Murder at Frog’s Hollow by Karen Thurecht is a mystery, crime fiction story set in 1886 in Brisbane.
This is the third Book of the Dr. Hamish Hart Mysteries but each book stands alone.
Dr. Hamish Hart is asked to examine the body of a Chinese businessman found murdered.
Hamish recognises the man as Ah Chit, the uncle of his childhood friend. Hamish feels he owes it to Ah Tay, his friend, to find the person responsible.
However, the police would prefer Hamish not to be involved with their investigation.
The investigation takes Hamish into Frog’s Hollow, a seedy part of the city. Frog’s Hollow has many secrets, gambling houses, opium dens, prostitution, and poverty.
Hamish discovers that the Chinese secret society, The Sheathed Sword, is involved. There is no way they want an investigation into their activities.
Hamish finds himself in danger and unprepared for where the investigation takes him.
It doesn’t end there because this book is also Kate’s story.
During the investigation Hamish meets Daisy and Kate, prostitutes working in a gambling house run by Ah Chit, they are both addicted to opium. They live in poverty in Frog’s Hollow. Kate dreams of a better life.
Rita, Hamish’s friend and also a doctor, has a strong interest in the plight of women. She has a boarding house where women can seek refuge from domestic violence or get help to change their lives for the better. Rita offers Kate a chance to escape from Frog’s Hollow.
Each chapter of the book is introduced by an article from a newspaper of the time, giving the reader an insightful account of early Australian history. I found them quite fascinating – from the Contagious Diseases Act, to the Chinese customs and the food they introduced to Australia.
The history in the book is well-researched and the characters bring it to life.
Hamish, Rita, and Wallace, his long time friends, his little dog Red, plus Sergeant Bellamy who always needs Hamish’s help are great characters.
The Hamish Hart series is really enjoyable and I thoroughly recommend this book. It is full of suspense, twists and turns, and an unexpected ending.
I can’t wait for Hamish’s next adventure.
Thank you to Shawline Publishing Group and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this excellent book.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Murder at Frog’s Hollow. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I love to read, any book on any topic. I now love ebooks as they are easier to store, I was running out of bookshelves! My other interests are family, gardening and our beautiful King Charles spaniel dog who is my reading companion.