The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry
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The Art of Dying

(Raven, Fisher, and Simpson #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,353 ratings  ·  283 reviews
Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powerless. But it is not just the deaths that dismay the esteemed Dr James Simpson - a whispering campaign seeks to blame him for the death of a patient in suspicious circumstances.

Simpson's protégé Will Raven and former
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published August 29th 2019 by Canongate Books
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Kerry Bridges Yes I think so. It's the same characters so you'd miss out on some of the back story
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  1,353 ratings  ·  283 reviews

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Start your review of The Art of Dying (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson, #2)
We return to Victorian era Edinburgh with Ambrose Parry, aka the husband and wife writers, Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman, in this superb sequel to The Way of All Flesh. Will Raven has been expanding his horizons in Europe, increasing his medical knowledge and experience in Paris, Vienna, Leipzig and in Berlin where he and Henry are seriously assaulted at night. Now a qualified medic, he is looking forward to returning to Edinburgh and Sarah Fisher, as he accepts a position as assistant to ...more
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I looked forward to reading this second offering by Ambrose Perry, and my waitng patiently was rewarded.
Edinburgh in 1850 witnesses mysterious deaths of patients with similar symptoms, and Will Raven, after his return from Germany, hopes to identify an unknown disease that may make him famous. Sarah Fisher, now married to a doctor, still hopes to become a member of the medical profession and is supported by her husband. Will's and Sarah's paths cross, and together they manage to identify the si
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I’m interested in the history of medicine this is a book that appeals. ✔️ Set in Edinburgh? Another ✔️. Featuring Dr James Simpson of chloroform fame? ✔️ Brilliant characters in the aforementioned Simpson, Dr Will Raven and Sarah Fisher? ✔️ An intriguing mystery? ✔️ I could go on!! Will returns to Edinburgh after studying in various places in Europe and adding to his medical knowledge. He is now Simpson’s assistant. To his dismay Sarah is now married to the immensely likeable Dr Archie Banks. ...more
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rereading
4.5 Stars
This is a powerful, well-researched book, and a sequel to The Ways of All Flesh. On the surface, it is a gripping, historical medical mystery, but it is much more than that. Set in Edinburgh, 1850, it details medical practices of that time and is based on some real-life historical characters. This atmospheric story highlights the squalid, unhygienic, dangerous lot of the poor, high infant mortality, infectious diseases, and inept policing procedures in a Victorian-era city teeming with
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The first book in this series is The Way of All Flesh and it got almost 4.000 ratings on Goodreads alone. I read and reviewed the book in October 2018 and I just loved it. Book two takes us back to Edinburgh – of course, because all three main characters return in this story. Will Raven travelled through Europe to learn from the best doctors at the best universities. When Dr Simpson offers him the position of assistant however, he is very keen to accept. The first disappointment for him is that ...more
The Cats’ Mother
The Art of Dying is the second historical mystery collaboration between established thriller writer Christopher Brookmyre and his anaesthetist wife Marisa Haetzman, and follows last years’ The Way of All Flesh, which was brilliant, and this one is just as good. While it’s not essential to read the first one to enjoy this, as there is sufficient backstory, the characters will make much more sense if you read them in order.

1849, and Will Raven, now qualified as a doctor, returns to Edinburgh from
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Nobody knows the value of a life who has not ended one…”

Having enjoyed, “The Way of All Flesh,” I was delighted to read the second in this series, written by Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The novel begins in Berlin. It is 1849 and Will Raven is touring, and studying, in Europe with his friend, Henry. After the men are attacked, Raven is, at first, relieved to be returning to Edinburgh, where he has accepted a post as Dr Simpson’s assistant.

Raven has hoped that everything would remain th
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
The art of Dying in the second Ambrose Perry mystery—the first, The Way of All Flesh, was published in August 2018. The novels are set in mid-19th Century Edinburgh's medical community. Both novels feature Will Raven and Sarah Fisher. Will is a young physician with ambitions. Sarah is an exceptionally intelligent former housemaid, who despite her sex has become an assistant to well-known physician, Dr. Simpson. the Way of All Flesh was a solid read, but the Art of Dying has surpassed it, in term ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for open and honest review

