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Edinburgh Midnight

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Superstition and murder haunt nineteenth-century Scotland in a twisting mystery by the prize-winning author of Edinburgh Twilight and Edinburgh Dusk. In nineteenth-century Edinburgh, spiritualism has captured the public’s imagination. Séances are all the rage, and Detective Ian Hamilton’s otherwise sensible aunt Lillian is not immune to their allure. But for Ian, indulging Superstition and murder haunt nineteenth-century Scotland in a twisting mystery by the prize-winning author of Edinburgh Twilight and Edinburgh Dusk. In nineteenth-century Edinburgh, spiritualism has captured the public’s imagination. Séances are all the rage, and Detective Ian Hamilton’s otherwise sensible aunt Lillian is not immune to their allure. But for Ian, indulging her superstitions has its limits. When members of Lillian’s circle of séance friends begin turning up dead, Ian doesn’t need a medium to tell him these aren’t freak accidents. With the help of his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian investigates, and he is soon drawn into a dark world of believers and tricksters, and a puzzling series of murders with no pattern, no motive, and no end in sight. Most alarming, the crimes conjure up the ghosts of Ian’s own past, including the mysterious deaths of his parents, which have haunted him for years. As two cases converge, science collides with the uncanny, and Ian must confront truths that are more disturbing than he could ever have imagined.


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Superstition and murder haunt nineteenth-century Scotland in a twisting mystery by the prize-winning author of Edinburgh Twilight and Edinburgh Dusk. In nineteenth-century Edinburgh, spiritualism has captured the public’s imagination. Séances are all the rage, and Detective Ian Hamilton’s otherwise sensible aunt Lillian is not immune to their allure. But for Ian, indulging Superstition and murder haunt nineteenth-century Scotland in a twisting mystery by the prize-winning author of Edinburgh Twilight and Edinburgh Dusk. In nineteenth-century Edinburgh, spiritualism has captured the public’s imagination. Séances are all the rage, and Detective Ian Hamilton’s otherwise sensible aunt Lillian is not immune to their allure. But for Ian, indulging her superstitions has its limits. When members of Lillian’s circle of séance friends begin turning up dead, Ian doesn’t need a medium to tell him these aren’t freak accidents. With the help of his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian investigates, and he is soon drawn into a dark world of believers and tricksters, and a puzzling series of murders with no pattern, no motive, and no end in sight. Most alarming, the crimes conjure up the ghosts of Ian’s own past, including the mysterious deaths of his parents, which have haunted him for years. As two cases converge, science collides with the uncanny, and Ian must confront truths that are more disturbing than he could ever have imagined.

30 review for Edinburgh Midnight

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn

    This is the third book in the Ian Hamilton series. I enjoyed it very much. The descriptions of the time were very evocative; the characters very real to me. The murders of people associated with Madame Velensky's seances were a bit easy to solve in the end, but the mystery didn't end there. There is still a dark, mysterious evil character now living in Edinburgh. Is this person involved in the deaths of Ian's parents in a fire seven years ago? We don't find out yet. There is definitely a cliff-h This is the third book in the Ian Hamilton series. I enjoyed it very much. The descriptions of the time were very evocative; the characters very real to me. The murders of people associated with Madame Velensky's seances were a bit easy to solve in the end, but the mystery didn't end there. There is still a dark, mysterious evil character now living in Edinburgh. Is this person involved in the deaths of Ian's parents in a fire seven years ago? We don't find out yet. There is definitely a cliff-hanger to keep us coming back for book 4. I like the addition of Dr. Bell and Arthur Conan Doyle in the plot. These men were real and bring a sense of history to the story. I'm curious to see if Ian and Nurse Stuart manage to continue their friendship as the next book comes out. A very interesting dark mystery series. It also brought back memories to me of my trip to Great Britain twenty years ago. I loved exploring the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, and Edinburgh Castle. I'd love to go back someday.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Horton

    Not my favorite in the series. The author breaks into the voice of the murderer for a few chapters, and they don’t contain anything revelatory, so don’t add to the story (and actually, pulled me out of it). Also, the villain is easy to figure out from the way the author positions (gender hidden) behavior in a family context. Lastly, the “regular” characters aren’t developed any further in this book, something I’d like to see. One thing I do like is the “elder” romance. It’s a lovely touch. All in Not my favorite in the series. The author breaks into the voice of the murderer for a few chapters, and they don’t contain anything revelatory, so don’t add to the story (and actually, pulled me out of it). Also, the villain is easy to figure out from the way the author positions (gender hidden) behavior in a family context. Lastly, the “regular” characters aren’t developed any further in this book, something I’d like to see. One thing I do like is the “elder” romance. It’s a lovely touch. All in all, a light read for a winter evening, and recommended for that purpose.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    God I love these books. I need a fourth one right now. Like, right now. I mean, waiting is hard and I don't like it so book 4 now, please?? God I love these books. I need a fourth one right now. Like, right now. I mean, waiting is hard and I don't like it so book 4 now, please??

