The Scalpel and the Sword

Dell Shannon, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07216-2
Veteran mystery writer Shannon (Chaos of Crime, etc.) here tries her hand at historical romance. The action takes place during the Napoleonic Wars and centers upon Con McDonagh, a young Belfast-educated surgeon whose part in an anti-government uprising forces him to leave his native Ireland. Arriving virtually penniless in London, Con enlists in the Royal Navy. Even before he has left for his first tour of duty, the handsome surgeon is involved with a courtesan, Fleur Galand, and her niece Madeline. His life is further complicated by the resumption of a relationship with his now-married childhood sweetheart, Lauretta. These romances, while nicely handled, run a course that will offer readers few surprises. The book's main interest lies in its depiction of Con's experiences as a surgeon, particularly in fascinating descriptions of early 19th century operating room practices and reconstructive plastic surgery. Though it doesn't break any new ground, this is an entertaining, sometimes compelling book. (May 19)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
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