The Book of Skulls by David Hutchison
A Victorian tale of gender-bending, hidden identity, obsession and gruesome murder, set in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
1875. Liz Moliette; a poor orphan of unknown heritage, and Amulya Patel; from a wealthy Indian family, are the only female students at the Edinburgh Medical School, where a hostile attitude towards women is driven by Professor Atticus. However, Liz and Amulya have allies in fellow student Campbell Preeble, The Reekie reporter Hector Findlay and the charming Dr Paul Love.
In dire need of funds, Liz becomes assistant to gruff lecturer and police surgeon Dr Florian Blyth. When a series of grisly murders take place the doctor and Liz help Inspector Macleod in his investigation, which leads to the Edinburgh Asylum, the Burry Man festival and the quack science of phrenology.
The search for the killer comes dangerously close to Liz as she uncovers her own family secrets.
The first book in the Doctresses series. (81000 words).
David Hutchison was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. He worked for many years as a fisherman, crofter, DJ and self-taught artist.
His children’s book Storm Hags was shortlisted for the Kelpie Prize. He’s had several short stories published in anthologies (New Writing Scotland, Read By Dawn) and on BBC radio. He is also a filmmaker. He wrote and directed the sci-fi feature Graders, and comedy/meta-horror Baobhan Sith.
He has just completed The Book of Skulls, a BAME and LBQT story of hidden identity and murder, inspired by Edinburgh’s murky medical history.
Last year he put on the exhibition Medical Inspirations, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Edinburgh Seven; the first group of women to matriculate at a British university.
He is currently working on Kore, a supernatural novel where a bank clerk is contacted through her new hearing aid by her dead girlfriend. He also teaches class in scriptwriting and is hoping to do some online class in the autumn.
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