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dana Linde

    I have always enjoyed the Ian Hamilton mysteries. The third installment is another case for the detective to solve; however, this time the author includes - I felt- a lot more of the dynamics of the police unit as they deal with a possible informant who is untrustworthy. I also enjoyed the look at more forensic aspects of police work such as blood spatter and graphology. The additional attention given to Hamilton's love life, his relationships with his aunt and brother, and the inclusion of Dr. I have always enjoyed the Ian Hamilton mysteries. The third installment is another case for the detective to solve; however, this time the author includes - I felt- a lot more of the dynamics of the police unit as they deal with a possible informant who is untrustworthy. I also enjoyed the look at more forensic aspects of police work such as blood spatter and graphology. The additional attention given to Hamilton's love life, his relationships with his aunt and brother, and the inclusion of Dr. Doyle were also major pluses. On the bad side, it seemed as though the killer was almost too obvious and the unresolved nature of the in-house dynamics at the police house- especially with Dickerson- and the mystery connected with the fire that killed Hamilton's parents left the reader hanging- which I suppose is intentional. I had not noticed it before, but the author also spends much attention on using a character's speech to determine his or her origins. I hadn't remembered this as much in past books. It seemed to appear almost too frequently this time. I guess she is trying to develop secondary characters more??? At least, in this rendering, Hamilton becomes a bit more human than in the previous books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marie Cordalis

    I love "Gaslight Mysteries" and this is a book I would put in that classification. Overall it was a pretty good mystery, although it wasn't too difficult to figure out "who done it" but maybe that's because I read a lot of mysteries. I liked the way the author included some other historical characters, real and fictional in the story and for me any book with a cat character is a book I want to read :) But for some reason, aside from the cat I couldn't really get into the characters. They didn't s I love "Gaslight Mysteries" and this is a book I would put in that classification. Overall it was a pretty good mystery, although it wasn't too difficult to figure out "who done it" but maybe that's because I read a lot of mysteries. I liked the way the author included some other historical characters, real and fictional in the story and for me any book with a cat character is a book I want to read :) But for some reason, aside from the cat I couldn't really get into the characters. They didn't seem to have much depth and there wasn't much likeable about any of them for me. A little more humor might have helped although I realize that those times were grim and difficult times to live in. But still... Having said that, it was an okay read and I liked it enough to finish it but I'm not sure I'd search out any others in this series. I received a free copy of this ebook via a Goodreads giveaway.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Another enjoyable read featuring my favorite detective, Ian Hamilton. In this book, Ian is juggling THREE cases, one being the ongoing mystery regarding his parents' deaths. The other two cases are based on the serial murders of some seance attendees, and a huge heist. Ian is busy, and his running around without eating or getting much sleep is beginning to take a toll on him. (view spoiler)[He misses out on TWO dinner dates due to his dogged 'detectiving'. The fact that he is allowing himself to Another enjoyable read featuring my favorite detective, Ian Hamilton. In this book, Ian is juggling THREE cases, one being the ongoing mystery regarding his parents' deaths. The other two cases are based on the serial murders of some seance attendees, and a huge heist. Ian is busy, and his running around without eating or getting much sleep is beginning to take a toll on him. (view spoiler)[He misses out on TWO dinner dates due to his dogged 'detectiving'. The fact that he is allowing himself to interact normally with the woman who finally caught his eye is nice. I still think that he's a little on the spectrum though. (hide spoiler)] I felt that the climax and the ending of the book was a little rushed, but it was still a satisfactory read. Looking forward to the next book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    This is the 3rd book in the Ian Hamilton series. This is a dark thriller set on the cold streets of Victorian Edinburgh. The story starts when Ian accompanies his Aunt Lillian to a seance, and it's not long before the murders start to happen - the victims? members of the seance group. I do like this series of books, but the authors Americanisms often show through, and the Scottish slang still needs a wee bit of work. But apart from that, I really do like the series. This is the 3rd book in the Ian Hamilton series. This is a dark thriller set on the cold streets of Victorian Edinburgh. The story starts when Ian accompanies his Aunt Lillian to a seance, and it's not long before the murders start to happen - the victims? members of the seance group. I do like this series of books, but the authors Americanisms often show through, and the Scottish slang still needs a wee bit of work. But apart from that, I really do like the series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Setup for a series Big Bad...

