Posts Tagged ‘Victorian’

This novel – the first in a series – is set in Victorian London and features as it’s main character, Charles Lenox, an armchair investigator, who sometimes helps the police with their enquiries, although they are never prepared to give him the credit he deserves!  When his neighbour and good friend Lady Jane asks him to investigate the suspicious death of her former maid, Prue Smith, Charles finds himself caught up in a web of intrigue.  There are numerous suspects and motives, and Charles’ efforts seem to be blocked whichever way he turns.  But Charles is resourceful and intelligent – and with the help of his brother Edmund, his friend Doctor McConnell and his trusty valet Graham.

I really enjoyed this book.  It reminded me slightly of Sherlock Holmes, but with the social skills that Holmes lacks!  However, this book did not feel like a poor copy of a Holmes story at all.  Lenox was a terrific character, and carried the story beautifully.  I also liked his friendship with Lady Jane (and hope to see more of her in subsequent books), and especially the friendship and mutual respect that he shared with Graham, who was a great character in his own right.

The mystery element of the book had me guessing all the way.  When it came to the final denoument, I realised that the clues had been revealed throughout the story, but I had missed some of them, and I had no idea ‘whodunnit’, although while reading the book I suspect almost everyone at some point!  Crime fiction used to be a favourite genre of mine – not so much these days, however, but when I read a book like this, it makes me want to pick up more of the same.  If I absolutely had to find something to gripe about, it would possibly be the occasional American speech patterns in the book (“gotten off of” for example, instead of “got off”), but these are honestly so few and far between that they should not impact upon anybody’s enjoyment of the book.

Victorian London is portrayed beautifully, and it is clear that the author must have done a lot of research.  The period detail is second to none, and I loved reading the wonderfully descriptive passages.

Overall, a great debut and a very promising start indeed to a series.  I’ll be looking out for more, and would highly recommend this book.

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This is a very well written book, with plenty of twists and turns. The main character is Sue Trinder, an young orphaned girl who has been brought up lovingly in a house of thieves run by Mrs Sucksby, in London, in Victorian times.  One day, an acquaintance comes to visit with a plan to scam a young lady and her uncle out of a lot of money. Sue becomes involved in the scheme, and finds herself at a lonely old house in Briar, where she meets Maud Lilly.

From then on, it seems that nothing and no-one is quite what they seem, and events start to unravel. Sue uncovers feelings which she never dreamed she could have had, and also learns the hard way, who she can and can’t trust. For Sue and Maud’s lives are connected in a way that neither of them could ever have imagined…

The writing is lovely, flows beautifully and is very eloquent.  The characters are all very well drawn and very easy to believe and invest in.  The plot is intricate, but not over convoluted, and I would not have guessed the outcome.

I also thought that the atmosphere of Victorian London was extremely well portrayed, and I really felt that the novel placed you there.

Highly recommended.

(Author’s website can be found here.)

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