Today’s team review is from Sandra.
Sandra blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews
Sandra has been reading Murder & Mischief by Carol Hedges
I have been aware of this series for a while, but for some reason never got around to reading any. The first book, Diamonds and Dust, is buried somewhere deep in the depths of my kindle. I will certainly be catching up with all the others, as soon as I can fit them in, as I was very impressed with the writing style of Murder and Mischief. The story is told from several different perspectives in the present tense, so the reader has a bird’s-eye view of everything that is going on.
A dead body disguised as a snowman is discovered in the garden of property developer, James Barrowclough, but has a crime been committed or did he just succumb to the cold weather? Meanwhile, Liza and Flitch have run away from the workhouse following the death of their mother. Their father has returned from America to take his family back with him, and is devastated by what he finds. As he has to return right away, he hires a private detective, Lucy Landseer, to track down his missing children – no easy task in a city the size of London.
Carol Hedges skillfully weaves these two stories together into a tale with echoes of Dickens and Conan Doyle. The writer has done her research but displays it with a light touch. She paints a vivid picture – warts and all – of Victorian London. All our senses are in play here. The characters are well drawn, entirely believable and I had no trouble distinguishing them despite their large number. I particularly enjoyed the strand about the Transformative Brethren group of artists in Camden, and their connection with the runaway children. There’s even a cat called ‘sad ginge’. As this was the tenth novel in the series, and I had not met them before, the detectives did not really stand out for me, although the young DC Tom Williams shows a lot of promise. His visit to Birmingham was fascinating as it highlighted how different it was to London. I thoroughly enjoyed Murder and Mischief despite it being part of a well-developed series. It worked just fine as a standalone, but I’ve now got the added bonus of nine more to catch up with. Thanks to Carol for a digital copy that I review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT
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.