Today’s team review is from Fiona.
Find out more about Fiona here https://fionaforsythauthor.co.uk/blog/
Fiona has been reading Murder & Mischief by Carol Hedges.
This beautifully-written Victorian murder mystery is full of surprises and wit, while never neglecting the seedy side of the era and the plight of the masses. There are many nods to Dickens, Conan Doyle and the like, always fun to spot, but the author adds her own touches: the consulting detective is a woman, the affable urchins do not cloy, the villains are villainous without being caricatures. The author keeps a hold on her wide cast of characters with a clever use – again inspired by Dickens? – of memorable names, such the wonderful Armand Malpractis, and short, well-introduced scenes.
The scenery is stunningly well described but never overpowers. The research is worn lightly, just as historical novelists are always told – so easy to say, so difficult to achieve!
But the driving pace of the action, laced with humor and occasionally true pathos, is what keeps you reading, along with the sheer enjoyment of finely-honed and perfectly-balanced sentences.
It is January, a time of year when not much crime usually happens. But when Inspector Greig is unexpectedly summoned to the opulent Hampstead residence of Mr. James William Malin Barrowclough, a rich businessman, he embarks upon one of the strangest and most bizarre investigations that he has ever been involved in.
Why has Barrowclough been targeted? What is inside the mysterious parcels that keep arriving at Hill House, and why won’t he cooperate with the police? The case will take the Scotland Yard detectives on a journey out of London and into the victim’s past, to uncover the secrets and lies that haunt his present.
Murder & Mischief is the tenth novel in the series, and in the great tradition of Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, it entices the reader once again along the teeming streets and dimly gas lit thoroughfares of Victorian London, where rich and poor, friend and foe alike mix and mingle.
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Mystery books are the best way to get back into the habit of reading.
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This is on my TBR. I loved your review, especially this line: “The scenery is stunningly well described but never overpowers.”
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