  9. 4 out of 5

    J. Griff

    Review soon.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Luca

    Definitely better than the second one, but damn, now I want more!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Edinburgh Midnight, the third book in the Ian Hamilton series is not good. At all. It was bad; a thoroughly unpleasant read. The strengths that Carole Lawrence demonstrated in the first two books, notably in tone, atmosphere, and prose, was completely missing in the third book. The prose that evoked 1880 Edinburgh was replaced with pedantic passages detailing the historic significance of various buildings or statues (and at one time a funeral prayer hymnal). I have no issue infusing historic deta Edinburgh Midnight, the third book in the Ian Hamilton series is not good. At all. It was bad; a thoroughly unpleasant read. The strengths that Carole Lawrence demonstrated in the first two books, notably in tone, atmosphere, and prose, was completely missing in the third book. The prose that evoked 1880 Edinburgh was replaced with pedantic passages detailing the historic significance of various buildings or statues (and at one time a funeral prayer hymnal). I have no issue infusing historic details in a novel, just not to the point where the book feels less like a novel and more like a history text (as is the case here). These passages brought the story line to a screeching halt. In Edinburgh Midnight, Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton is so busy pursing not one, not two, but three separate cases (séance murders, fire that killed his parents, and police/informant corruption) that he manages to miss three dates with (the still horrible) Fiona Stuart. – I continue to be baffled as to why I am supposed to root for a romantic paring that is based on petty and spiteful, childish behavior (which continues in this novel); even when Ian and Fiona “apologize”, the apology comes across as condescending and surly. Not only does the reader have to content with a convoluted plot and romantic angst, (s)he is treated to middle school antics when Dickerson’s jealousy over DI Hamilton’s friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle sends him into the arms of the school, erm, police station bully and all around bad guy Turnbull. So many of the characters have devolved, becoming flat and boring - Lillian is a plot device, Donald stands in for an exposition dump, and Derek has become deus ex machine. DI Hamilton started the series as a smart, determined, and dedicated investigator - we are told by everyone that DI Hamilton is “brilliant” and “the best;” however, I have my doubts as Hamilton has the stuffing beat out of him on a regular basis, has been ambushed several times, is completely oblivious to the fact that he is constantly followed (by Derek, by Corbin, by Doyle, by the murderer(s), by street gang members, etc.) and misses key clues (that are often pointed out to him by others). It seems (to me anyway) that Hamilton “solves” the case by the efforts of others and not his “brilliant” investigative prowess. I do not know if there will Ian Hamilton mysteries published in the future, regardless, I plan on taking a hard pass on them. If I want to reach about a brilliant detective solve unusual crimes in Victoriana Era England/Scotland, I will stick with the original (and still the best) Sherlock Holmes.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne Blackwell

    Frustrating Our book group chose this book and I fear its the worst book we've ever read. The plot jars, the speech in accents is infuriating and the constant use of Scottish language,then explained feels like a comedian explaining his own joke.all of this frustrated any interest in plot or character. Conan doyle? Really? Why? Frustrating Our book group chose this book and I fear its the worst book we've ever read. The plot jars, the speech in accents is infuriating and the constant use of Scottish language,then explained feels like a comedian explaining his own joke.all of this frustrated any interest in plot or character. Conan doyle? Really? Why?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    A ridiculous book. The two previous Ian Hamilton books were fine, but this one just went off on a downward tangent. Basically, this was a modern book in period costume. The odious Fiona Stewart acts like a very 21st century woman, and instead of being surprised, the hard-nosed Ian Hamilton gets completely tongue-tied in her presence. Ridiculous! Also, extremely jarring to have such American terminology in a book about Edinburgh. Each time it happens (which is distressingly frequent), it breaks t A ridiculous book. The two previous Ian Hamilton books were fine, but this one just went off on a downward tangent. Basically, this was a modern book in period costume. The odious Fiona Stewart acts like a very 21st century woman, and instead of being surprised, the hard-nosed Ian Hamilton gets completely tongue-tied in her presence. Ridiculous! Also, extremely jarring to have such American terminology in a book about Edinburgh. Each time it happens (which is distressingly frequent), it breaks the reader's immersion into the book. Also, would someone please tell this author that there is no such thing as a 'Central London' accent. She calls a 'posh' English accent a central London accent. What rubbish! Posh in England only shows which school you went to, not at all where you come from. This book was dull and unimaginative, and the characters were flat and one dimensional. And the supernatural turn the story is taking makes it even more preposterous. Where did that come from (and more to the point, where one earth is it going?) Ian Hamilton behaves so stupidly in almost every situation that I can scarcely bear to read him any more. He's more like a hot-headed youth than a mature man approaching his middle years. I couldn't wait for the book to end and I doubt I will be reading any more.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anne Brown

