Customer Reviews for

The Devil's Grin

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

The Devil's Grin by Annelie Wendeberg is the first book in the '

The Devil's Grin by Annelie Wendeberg is the first book in the 'Kronberg Crimes' series. 




Set in Victorian England, this book is a mix of fiction and historical facts. Disease coats the streets and Jack the Ripper haunts the alleys. People will do anything to surviv...
The Devil's Grin by Annelie Wendeberg is the first book in the 'Kronberg Crimes' series. 




Set in Victorian England, this book is a mix of fiction and historical facts. Disease coats the streets and Jack the Ripper haunts the alleys. People will do anything to survive.




The year is 1889 and Doctor Anton Kronberg has been asked for assistance in identifying a possible cholera victim at the Hampton Water Treatment Works by Scotland Yard's Inspector Gibson. Anton works at Guy's Hospital in London in the ward of infectious diseases. The best bacteriologist and epidemiologist in England. Cholera is one of many constant threats and the hospital is always packed three to a bed, leading to the further spread of disease. 




Going to inspect the dead man, Anton meets the famous Sherlock Holmes, who surprises both Anton and the reader by discovering that Anton Kronberg is in fact Anna Kronberg, a female doctor who earned her degree in Germany. Anna is reasonably upset. This is an era where women are forbidden to study medicine or become doctors. The only women in a medical field are nurses. Anna works very hard to keep her identity secret by changing her countenance and her appearance, even going as far as to keep a bag filled with water in her trousers so her colleagues can occasional see her 'peeing' at the urinals, to leave no doubt in their minds that she is a man. If her secret was ever revealed, she would be incarcerated for life.




Anna is just as sharp and observant as Sherlock. The two decide to work with each other (which neither of them are particularly used to or pleased about) after finding a few discrepancies on the body. The two will have to learn to deal with one another and try to get along with someone just as knowledgable as themselves. They will no doubt get on each other's nerves, but there is amicability and understanding there too. 




As they begin to see more into the dark underworld and corrupt corporations that are involved, they begin to realise just how deep they're in. Could the man have been killed by tetanus? If so, how could he contract it without any deep wounds or without consuming a tetanus infected animal? Is it possible he was murdered? They must also learn to battle with their own dark demons and consider how far either of them are willing to go to find the truth, even if it means risking their lives or that of others. 




The title of this book comes from one of the symptoms of a tetanus victim- a grin. It is a telltale sign of tetanus. 




The characters are intriguing. Sherlock is Sherlock. What can I say about this character that isn't already known to every person under the sun? His depiction here is very similar to his original character. Obviously, there will be slight discrepancies, not just because of a different author, but also because he's interacting with people he's never met before. All people act differently depending on the person they're with, including Sherlock. For fans of Sherlock, don't worry, he is still true to himself, if not for the occasional phrase I couldn't quite picture him saying. 




Sherlock himself is already a character who's interesting enough to carry the story, but Anna/Anton's character was equally compelling, to say the least. Forced to hide her gender, she spends so much time as a man, that she questions her identity. It's not that she's transgender or confused about her sexuality, but more that she has seen the pros and cons of being a member of each gender and she wonders which one it is better to be and which one she is more suited to. Add to that the fact that she must completely shed her female self, so as not to be discovered, and it's not wonder she's unsure. 




Like Sherlock, she will push herself to her physical and mental limits to get an answer. Together, the chemistry these two characters share is palpable. I'm bringing it up because I'm sure people will wonder, but the only similarity between her and Irene is that the two are equally as intelligent as Sherlock himself. They can outwit him. But Irene is very sure of her gender and obviously loves being a woman and the ability to make Sherlock uncomfortable with it. Anna isn't even sure what gender she wants to be. Their personalities are very different and these two characters are not to be confused.




Anna and Sherlock can singlehandedly carry this story. The plot is interesting and dark, but even if it had been terrible, I believe that Anna and Sherlock would still make it work. They're just that entertaining and thought-provoking. 




An incomplete ending, this is a series that connects all its stories through plot, not just characters. It is not often that the same story will continue through the series. The same villain perhaps, but generally when you start a new book, a new plot begins as well. For those who aren't fans of endings without resolution, there is enough of a conclusion to satisfy. We just aren't given the whole picture. The final line will leave fans of both this book's characters and Sherlock Holmes hurrying to the next instalment. 




Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own. 

posted by NeedToReadGotToWatch on May 6, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

24 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Anna always wanted to be a doctor so she changes her name to Ant

Anna always wanted to be a doctor so she changes her name to Anton Kronberg, straps on a fake penis, and disguises herself as a man. Now recognized as Britain's foremost bacteriologist in the 19th century, it is up to her to help Sherlock Holmes solve a medical mystery ...
Anna always wanted to be a doctor so she changes her name to Anton Kronberg, straps on a fake penis, and disguises herself as a man. Now recognized as Britain's foremost bacteriologist in the 19th century, it is up to her to help Sherlock Holmes solve a medical mystery and save his life.

This story needs editing. There are may word usage errors [e.g. where for were, trails for trials, lead for led, fried for friend, nervous tick for tic, diseased for deceased, and loosing for losing).

posted by penandtome on May 26, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    not good

    not a good ending not a bad ending...no ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2014

    Good read!

    I wanted to keep reading, the story line was dramatic and full of drama. I enjoyed reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    LAKE

    Jack

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    Ok

    Was just ok

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2014

    It was a great read

    Started off slow but then got interesting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    didn't finish it

    Actually this is a well written and decent story, but it just seemed to go on forever. I finally skipped about 50 pages, read about 10 more and realized I didn't care if I finished it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    Yue

    Looks around boredly.

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2013

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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