Monday, January 14, 2013

Fell the Angels by John Kerr

Book Cover
Fell the Angels by John Kerr is a  murder mystery based on a true story, the Charles Bravo murders in the mid 19th century.  It is a novel involving deception and greed and a bit of passion.  Cecelia was from a well to do family but she had made a bad marriage to a brutal alcoholic.  The only way she could separate from him and still appear respectable was to go to a type of spa.   Once there, she found she liked the atmosphere and promptly started an affair with the married director.  While this sounds scandalous she was separated from her husband and the doctor’s wife had been institutionalized for many years.  However, once Cecelia’s  affair became public her reputation was ruined.  It was thought the only way to save her from complete social oblivion was for her to marry well.   Her second husband was willing to deal with her sullied reputation since he himself had an affair that resulted in a child.  Plus her attractiveness to him was enhanced by her fortune.  Cecilia was forward thinking and canny, she took advantage of a recently enacted law where she could go to keep her fortune if the marriage did not work.  Charles was presented with a pre-nup to sign.   Charles was not pleased but he was a shady character and perhaps had a plan to get her fortune in another manner.  Spoiler alert—The marriage was only 4 months old when Charles became very ill with a mysterious illness and after lingering for three day he dies.  The original murder on which the story is based is never solved but author Kerr neatly wraps this one up.  This is an enjoyable and fast paced novel.