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Things have taken a spooky turn in the third book in the Ian Hamilton detective series. Ian’s beloved Aunt Lillian has been attending seances to talk to her husband since his death. Ian thinks all this is bosh and bunkum but when his aunt asks him to accompany her in a weak moment, he agrees. Once there, as soon as the medium enters a trance, she delivers him a message where he is addressed as Bear, his mother’s pet name for him. The message tells him that sometimes things should be left alone. Things have taken a spooky turn in the third book in the Ian Hamilton detective series. Ian’s beloved Aunt Lillian has been attending seances to talk to her husband since his death. Ian thinks all this is bosh and bunkum but when his aunt asks him to accompany her in a weak moment, he agrees. Once there, as soon as the medium enters a trance, she delivers him a message where he is addressed as Bear, his mother’s pet name for him. The message tells him that sometimes things should be left alone. Upset, confused and angry, Ian rushes from the house. The trouble is that Ian has already been given the same message from his Lillian and from his brother but he can’t let it alone. He is determined to investigate the fire that killed his parents and left him with an injured shoulder until he does find the truth. And soon he receives a message to say that someone has information for him. That person does not live long enough to tell Ian his tale. Meanwhile work is piling up. There has been a murder. The victim’s name is Miss Staverley, retired schoolteacher, and coincidentally a usual attendee at the same seances frequented by Aunt Lillian. The murder has been arranged to look like an accident but Ian is not convinced. A public autopsy conducted by Dr Bell confirms his suspicions that miss Staverley was bludgeoned in the side of the head and then either fell or was pushed down the cellar steps. But who would want to kill a retired schoolteacher? Before Ian and his trusty Sergeant Dickerson have made any ground on this murder, another body turns up. The new victim is Major Fitzpatrick, retired. Again the scene has been arranged to look unsuspicious, death by suicide this time, but again Ian is no convinced. This time he asks for his new friend Arthur Conan Doyle’s help and he confirms that it s murder. Strangely, Ian has met the Major before and it was at his Aunt’s seance. Why would anyone want to kill people who attend that seance in particular? I mentioned the trusty Sergeant Dickerson at the start of this but all is not harmonious on that front. The good sergeant is jealous of Ian’s new friendship with Doyle. He sees their easy familiarity, mutual respect and the equality in their relationship and feels his subordinate relationship keenly. Sergeant Dickerson hero worships Ian and has taken enormous satisfaction from being his right hand man. He fears that role has been usurped. Add to that a few times when Ian rides roughshod over the Sergeant’s feelings, albeit unknowingly, and the cracks start to appear. Ready to widen those cracks is Constable Turnbull. Although only a Constable, Turnbull wields a lot of influence in the station. Turnbull feels Ian crossed him and Ian simply knows Turnbull is a wrong un so the battle lines are drawn and the pawn is Sergeant Dickerson. If his own investigation and a double murder aren’t enough to be working on, DCI Crawford also asks Ian to investigate a possible informer, either from within the station or one of the police officers usual snouts, who is giving them false information. There have been two large scale robberies where the police were told that something big was going down elsewhere. The papers are having a field day, questioning the competence of the police to do their jobs effectively. This makes Ian question his sources, even as he puts the word out to look for the source of the misinformation. So now there are three main plot lines; the fire that killed his parents, the seance murders and the misinformant. The station has been told there is going to be a robbery at a large and exclusive jewellers but is this information true or false? In addition, the sub plots are Ian and Dickerson’s relationship, Ian and Fiona’s stalling attempts to start a relationship and the supernatural element. In the latter’s case, Ian is given more warnings purporting to be from beyond the grave when he returns to question the medium about the murders. He also has strange nightmares including dreaming that his mother touches his face with icy fingers, only to wake to find he has a wound on his cheek: a wound that won’t heal. The resonances with the play A Christmas Carol being performed by the amateur players Sergeant Dickerson belongs to are very nicely done. This is my favourite of the series so far. So many different plates are kept spinning, it’s enough to make the reader dizzy. As well as all the action, there is plenty of other things to enjoy, principally the historical detail and the increasing number and depth of relationships Ian is embarking on. In book one, Ian was an island. Now bridges are being built, some of them even by him. But will he get to enjoy them with the arrival of the shadowy figure, who has already admitted to being responsible for the death of Ian’s parents, and who has built a criminal empire without the police realising? We have been nicely set up for the next book in the series. I can’t wait!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Bibi

