Published: 28/05/2016
ISBN: 9781785892103
eISBN: 9781785895890
Format: Paperback/eBook



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The Doctor of Broad Street
A Victorian tale of murder and malady
by Katherine Tansley

“As I set off for home to get my bag, I could not help my gut clenching in fear at the prospect of the cholera returning to our shores.”

The Doctor of Broad Street tells the story of one man’s work to discover the cause of an epidemic, in an age when there was very limited knowledge, medicines and technology in comparison to today. With little effective treatment, it was only prevention that offered any real hope...

The Doctor of Broad Street follows Frank Roberts, a doctor working with the poor in the squalor of Victorian London. After a night out with his friend, anaesthetist John Snow, he is called upon to conduct the autopsy of a man found in a cesspit on Broad Street. As London struggles with a heat wave, he finds himself drawn into the investigation as he becomes acquainted with the family of the man accused of the murder. However, his efforts to help clear an innocent man are overshadowed as a deadly cholera epidemic sweeps through the streets of Soho, causing painful ghosts from his childhood to resurface. He helps as John works painstakingly to find the source of the cholera, in the face of widespread opposition to his ideas. Can Frank help save an innocent man? Can he help his patients and not succumb to the cholera himself? Can he support his friend in his search for the truth? Will he finally be able to lay his ghosts to rest and find happiness?

“Based on and set around a true event, this is a story of tenacity, perseverance and the steadfastness of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Ultimately it is a story of friendship and love,” comments Katherine.

The Doctor of Broad Street will appeal to fans of historical fiction and medical fiction.

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Katherine and The Doctor of Broad Street will be appearing with several other authors at Heffers bookshop in Cambridge at 18.30 on 14th July as part of their ticketed event 'What's Your Poison - a summer crime fiction party', tickets through Eventbrite or 01223463200

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An excellent story, beautifully written. The novel is set in Victorian London and the author paints the picture of poverty and the hardships of life in Soho at that time very well. There are various strands to the story, including murder, the struggle for a doctor (John Snow) to be taken seriously in his research in to the causes of Cholera, and a love story. All these elements are beautifully interwoven and paced - the book is certainly a page turner and very enjoyable.
A triumph for any author - and particularly for a first novel.

by Caitlin Knighton


I love historical fiction and this novel was superbly written. Very enjoyable.

by Lisa Garrett


Thoroughly enjoyed this book that cleverly intertwines historic fact with a fictional storyline. It charts the real struggle of new ideas meeting head- on with the intransigent establishment that have decided their view is entirely correct and rebuke any challenges to them. The writer describes the environment particularly well I think and draws the reader in to walk the streets with the characters and gives a real flavour of the time. An enjoyable page- turner.

by Jerry Braker


A wonderful story set in 1850s London, highlighting the challenging times before medical improvements and accurately set in history at that time.
Beautifully written and descriptive story with twists and turns keeping the reader enthralled right until the end.
Highly recommended read.

by Karen Ward


A fascinating portrayal of the trials of Victorian life and the progress made in understanding disease control. All this combined with a captivating love story. Katherine's debut novel is a triumph and you really feel you are there alongside the characters, so clear are the images she creates. Highly recommended for lovers of historical and medical fiction.

by Louise B


A fascinating tale of Victorian London, and a great social history read of the Cholera epidemic of the time. You can tell that this author has done A LOT of work and research into every aspect of that era, and it shows in the writing, you get a real feel of the grime, crime, and desperation of the people trying to survive. I really enjoyed the Crime aspect, social aspect with a hint of romance thrown in. Fascinating read.

by Vici Scott


This is a detailed account of an early epidemiological exploration which, 150 years later, is also a seminal example of a geographical information study which is the foundation of modern location and proximity analysis.

More than that, this is a sensitive novel which provides fully-rounded people who engage our sympathy for their bravery, their concern, their pains and sense of helplessness. Katherine Tansley's delicate touch and sound research tranport us to a busy and vibrant London where real historical people rub shoulders with fictional ones of all classes. The supplementary material at the end fills any gaps which may remain in our understanding if we got caught up in the drama of the dreadful and fatal outbreak of cholera and the entwined tales of murder and mystery.

by Ursula Rutherford


I really enjoyed this book. The true story of the cholera outbreak of the 1850s in the Soho area of Victorian London, and of Dr John Snow's tireless efforts to prove the causes of the disease are well described. The poverty, squalor, overcrowding and the stench of street life are vividly told, and the book is beautifully written.
Set against this background is a fictional story of a Soho doctor, a friend of John Snow, and his attempts to help his cholera-stricken neighbours. The author has cleverly interwoven a murder and a gentle love story, and the result is a real page turner.
I thoroughly recommend this book.

by JAP


Working in the healthcare industry, it is always fascinating to compare illnesses of the past to the diseases we suffer from presently. This novel was especially fascinating to me, not only because of the beautiful, descriptive writing, but because cholera is still present in a different viral form, and hospital and skilled nursing facilities deal with it regularly . The fictional Dr Frank Roberts was a brilliant pioneer, a man who put his reputation up for speculation to force the truth upon those who steadfastly believed that pollution and bad air quality caused the deadly outbreak of cholera. By intensely researching and dedicating his career and life to substantiating that the water supply was to blame, Dr Roberts allowed the disease process to become further understood, thereby giving it the chance to become eradicated in time. An excellent work to be enjoyed by any and all- not just those involved in the healthcare or scientific research fields.

by J. Mangano


This medical mystery was interesting to read. I enjoyed following the good doctor, his patients, his friends. The sad coincidences in their lives and the occasional happy outcome keep me reading well past my bedtime.

by Kathryn Garnes


 

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