hither, Page

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Hither, Page (2019) Cat Sebastian (Page & Sommers)

Hither, PageSet in England in 1946.

Mrs Hoggett is dead, and although her death was certainly suspicious, there is nothing directory pointing to murder.

None of the witnesses could suggest a possible motive, nor did any of them think Mrs. Hoggett had enemies. Leo had actually laughed out loud at that, drawing a sharp look from the other man in his train compartment.

Despite that–and how mundane the death was–Leo Page is sent to investigate, even though his expertise usually has him working overseas.

James Sommers returned to England in the hopes of leaving the war behind. Unfortunately, it didn’t work and he is unfortunate enough to be a doctor who now flinches at the sight of blood.

“No, I assure you that I’m farther gone than most. And I wasn’t even a soldier. All I did was, as you said, stitch people up. What right do I have to—”

“No.” Page laid a hand on his shoulder. “What you’re not going to do is talk about shell shock or combat fatigue or brain fuckery as if it’s a special treat that you haven’t earned.”

James huffed out a startled laugh. “I know that. Thank you. I—”

One of the things that I noticed again on reading this is how much it feels like other books written in that time period–as well as the details that weren’t necessarily obvious.

“Dare I ask where Wendy got the sugar?” Sommers eyed his half-eaten scone with a sort of guilty hunger. “Last I heard, she used all her coupons on peppermint creams for the children at the vicarage.”

One of the things I learned from reading Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer mysteries is that the shortages lasted long after the war ended. Being from the US, I tend to think of the war ending, all the soldiers coming home and the baby boom starting. But England was destroyed, and recovery wasn’t going to be that quick.

Even the vicar seems like he could have come from an Agatha Christie story.

I’ve missed an evil element right on my doorstep. Either my powers of observation are lamentably poor, or this evil element is so ingrained into the fabric of our lives here that it’s become invisible to me. And, James, I don’t know which is worse.”

Just what I needed to resettle my mind after several books that were misses.

Rating: 8.5/10


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