For fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd, Murder by Degrees is a historical mystery set in 19th century Philadelphia, following a pioneering woman doctor as she investigates the disappearance of a young patient who is presumed dead.
Philadelphia, 1875: It is the start of term at Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania. Dr. Lydia Weston, professor and anatomist, is immersed in teaching her students in the lecture hall and hospital. When the body of a patient, Anna Ward, is dredged out of the Schuylkill River, the young chambermaid’s death is deemed a suicide. But Lydia is suspicious and she is soon brought into the police investigation.
Aided by a diary filled with cryptic passages of poetry, Lydia discovers more about the young woman she thought she knew. Through her skill at the autopsy table and her clinical acumen, Lydia draws nearer the truth. Soon a terrible secret, long hidden, will be revealed. But Lydia must act quickly, before she becomes the next target of those who wished to silence Anna.
Ritu Mukerji was born in Kolkata, India, and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. From a young age, she has been an avid reader of mysteries, from Golden Age crime fiction to police procedurals and the novels of PD James and Ruth Rendell. She received a BA in history from Columbia University and a medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She completed residency training at the University of California, Davis and has been a practicing internist for fifteen years. She lives in Marin County, California, with her husband and three children.
Heather Young is the author of two novels. Her debut, The Lost Girls, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel and won the Strand Award for Best First Novel. The Distant Dead was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel and named one of the ten best mystery and suspense books of the year by Book Page. Heather earned her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars in 2011 and was also awarded a Fellowship by the Sewanee Wrtiers’ Conference. She lives in Mill Valley, California, where she writes, bikes, hikes, and reads books by other people that she wishes she’d written.
Ritu Mukerji photo courtesy of Alex Metzger. Heather Young photo courtesy of the publisher.