    Very good historical mystery with an excellent protagonist -In this third story in the Ian Hamilton series, which takes place in the late 19th Century Scotland, Detective Ian Hamilton is accompanying his aunt Lillian to a seance. As did many people in that time period, she believed that a medium was able to bring up the spirits of the dead, and she wanted to reach out to the soul of her husband who had died years before. Ian, on the other hand, went with his aunt grudgingly, as he had no patienc Very good historical mystery with an excellent protagonist -In this third story in the Ian Hamilton series, which takes place in the late 19th Century Scotland, Detective Ian Hamilton is accompanying his aunt Lillian to a seance. As did many people in that time period, she believed that a medium was able to bring up the spirits of the dead, and she wanted to reach out to the soul of her husband who had died years before. Ian, on the other hand, went with his aunt grudgingly, as he had no patience to attend what he considered a parlor trick by a con artist. During the seance, the medium, Madame Veselka, goes into a trance, and begins to address Ian. She calls him by a nickname that his mother called him and speaks to him as if by his mother, giving him a warning. He is visibly shaken and rushes out, but the experience has a lasting effect on him. -At the same time, his superior, Detective Chief Inspector Crawford, has given Hamilton the task of trying to ascertain the reliability of their current informants to possibly find out who of their informants was misdirecting their efforts to solve a string of thefts that were occurring in the city. It seemed that the various gangs were now working in concert and major thefts were being successfully conducted throughout the city. The police were seemingly powerless and the informants were not coming up with any useful information to catch the criminals. It was a difficult assignment, but Crawford had faith in Hamilton. -Shortly after the seance, Hamilton’s aunt Lillian comes to him in the police station. She needs his assistance urgently. One of her acquaintances who also attended the seance had fallen in her basement, and appeared to be dead. Hamilton goes to the house, and, though it appears that the woman fell down the stairs and died from the fall, Hamilton realizes that she was struck from behind, and that was the cause of death. There was now a killer on the loose, and more deaths of the seance group would follow. -Hamilton also is contacted by someone from the underworld, known as Rat Face who has information on who started the fire years before that killed Hamilton’s parents and that left Hamilton with burns in his shoulder. On the side, Hamilton deals with this personal investigation, which results in the death of his informant and ends up with Hamilton’s near death. -As a side story, we have the nurse, Fiona Stuart, who had a run in with Hamilton in a previous book, but who ended up liking him. Both Fiona and Hamilton keep playing a game of tag as they try to keep dinner dates that they make with each other, but something always happens that makes one or the other unable to attend. -The first two novels in the series were excellent, but the smoothness of the writing drops for some reason in this current story. The suspense seems forced, where it was naturally portrayed in the other novels. At the end, the story is set up for additional novels to come out in the future, as the psychopath that killed Hamilton’s parents is revealed, and, for some reason, is toying with Hamilton himself.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Edinburgh Midnight by Carole Lawrence Synopsis / In nineteenth-century Edinburgh, spiritualism has captured the public’s imagination. Séances are all the rage, and Detective Ian Hamilton’s otherwise sensible aunt Lillian is not immune to their allure. But for Ian, indulging her superstitions has its limits. When members of Lillian’s circle of séance friends begin turning up dead, Ian doesn’t need a medium to tell him these aren’t freak accidents. With the help of his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian Edinburgh Midnight by Carole Lawrence Synopsis / In nineteenth-century Edinburgh, spiritualism has captured the public’s imagination. Séances are all the rage, and Detective Ian Hamilton’s otherwise sensible aunt Lillian is not immune to their allure. But for Ian, indulging her superstitions has its limits. When members of Lillian’s circle of séance friends begin turning up dead, Ian doesn’t need a medium to tell him these aren’t freak accidents. With the help of his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, Ian investigates, and he is soon drawn into a dark world of believers and tricksters, and a puzzling series of murders with no pattern, no motive, and no end in sight. Most alarming, the crimes conjure up the ghosts of Ian’s own past, including the mysterious deaths of his parents, which have haunted him for years. As two cases converge, science collides with the uncanny, and Ian must confront truths that are more disturbing than he could ever have imagined. My Thoughts / The Ian Hamilton Mysteries is an historical mystery series set in Edinburgh, Scotland in the late 1800s. It focuses on the work and personal life of (fictional) Detective Inspector Ian Hamilton. The story involves Hamilton and his partner, Detective Sergeant Dickerson investigating a heinous murder. They are often helped by a street urchin named Derek McNair, Ian’s doctor-in-training brother, Donald, and Arthur Conan Doyle (yes, really). Things to love about this book:- The language To say that I am totally enamoured with the language in this book would be an understatement. I had a grin from ear to ear whilst reading. I was totally whisked away to 1880 Victorian Edinburgh. There were so many quotable moments in this book, but I’ll leave you with a couple of my most favourite ones: “Any journalist who fails to seize opportunity will never be successful.” “Nor will any policeman who blindly trusts the press.” “Please don’ say I see more than people wi’ two good eyes. I don’ see nothin’, mate. What I do is listen. Most people are too busy struttin’ around tryin’ tae make an impression. I got nothin’ to prove, so I listen.” “There’s better places tae buy a drink”. “Seems like you’ve had a few already.” “Aye. I’m mad wi’ it,” Jimmy said with a grin. “Totally bladdered.” “Hammered, eh?” “Aye. I’m wrecked, mate.” 😂 The characters Police Inspector Ian Hamilton, Sergeant Dickerson, Donald (Ian’s brother), Aunt Lillian, (a young) Arthur Conan Doyle, the young street urchin Derek McNair, Rat Face (and yes, that’s how he got this nickname). The Plot I’ll be honest and say that it’s not the best murder mystery story I’ve read, but, when combined with the charming and engaging characters, the author’s attention to detail with description and the fact that I loved loved loved the written language – the whole recipe comes together really well. A solid 4.5⭐️ read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elliot A

    The Gist I loved Lawrence’s two previous books in the Ian Hamilton Mysteries Series, Edinburgh Twilight and Edinburgh Dusk, and I was eagerly awaiting the publication of Edinburgh Midnight. Usually, I can’t put the book until I have finished the last page, but with Edinburgh Midnight I struggled. I struggled a lot. The Details Being the third in the series, I thought that at this point the reader might find out a little more about the protagonist. Instead, it felt like the author decided to take Hami The Gist I loved Lawrence’s two previous books in the Ian Hamilton Mysteries Series, Edinburgh Twilight and Edinburgh Dusk, and I was eagerly awaiting the publication of Edinburgh Midnight. Usually, I can’t put the book until I have finished the last page, but with Edinburgh Midnight I struggled. I struggled a lot. The Details Being the third in the series, I thought that at this point the reader might find out a little more about the protagonist. Instead, it felt like the author decided to take Hamilton a step back; to make him more obscure than in the first two books in the series. It was all fun and games getting to know Hamilton as the slightly brooding, complex character, but at this point the reader has committed to the series and the character and deserves a little more depth. Unfortunately, we are still stuck in the stock character stage. We got the main character, who appears to promise us a good and interesting backstory. Plus, the possibility of more character depths and personality traits as the series progresses. There are plenty of good secondary characters that have the potential to take this series from the monotonous, rather cookie-cutter sort of who-dunnit story to something that would put the Hamilton Mysteries above the rest. Sadly, the reader is presented with stock characters that won’t go beyond “the brother”, who tries to change his ways. “The detective”, who is brooding and we should take his moods as they come, and whatever other cardboard figures posing as characters would bring this story from point A to point B. The writing, generally speaking, is still very good. It’s just that it stopped focusing on the story and got stuck explaining Scottish culture in 1800’s. It takes the reader out of the story by way of saying “this is what this word actually means, yet it doesn’t really matter to the story as a whole”. I wasn’t impressed. The whole thing began to test my patience. I just wanted a good murder mystery to read during the holidays. Plus, I wasn’t sure what was going on with the plot. All of a sudden there are three murders to investigate, yet none get very much attention. I mean, Hamilton is very busy brooding. The Verdict Overall, after reading Edinburgh Midnight I’m the one brooding. The spark and excitement I felt reading the other two in this series are gone. I feel let down and disappointed. I don’t think I would recommend this one. ElliotScribbles