enjoyed this latest in the series a medical crime thriller based in 1849 Edinburgh and liked the part of the enlightened woman in the book some of the plot is based on actual events but its fast paced and drew me in until the end of the novel
Bruce Hatton
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scottish-crime
This novel takes place just over a year after its predecessor, the excellent The Way Of All Flesh left off. After a period studying abroad in Paris, Vienna and Berlin, Will Raven returns to Edinburgh to take up the post of chief assistant to his mentor Dr. James Simpson, a pioneer in the use of chloroform as an anaesthetic.
Much to Will’s chagrin, his on-off relationship with former housemaid Sarah Fisher seems to have taken a turn for the worse. However, once again, Sarah and Will find they have
Really enjoyed this! Excellent Victorian crime novel which mixes in comment on the position of women in 19th-century society (and medicine) with a a great deal of gripping plot. I'm ashamed to admit that I have yet to read the first novel, so I'd better correct that as soon as I can. I loved getting to know Will and Sarah. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Iza Brekilien
Reviewed for Books and livres
This book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, there it is :

Last year, I read "The way of all flesh", book #1 of this series borrowed at my library, and really loved it, so when I saw book #2 on Netgalley, I had to get it ! And I devoured it in one day.
I wasn't disappointed at all : complex, varied characters, nobody is black and white, the construction of a monster was gripping and I really didn't see how Will was going to get away from all h
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, favorites
What a great book! An excellent sequel to The Way of All Flesh which I also loved. I feel like a lot of research went into the writing of this book, as well as the first book, because it seems so realistic and I was transported once again back to 19th Century Edinburgh. The characters are very well-developed and the writing is just superb. The story gripped me from beginning to end. I loved seeing Raven develop and mature and I was intensely proud of Sarah at the end if she follows through. I se ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
We're revisiting Edinburgh in 1850, patients are dying and doctors are powerless to relieve their pain. Our lovely Dr. James Simpson is well and kicking but facing a little smear compaign aiming to blame him for a patient's death by negligence. So, as usual, the famous duo, Sarah and Will are taking it on themselves to prove his innocence and find out about the suspicious deaths.

Did I enjoy The Art of Dying as much as The Way of All Flesh?
No, not at all.
Here's why:

1st: Will Raven, the pompous,
Feb 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I did not read the first book. This tale starts out in 1849 Berlin but then shifts to Edinburgh and includes fictionalized accounts of some real people including a female serial killer. The narrative of events is interrupted throughout with the voice from Mary Dempster, the killer, who is able to work her deeds as a nurse caring for the infirm. The other character is a doctor from Edinburgh who is credited with the first use of chloroform as anesthetic.
Enough information is shared about the char
Sep 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Art of Dying is the follow-up to Ambrose Parry's critically-acclaimed The Way of All Flesh in this thrilling medical crime series set in Victorian Edinburgh and featuring Dr Will Raven. It's a brilliant read with enough drama, mystery, medical shenanigans and vivid description of 1850s Edinburgh to keep even the most demanding reader satisfied. It's historical fiction at its finest with great attention to detail and nothing being left to chance. Well written and beautifully plotted, the atmo ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Cannongate Books for an advance copy of The Art of Dying, the second novel to feature Dr Will Raven, set in Victorian Edinburgh in 1850.

Will returns from his tour of Europe to take up a position as assistant to Dr Simpson under whom he served his apprenticeship. People are dying and medicine is unable to prevent it so Will teams up again with former housemaid Sarah Fisher to solve this mystery and resolve the whispering campaign against Dr Simpson.

I didn’t par
Theresa Smith
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-bingo-2020
What a book! I’ve always favoured historical fiction set within the Victorian era, and this novel is an example of why. The Art of Dying is the follow up to The Way of All Flesh and just like its predecessor it’s about medicine, mayhem, and madness, all playing out with gripping certainty against a gritty Victorian Edinburgh background.

‘Every woman has felt the fear that derives from her own weakness before men whose greater power derives from a stature that is not merely physical.’

Just as in Th
Puzzle Doctor
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full review at
Cathy Ryan
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this sequel to The Way of All Flesh, which I really enjoyed, we find Will Raven in Europe, studying and learning, becoming a fully qualified doctor. When Raven learns Dr James Young Simpson, renowned for his advances in pain management during surgery, is offering him the position of his new assistant, he looks forward to returning to Edinburgh and the prospect of seeing Sarah again. They had formed an attachment when Raven was apprentice to Dr Simpson but, with an exaggerated opinion of himse ...more
Susan Hampson
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first encounter with authors husband and wife Chris Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman but I will be making it a point to read the previous book in this series and any more which follows the lives of Dr. Will Raven and his assistant Sarah Fisher.
Set in Edinburgh, 1850 the story begins in Europe and a close encounter with a group of men that attack Will and his friends. In the scuffle, a man is killed by Will, but he flees and returns to Scotland. Will is a newly qualified Doctor and ac
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
**Book Review** Before this year (I guess last year now 😂) I’d never read a period medical crime series before but through review copies I’m now onto my second and it is fast becoming one of my favourite genres. Thank you to @allenandunwin for the copy of The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry which was released on 5 November 2019 🎉.

