No Hallowed Ground
(Book 3 of the Surgeon’s Duty series)
Since Augustus Killmaster’s death, James Hammond has grown optimistic about his prospects at the Nottingham General Hospital, but he worries about Walter Ewebank, a prominent board member. Ewebank has been grieving for his friend. Since he unearthed Killmaster’s empty coffin, a maggot has burrowed into his brain and will not let him rest. It feeds his anger. It fuels his discontent. Only one action—revenge—will satisfy it.
Meanwhile the youth Jack Pegg continues working with Macreadie to dig up the dead and ship the bodies to Edinburgh. Pegg spends his idle hours watching the foot traffic near St. Peter’s Square. He has come north for a very particular reason and is only waiting for the sign that will change his life. While Pegg watches and waits, Miss Hannah Freestone realizes that she has fallen in love with the handsome James Hammond, but she sees an enormous barrier to her happiness. Can she bury her past and return Hammond’s affection or will she remain unmarried?
Naught but Butchers
(Book 2 of the Surgeon’s Duty series)
Nottingham. 1817. James Hammond feels like a foreigner in this small, northern hospital, mainly because he hails from London, where he trained under some of England’s most innovative surgeons. As in London, he performs dissections whenever possible, an activity scorned by several hospital Board members and the families of some patients. For them, dissections are nothing more than butchering the dead.
When Hammond undertakes a daring procedure, his superior, Augustus Killmaster, begins to resent his looks, his training, and his confidence. Killmaster and his friend, Walter Ewebank, plot to get rid of the young, southern upstart. After Killmaster nicks himself during a dissection, Hammond briefly becomes notorious. He never imagined that his drive to understand human anatomy through dissection would spark such shocking repercussions.
Ravaging the Dead
(Book 1 of the Surgeon’s Duty series)
London. 1816. James Hammond is training to be a surgeon at St. Thomas’s Hospital. He spends hours dissecting cadavers to learn anatomy and recognizes the moral hazard in this enterprise. Who are the monsters: the resurrection men who dig up newly buried bodies and deliver them to London’s medical schools … or the surgeons who pay for the fresh corpses? His conscience is not much bothered by the answer. When his friend Franklin Doyle begs him to treat his fiancée’s broken arm, Hammond answers the call of duty. The decision is right and proper, but it will challenge his confidence and upend his future.
In Cousin Anne, Miss Anne de Bourgh, the heiress of Rosings Park, is told that she will marry her cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy. It is her duty and expected by all the family. True, their engagement is somewhat unusual in that their mothers agreed on the idea when she and Fitzwilliam were infants. But at the age of seventeen, Anne knows her own heart: she hopes to marry for love. Indeed, since arriving in London, her thoughts have been very agreeably occupied with daydreaming about a handsome young man she can well imagine marrying: George Wickham, the son of her uncle Darcy’s former steward—a man who possesses the best part of beauty, his being tall, handsome, and charming. Her growing affection for Wickham begins with lively animal spirits and ends in disgrace. After distressing nearly everybody with her bad behavior, Anne wonders: Who feels most deeply the dishonor of her untamed passion—her relations or herself?
Drawing on many of Jane Austen’s characters, Rosings Park paints a picture of the lady to whom Mr. Darcy was long engaged—the lady who is not mentioned in the final chapter of Pride and Prejudice—the lady who is surely as deserving of love and friendship and hope as anybody else.
Anne de Bourgh’s character is forever fixed as sickly and cross, thanks to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of Pride and Prejudice. Anne is older than the lovely Miss Bennet and still unmarried. She worries about her future. Her mother, Lady Catherine, expects her to marry her cousin Darcy, but Anne long ago vowed never to marry a man of her mother’s choosing—especially Darcy. Like Miss Bennet, she hopes to marry for love. But being engaged to Darcy since her infancy poses a problem: she has had little opportunity to meet eligible men. After a flurry of introductions at a Buckinghamshire house party and also in London, she begins to wonder how she’ll recognize a true heart when many flaws can be hidden by good manners and a pleasing countenance. When she learns to trust her instincts, she finds her heart’s desire.