  18. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Bayne

    Another interesting foray into the world of 1880 Victorian Edinburgh following the exploits of Ian Hamilton Police Inspector confronted with the desire to solve the murder of his parents seven years ago he also take the lead on a series of murders whose only common denominator is a Spiritualist. On top of that his boss Chief Inspector as assigned him the responsibility of determining the potential target a a ruthless gang of thieves. Throughout this he is assisted by in this case a fictional Art Another interesting foray into the world of 1880 Victorian Edinburgh following the exploits of Ian Hamilton Police Inspector confronted with the desire to solve the murder of his parents seven years ago he also take the lead on a series of murders whose only common denominator is a Spiritualist. On top of that his boss Chief Inspector as assigned him the responsibility of determining the potential target a a ruthless gang of thieves. Throughout this he is assisted by in this case a fictional Arthur Conan Doyle senior medical student and a young street urchin. All the while his movements are being watched closely by an unknown hostile party who might be linked to all three of the tasks Ian has set himself. There a smidgeon of personal family drama, a hostile police constable, the murder of his most trusted informant, and the hint of a love life for Ian. I find the premise of the story intriguing but you race from one event to another that it can quickly become a bit of race to the finish. While everything is tied up neatly in the end except for the death of his parents and the mysterious mastermind behind it all I found it lack the clarity of her previous to books involving the Inspector Ian Hamilton, I found it difficult in this case to suspended believability that one person would be dealing with that many major cases all within the same time period of what seemed no more than week or ten days. As I said above it seemed a race to the finish.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    I received this ebook as a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoy Victorian mysteries. As the title indicates, this one takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, December 1880. It is the third book in the Ian Hamilton mystery series, and the first one I've read. I'm hoping to read the previous two. Ian Hamilton is a Detective Inspector with the Edinburgh police. There are several other main characters, including Chief Crawford, Sergeant Dickerson, Constable Turnbull, Ian's brother Donald, their Aunt Lillian and me I received this ebook as a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoy Victorian mysteries. As the title indicates, this one takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, December 1880. It is the third book in the Ian Hamilton mystery series, and the first one I've read. I'm hoping to read the previous two. Ian Hamilton is a Detective Inspector with the Edinburgh police. There are several other main characters, including Chief Crawford, Sergeant Dickerson, Constable Turnbull, Ian's brother Donald, their Aunt Lillian and medical student Conan Doyle. Ian's Chief has given him the task of finding the source of misinformation being provided to the police, especially about the rumor of an impending major robbery. Ian suspects there may be a mole in the department. There isn't a lot of action in the first part of the story, but that gradually changes after the first murder. The police were dependent on either walking or cabs for transportation. They also relied heavily on informants. I'm just wondering how Ian managed to afford to take so many cab rides, pay his informants and and make charitable donations to street vendors and orphans. While I was reading the book I could picture the settings, hear the sounds in the crowded pub, see the characters, etc. I enjoy a story that draws me into the scene itself and this one did. If you enjoy Victorian mysteries you will like the Ian Hamilton mystery series.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This is one of those books you can read again and find parts that you missed. It has more than one investigation going on. It starts with Ian being taken to a Seance by his Aunt Lillian. He doesn’t believe in all that ‘stuff’ but he loves his aunt. That plot runs throughout the story. There are murders of some attendees at the seance. Another plot is about a big robbery taking place but no one knows where. There is believed to bel someone in the police station working with the gang but while the This is one of those books you can read again and find parts that you missed. It has more than one investigation going on. It starts with Ian being taken to a Seance by his Aunt Lillian. He doesn’t believe in all that ‘stuff’ but he loves his aunt. That plot runs throughout the story. There are murders of some attendees at the seance. Another plot is about a big robbery taking place but no one knows where. There is believed to bel someone in the police station working with the gang but while there are hints revealed, no one is found for sure. Of course, Ian’s friend, Arthur Conan Doyle is involved. And, there is Ian’s brother, Donald, living with him now and studying medicine. Hints of who started the fire that killed their parents are mentioned but nothing is revealed. The book moves through these three themes and keeps the interest of the reader throughout. It is obvious there will be another book because this one left lots of open endings. A good read and the weather in Edinburgh is terrible. I enjoyed all the details and the hints of ghosts and the hint that Ian may be coming around to possibly believing in them. Start with book 1 so you know who the characters are. A great read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Bowman

