Wednesday, May 17, 2017

I Judge Books By Their Covers: The Wages of Sin

I haven't read "The Wages of Sin" by Kaite Welsh -- it's on my maybe-to-read list -- but I couldn't help noticing how vastly different the cover versions are! Here's an abbreviated version of the synopsis on Goodreads:
Sarah Gilchrist has fled London and a troubled past to join the University of Edinburgh's medical school in 1892, the first year it admits women. She is determined to become a doctor despite the misgivings of her family and society, but Sarah quickly finds plenty of barriers at school itself. Desperate for a proper education, Sarah turns to one of the city’s ramshackle charitable hospitals for additional training. The St Giles’ Infirmary for Women ministers to the downtrodden and drunk, the thieves and whores with nowhere else to go. In this environment, Sarah gets quite an education. But when Lucy, one of Sarah’s patients, turns up in the university dissecting room as a battered corpse, Sarah finds herself drawn into a murky underworld of bribery, brothels, and body snatchers.
Definitely sounds interesting, and I love reading books set in Scotland!

U.S. // U.K.

Well, this cover battle is easy-peasy for me -- I almost always go in for the illustrated, artsy covers and the U.K. cover is lovely! I like it all -- the colors, the blood spatter, the font, the graphics. The pretty artwork combined with the bottle of laudanum and the skull and crossbones definitely pique my interest. The only thing I'm not totally sure about is that phrase: "For Sarah Gilchrist, even medicine can be deadly." I don't like sentences that start out with "For so-and-so," and it doesn't really make sense either. Of course medicine -- or practicing medicine in a historical mystery novel -- can be deadly. I wish the tagline had been left off altogether -- I think the cover is eye-catching enough that it's not necessary to have one.

The U.S. cover isn't horrible, and I do like the cityscape at he bottom. But I'm not a fan of the silhouetted woman or the plain-Jane white font. Booooring. It also doesn't give prospective readers much idea what kind of book it is.

Do tell: which cover do you prefer?


  1. I like the UK cover as well and I think I'm going to have to read this one soon. I'm not always a fan of floating heads on covers.

  2. After just taking a graphic arts class I kind of like the UK one. :)

  3. I prefer the US cover. Either way, I've just added this book to my 'want to read' list!


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