Review: A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce by Jillian Stone

A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce by Jillian StoneFormat read: ebook provided by Edelweiss
Formats available: ebook
Genre: Historical romance, Romantic suspense
Series: The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, #2.5
Length: 123 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Date Released: November 6, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Inspector Archie Bruce, who runs the newly formed Scotland Yard crime laboratory, is suddenly shifted from his duties behind the scenes to directly in the line of fire. When mysterious happenings in the laboratory seem threatening, a local pharmacist’s beautiful daughter might be just the one to help him solve the mystery. Can Archie solve the crime in time to protect the Yard and get the girl?

My Review:

Part of the fun of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series are the glimpses of the development of forensics along with the spying, the adventure and the romance involved in the series.

Two of the key players in the forensic side of the equation are Inspector Archibald Bruce, the head of the criminology lab, and the Yard Dog, Arnold, named for Arnold Nobel of Nobel Prize fame.

Arnold the dog sniffs out bombs and bomb components. Not only is he incredibly important to investigations, Arnold also seems to be a sweetie of a dog. He’s one of my favorite characters. Of course, he’s also the progenitor for bomb-sniffing dogs everywhere.

In this novella, Inspector Bruce and Arnold are nearly killed by a bomb in the lab. The bomb wasn’t planted, it was there to be inspected, but he’s not sure who set it off or how. He’s worried that one of the criminals that Special Branch is currently investigating might have an inside man on the job. Someone who wants to obliterate evidence or investigators before they can be caught.

Meanwhile, Inspector Bruce is also teaching a University course for those planning to take their major exam in chemistry. One of his students just happens to be a young woman he’s encountered before: Miss Fiona A. Rose. At a costume ball at Edinburgh University three years ago, they shared one unforgettable kiss, but she didn’t remove her mask or give her real name.

More importantly, Fiona, and her entire family, own a pharmacy and chemist’s shop. Her father is willing to assist Special Branch on a solution to the problem of transporting fingerprints for analysis, if Archie Bruce will tutor Fiona for her chemistry final.

While Mr. Rose assists Special Branch with fingerprinting, Fiona finds herself assisting on the bomb investigation. And Archie and Fiona discover themselves in a mutual tutorial of more personal subjects.

Unfortunately the bomber takes advantage of their distraction!

Escape Rating B: This one was a great teaser, but because it is a novella it doesn’t have the depth of the full-length entries in the series.

It is still a fun read, and I enjoyed seeing the criminology lab brought to the forefront for a short story.

Unfortunately, it was a bit too obvious who the villain would be. However, that did not distract from the sweetness of the love story between Archie and Fiona.

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