    Best Ian Hamilton Murder Mystery Yet! I love this series by Carole Lawrence. The past, present, and future collide in conflict and chaos as Ian finds out disturbing news about his mother and that the fire he was almost killed in as a boy was maliciously set to murder his parents. But why? Meanwhile in the present, Edinburgh police informers are being viciously murdered on Ian's watch. 'Tis said there is a new a new crime boss in the Scottish city. The addition of the young medical student Arthur Best Ian Hamilton Murder Mystery Yet! I love this series by Carole Lawrence. The past, present, and future collide in conflict and chaos as Ian finds out disturbing news about his mother and that the fire he was almost killed in as a boy was maliciously set to murder his parents. But why? Meanwhile in the present, Edinburgh police informers are being viciously murdered on Ian's watch. 'Tis said there is a new a new crime boss in the Scottish city. The addition of the young medical student Arthur Conan Doyle in the last book has the would-be doctor questioning his future vocational plans as he aids Detective Hamilton in crime solving. Dried, fertile seeds of Sherlock Holmes have yet to be planted. The ending is set up perfectly for the next book in the series as the unknown crime Lord pens his final tantalizing note to Ian. The emotional redemption of more than one character graces a barren Christmas in the face of a harsh, cruel, and penniless winter. The true gifts of the spirit are the best Christmas presents ever bestowed on all, but the hopes of the future are slashed to pieces by the unanswered, treacherous clues staring into Ian's scarred and bleeding face.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Have now read all 3 of the Ian Hamilton, Victorian Edinburgh police mysteries. One really jarring seemingly. petty criticism is the American author’s insistence on calling the Edinburgh new and old towns just New town and old town without Using the in front of them. As a Scot with a father from Edinburgh this would just never happen. It jars, dislocates me from the otherwise reasonably authentic sense of place. It’s The new town and The old town please. Also a bit put off by all these incomers fr Have now read all 3 of the Ian Hamilton, Victorian Edinburgh police mysteries. One really jarring seemingly. petty criticism is the American author’s insistence on calling the Edinburgh new and old towns just New town and old town without Using the in front of them. As a Scot with a father from Edinburgh this would just never happen. It jars, dislocates me from the otherwise reasonably authentic sense of place. It’s The new town and The old town please. Also a bit put off by all these incomers from parts of England with odd dialects liberally scattered around Inspector Hamilton’s patch. ,Sure Scotland’s capital was awash with dislocated people from the Highlands and the borders, lured to the city to find work but all these poor folk from across the border! Ireland perhaps though they mainly settled on the west coast, but England, I doubt it! The displaced English poor gravitated to English cities not Scottish ones. At present Hamilton is a bit cardboard, his character needs fleshed out a bit before I can really care for him.

  23. 5 out of 5

    JayeL

    Members of a seance group begin dying and the only link Ian can find is the group, to which his aunt Lillian belongs. This is a really dark series, though Simon Mattacks' narration is much more nuanced than Napolean Ryan's narration of the first in the series. I thought the seance story was really clever. The author skillfully unraveled the cause of the murders and I figured out the culprit just as Ian did. I really didn't have an inkling who the perpetrator was and didn't feel like the author p Members of a seance group begin dying and the only link Ian can find is the group, to which his aunt Lillian belongs. This is a really dark series, though Simon Mattacks' narration is much more nuanced than Napolean Ryan's narration of the first in the series. I thought the seance story was really clever. The author skillfully unraveled the cause of the murders and I figured out the culprit just as Ian did. I really didn't have an inkling who the perpetrator was and didn't feel like the author played a trick on my. Ian gets beaten up a couple of times again, which I don't like. Also, the author introduced a Moriarty type character, perhaps because Arthur Conan Doyle makes another appearance? I don't like the direction that type of character could take the series. I am not sure I will read more in the series. We'll have to see.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    It took a while, but I've finally come to the realization that the protagonist in this series is, basically, Sherlock Holmes. The appearance early on of Arthur Conan Doyle really should have been a clue, but I've never been particularly good at figuring out "whodunit" as I read mostly to, well, while away the time really and it is of little consequence to me as to who the murderer in a murder mystery is as long as the journey to that end is entertaining. These books have been entertaining, a bit It took a while, but I've finally come to the realization that the protagonist in this series is, basically, Sherlock Holmes. The appearance early on of Arthur Conan Doyle really should have been a clue, but I've never been particularly good at figuring out "whodunit" as I read mostly to, well, while away the time really and it is of little consequence to me as to who the murderer in a murder mystery is as long as the journey to that end is entertaining. These books have been entertaining, a bit deeper and darker than what I usually read definitely not "cozy" mysteries, but not so dark that I've abandoned them either (as I have on occasion. Let's face it, we live in dark times, I really don't need any extra.) Extremely well written, characters that are well rounded, and with that edge of "Sherlock" but not "Sherlock" for the mystery fans. For what it's worth, in my mind's eye I keep seeing Benedict Cumberbatch as Detective Ian Hamilton and that should tell you something.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Good story I think I've finally figured out the overarching premise of this historical mystery series. I fell s bit slow, but, in all fairness, the critical characters that put it all together don't show up all at once. To avoid spoiling it for others I won't go into any more detail than that. This is very much a character driven story, set in Victorian Edinburgh. The primary character, Ian Hamilton, is a police detective with the Edinburgh police. He isn't perfect. He misses clues. He fails to a Good story I think I've finally figured out the overarching premise of this historical mystery series. I fell s bit slow, but, in all fairness, the critical characters that put it all together don't show up all at once. To avoid spoiling it for others I won't go into any more detail than that. This is very much a character driven story, set in Victorian Edinburgh. The primary character, Ian Hamilton, is a police detective with the Edinburgh police. He isn't perfect. He misses clues. He fails to ask obvious follow up questions. He wrestles with demons from his past. But he has a keen sense of justice and does his best to protect the people of Edinburgh from criminals. It's a decent story and I found that I'm enjoying it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Trish R.

