๐Ÿ“š’I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to the Victorian Detectives series’. @SueBavey reviews Murder & Mischief by Carol Hedges @riotgrandma72 for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Sue.

Sue blogs here https://suelbavey.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Sue has been reading Murder & Mischief by Carol Hedges.

Murder and Mischief is the tenth book in the popular Victorian Detectives series by Carol Hedges, a series which has been on my radar for a couple of years now and I am glad I have finally given it a try. It is written in the present tense, which adds immediacy and a feeling that you are watching the various tableaux unfold on a stage in front of you. A raft of expertly researched historical detail and well-described sights and sounds brings each of these scenes to life:

โ€œAnd always the mechanical sounds of drilling, hammering, digging, and the crash of falling masonry as the underground railway bores its way through structures that have withstood the ravages of time, but cannot stand before the workmenโ€™s tools. While, beneath the teeming and despoiled metropolis, dark tunnels wait the trainloads of passengers, who will experience the disorientation and dislocation of travelling underneath the chaotic city above their heads.โ€

Despite being book 10 in a series, this is a standalone murder mystery. A dead man shows up in the grounds of a businessmanโ€™s garden, found by his sons and disguised as a snowman, wearing the top hat belonging to the homeowner, Mr Barrowclough. As shocking as this discovery is, things soon escalate alarmingly with Barrowclough receiving dead birds in the mail and culminating with him being pushed in front of a train. Enter the Victorian Detectives who this series of books is named after. Some of them are more eager to pursue the case and get down to the nitty gritty of detective work than others.

As well as the murder of Barrowclough we have a side story of two runaway children, who have escaped the wretchedness of their workhouse and come to London. These children are the extremely resourceful Flitch and Liza. Their Father was forced to journey to the USA in order to obtain work and when he returns for them, he finds his home demolished and family disappeared to the workhouse. His wife is dead and children have absconded. He asks a female Private Investigator to look for them in London since he must return in haste to America. The children have luckily fallen on their feet and have been working as artistโ€™s models for an artist who is a member of the Transformed Brethren – an art movement of the time about which the author expertly educates her readers. There follow a number of cat and mouse chases resulting in the children getting separated from one another and a few unlikely coincidences which make the reader want to shout out in order to aid them in their escape and reconnection.

Meanwhile the murder of Barrowclough takes the detective on the case to Birmingham and allows further detailed urban description, highlighting the differences between London and this city at the time.

I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to the Victorian Detectives series and found it to be a real page turner. I will be revisiting the series soon!

Orange rose book description
Book description

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 wonโ€™t he cooperate with the police? The case will take the Scotland Yard detectives on a journey out of London and into the victimโ€™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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