The concept of stepping outside typical gender roles has been seen in media for centuries. Although there have been plenty of female empowerment tales coming down the line in recent years, Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" is a centuries-old example. Usually, the protagonists in such stories are female; the only exceptions I can think of are the ridiculous Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy "Junior" and the hilarious-yet-unrealistic Eddie Murphy/Jeff Garlin film "Daddy Day Care". "The Velvet Shadow," like the previous two novels in "The Heirs of Cahira O'Connor," involves a woman from the past disguising herself as a man in order to work in male-only professions; this time, it's a physician. The story is engaging, the writing good, and the detail wonderful, as is common for Ms. Hunt's historical fiction. One complaint I do have: The wide-margined format for some parts of the book wasted quite a bit of space. I get that the typesetting needed to be different for diary entries and letters, but it seemed a bit much. Bad formatting doesn't ruin a book, though; this is still worth checking out, although the beginning might stymie you if you haven't read the previous two volumes.