    This has some really good characters in it, Ian Hamilton, Sergeant Dickerson, Donald (Ian’s brother), Aunt Lillian and Arthur Conan Doyle. There are people being killed that all attended a séance and it was up to Ian to solve that murder while he was looking into the deaths of his parents, seven years before. And there’s an unknown criminal in this story that was left undiscovered. Questions left unanswered but not a cliffhanger. There was not even a kiss and the F-bomb was used 1 time. As to the This has some really good characters in it, Ian Hamilton, Sergeant Dickerson, Donald (Ian’s brother), Aunt Lillian and Arthur Conan Doyle. There are people being killed that all attended a séance and it was up to Ian to solve that murder while he was looking into the deaths of his parents, seven years before. And there’s an unknown criminal in this story that was left undiscovered. Questions left unanswered but not a cliffhanger. There was not even a kiss and the F-bomb was used 1 time. As to the narration: As with the other 2 books Simon Mattacks just reads the book. No difference in any voices and no emotions whatsoever.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Neill Smith

    Life becomes more complicated for DI Hamilton The Edinburgh police were being regarded as ineffectual and DI Ian Hamilton was instructed to serruptitiously observe his fellow officers as to their effort. However his aunt had encouraged him to attend a seance with her and a surprising utterance at the seance disconcerted him badly. In addition when a member of the audience from the seance was found murdered the next day he had to redirect some of his efforts. This was complicated by his brother’s Life becomes more complicated for DI Hamilton The Edinburgh police were being regarded as ineffectual and DI Ian Hamilton was instructed to serruptitiously observe his fellow officers as to their effort. However his aunt had encouraged him to attend a seance with her and a surprising utterance at the seance disconcerted him badly. In addition when a member of the audience from the seance was found murdered the next day he had to redirect some of his efforts. This was complicated by his brother’s revelations about the nature of his dead parents so Hamilton’s interests were becoming quite complicated. The conclusion to this novel leaves me ready for the next one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    PJ

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Another gripping read but it leaves you on tenterhooks as the bad guy gets away so this story is not over!! Searching for the next instalment in the DI Hamilton series but cannot find one! Devastated! This author literally drags you in and forces you into an emotional involvement with the characters!! Why has Ian not moved little raggedly Derek in to look after him? Will he continue seeing Fiona? Will his Aunt get into a relationship with the actor from the local drama club? Will Ian and Donald ev Another gripping read but it leaves you on tenterhooks as the bad guy gets away so this story is not over!! Searching for the next instalment in the DI Hamilton series but cannot find one! Devastated! This author literally drags you in and forces you into an emotional involvement with the characters!! Why has Ian not moved little raggedly Derek in to look after him? Will he continue seeing Fiona? Will his Aunt get into a relationship with the actor from the local drama club? Will Ian and Donald ever find out who killed their parents? Is Bacchus really a female and the weight gain is actually a feline pregnancy?? All these need answering in the next instalment and I’m impatient!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gillian Parker

    Really good, atmospheric murder mystery set in old Edinburgh. This novel is equally as good as the previous books. DI Ian Hamilton accompanies his Aunt Lillian to a seance, much against his will, but heard a supposed message from his dead .mother. Then he gets caught up in a raft of murders which tax him to the limit. Good to meet the previous characters, including Arthur Conan Doyle, who works at the hospital with Ian's brother, the little street urchin, Derek, and the beautiful nurse Fiona Stew Really good, atmospheric murder mystery set in old Edinburgh. This novel is equally as good as the previous books. DI Ian Hamilton accompanies his Aunt Lillian to a seance, much against his will, but heard a supposed message from his dead .mother. Then he gets caught up in a raft of murders which tax him to the limit. Good to meet the previous characters, including Arthur Conan Doyle, who works at the hospital with Ian's brother, the little street urchin, Derek, and the beautiful nurse Fiona Stewart. Enjoyed the book very much indeed.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ronda

    Enjoying several things about this series--the part Conan Doyle plays, the thespian interests with quotes from Dickens and Shakespeare, the Scottish food, the banter between Ian and Donald and their relationship with Aunt Lilian. What I struggled with were the mini vignettes into the killer's thinking. I found them distracting when I wanted more of other character, such as Derek and Crawford . That said, I am curious to see if Hamilton's "new year new you" resolution sticks with him as well as S Enjoying several things about this series--the part Conan Doyle plays, the thespian interests with quotes from Dickens and Shakespeare, the Scottish food, the banter between Ian and Donald and their relationship with Aunt Lilian. What I struggled with were the mini vignettes into the killer's thinking. I found them distracting when I wanted more of other character, such as Derek and Crawford . That said, I am curious to see if Hamilton's "new year new you" resolution sticks with him as well as Scrooge's.

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