Synopsis: Edinburgh, 1850. Despite being at the forefront of modern medicine 🧬, hordes of patients are dying all across the city, with doctors finding their remedies powe
Bristolian Books
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this novel set in Victorian Edinburgh!! And it's definitely the right time of year to be reading it! I could feel the chill in the air, as it transported me to cobbled streets, with the feelings of panic as people in the city fell ill and died. Was it an epidemic, an unknown illness, or maybe something far more sinister?!

At the time, the world of medicine was advancing as new discoveries were made about hygiene and surgical methods, and the novel is roughly based on fact as we
➳ Christie  ➳
Fantastic historical mystery set it the gloomy streets of Victorian Edinburgh. It’s been over a year since the events of the last novel and once again we are following Raven and Sarah as they seek to solve several suspicious deaths.

I absolutely adore this series and hope it continues - Raven and Sarah are so likeable as characters. They are not without their faults but that is why they fit so well together as an investigative team. Also love the amount of medical knowledge that is on display in
Yvette (rooftopreader) van der Roest
I loved everything about this book! The setting, the mystery, the characters and their development. It was an awesome read, and I would definitely recommend both books in this series. Anything other written by Ambrose Parry will automatically end up on my bookshelf.

This book is most part mystery. I can’t say much about the plot, because it’s the second book in a series. The way the mystery unraveled was really good, in my opinion. It kept me interested. Sometimes I noticed something the MCs had
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second in the series and I must say it grips you immediately. Will Raven, has recently returned from Europe to take up a position with Dr Simpson. Major changes have taken place in the house, and Simpson's household are experiencing upset and turmoil. However, Will once again finds himself thrown together with Sarah to hunt a serial killer.

If you love historical crime reads The Art of Dying ticks all of the boxes. Many of the characters existed, with fact and fiction blending together to make an
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another atmospheric and intriguing adventure with Will Raven and Sarah. A lot has changed since the last book. Will has returned from his European travels to take up his place with Dr. Simpson and is dismayed that his youthful prejudices have cost him dearly. This book is as much about Sarah and Will growing up, accepting their own foibles and starting to carve their own place in society as it is about the mysterious spate of deaths across Edinburgh. Working together Will and Sarah's relationshi ...more
The most vivid thing I took from this book was the lack of progress in surgery between 1849 and 1912 when my great aunt died of a tubal pregnancy. There was no attempt at surgical intervention and her husband was left with the care of two little girls.
You have to be prepared to read detailed surgical and obstetrical details in this book, including the technical terms for various instruments and procedures. The practices of the 1840s are interesting since we don't have to endure them, including t
Kath Middleton
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the second of these excellent historical/medical murder mysteries we find Will retuned from abroad to a married Sarah. Much angst. The two work together again to unravel the mystery of several deaths exhibiting strange symptoms. Nineteenth Century Edinburgh is once again well portrayed with its fine town houses and its nasty tenements. Places to be seen in and places you wouldn’t be seen dead in – or maybe you would. There are echoes from the previous book and many dilemmas for Will, which I ...more
Annette Jordan
4.5 stars
A dark and dramatic historical thriller set in the Edinburgh medical community in the 1850's, Ambrose Parry's The Art of Dying is the second in a series but can easily be read as a stand alone. That being said I highly recommend reading the earlier book, The Way of All Flesh, which was one of my favourite books of 2018.
The Victorian era which is the setting for this book was a time of great change and advancement for medicine and surgery, something which is alluded to here in the discu
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Ambrose Parry is the pen name for husband and wife Chris Brookmyre (known mostly for his crime novels) and Dr Marisa Haetzman, a consultant anaesthetist. It is the latter's interest in medical history that lead to their first collaboration, The Way of All Flesh.

Other books in the series

Raven, Fisher, and Simpson (2 books)
  • The Way of All Flesh (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson, #1)

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