Read for the RIP VII Reading Challenge.
It’s 1861, and as the Prince Consort is dying, Queen Victoria summons a lawyer named Patrick Fitzgerald to Windsor. Within hours, the Prince Consort is dead, Fitzgerald and his ward Georgiana are run off the road in their carriage, nearly killing Georgiana, and his chambers are ransacked.
It quickly becomes apparent that Georgiana’s involvement with the royal family may be behind the mysterious summons, because she’s qualified as a doctor, and is only Fitzgerald’s ward because the man who raised her, Dr. Snow, an imminent doctor himself, has died. In fact, Prince Albert had consulted Georgiana about his youngest son, Prince Leopold, hoping that she had followed in Dr. Snow’s medical footsteps.
Prince Leopold has a mysterious malady where he would bleed at the slightly injury, and continue to bleed for much longer than normal. Most people that have had a genetics class at all recently have probably heard of the royal hemophilia that Queen Victoria passed along to her descendants (including the tsarevitch of Russia, her great grandson). It’s a trait that had to have come from Victoria, but it’s not known where Victoria got it from. This novel posits in one direction (which the author notes is purely fiction), and it’s an interesting ride getting to the answers that will save Fitzgerald and Georgiana. If you like a good historical intrigue, you’ll enjoy this book.