Tag Archives: Victorian Crime

Mrs Hudson Goes to Ireland

28 Dec

Grieving the ‘death’ of Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Hudson travels to Ireland with her friend Kitty Melrose to try and stop an arranged marriage. What they find is a mess of death and despair.

Published by MX Publishing, “Mrs Hudson Goes to Ireland” by Susan Knight is a fun book.

Obviously years of being Sherlock Holmes’s landlady had rubbed off on Martha Hudson, as she makes quite an excellent detective.

The novel is well plotted and well written. The research is impeccable. Susan Knight weaves details of Irish beliefs and superstitions through the story in a manner which brings the people and the place to glorious life.

HIghly recommended.

‘Mrs Hudson Goes to Ireland” is available directly from MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/mrs-hudson-goes-to-ireland?_pos=3&_sid=dd1e9e640&_ss=r

You can check out my work available from MX Publishing here: https://mxpublishing.com/search?type=product&q=Margaret+Walsh

Sherlock Holmes and the Ley Line Murders

13 Dec

In “Sherlock Holmes and the Ley Line Murders” by Allan Mitchell, body parts are discovered distributed along the ancient ley lines of Wiltshire. Holmes and Watson journey to Salisbury to assist Inspector Fleming with the case. They are soon joined by Inspector Lestrade, and the game is well and truly afoot.

The level of historical detail in this book is excellent. Allan Mitchell supplies a lot of facts about the ancient monuments of Wiltshire and the resurgence of Druidism in the 18th and 19th centuries, without straying into lecture territory.

The plot is detailed and delightful. An old-fashioned ripping yarn, in fact. Holmes and Watson work well together, and Mitchell’s Lestrade is a complete delight.

The only qualm I have is that the dialogue is in italics, which did make reading a little difficult.

All in all, “Sherlock Holmes and the Ley Line Murders” is a very good read. Recommended.

Thank you to Steve at MX Publishing for the review copy.

You can buy “Sherlock Holmes and Ley Line Murders” directly from MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/sherlock-holmes-and-the-ley-line-murders?_pos=4&_sid=693d1ea22&_ss=r

And check out my MX Publishing profile while you are there: https://mxpublishing.com/collections/sherlockian-author-profile-margaret-walsh

Waxwork

3 Dec

“Waxwork” by Peter Lovesey was the last of the Sgt Cribb books.

The scene is London in 1888: Mrs Miriam Cromer has confessed to the murder of the assistant to her photographer husband, because he was blackmailing her. Miriam is sentence to death, but before she can be hanged, doubts are cast on her confession. Sgt Cribb is tasked with investigating the matter. Is Miriam Cromer truly guilty of a most heinous murder?

The story is split between Cribb’s investigation and the actions of hangman James Berry in the run up to the execution. The result is a story with verve and bounce that keeps you in its grip right up to the final denouement.

The thing I found interesting was that as I read the book I kept getting mental flashbacks to the television adaptation of the book, which was done around the time of the Granada Sherlock Holmes adaptations. Which only goes to show just how strong the story is.

Highly recommended if you can get hold of a copy.

Victorian Murders

17 Nov

“Victorian Murders” by Roy Harley Lewis is a book I outright did not like.

What should have been an interesting read on murders during the Victorian period was marred by the author’s judgemental attitude.

I began to have qualms when I came across the following in the preface: “Without minimising the effects of the wide spread terror created by the Whitechapel murders, at least the victims belonged to the very cesspit of society, ie they were pitiful creatures for whom death was a merciful release from a nightmare on earth.”

No, just no! That is not on. The book was written in the 1980s and such an attitude wasn’t acceptable even then.

By the time the author began banging on about people he considered guilty of murder, regardless of the fact that they had been found not guilty by the courts, I had had enough.

This is one book that I did not finish, and I cannot in all good conscience recommend.

Invitation to a Dynamite Party

15 Oct

I first came across Sergeant Cribb of Scotland Yard via the Granada television series in 1980-1981. I was delighted to discover the series was based on books by Peter Lovesey, and lost no time in hunting down copies. Fast forward 40 years and imagine my delight when I came across several of the books at a second hand shop.

I am delighted to report that the books have stood the test of time.

In “Invitation to a Dynmite Party” London in 1884 is being plagued by a series of bomb blasts. A reluctant Sgt Cribb is sent on an explosives course, and when his offsider, Constable Thackery appears to be one of the terrorists, Cribb finds himself on a whirling ride fraught with danger, including being abducted at gunpoint to be the terror group’s new bombmaker.

The story is fast paced and well written. A fascinating take on a perilous time.

Peter Lovesey also has a fine line in sarcasm:

“‘Fancy that!’ said Inspector Jowett, so dedicated to the cause of personal advancement that he was ready to fancy anything a senior officer showed him.”

If you love Victorian era detective fiction, it will be worth your while getting hold of a copy (maybe try ABE Books).

Highly recommended.

The Alienist

3 Oct

My latest book to read and review is “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr.

The scene is New York City in 1896. Young male prostitutes are being brutally murdered. Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt turns to prominent alienist, Dr Laszlo Kreizler, for assistance.

Kreizler, along with a journalist named Moore, who is the narrator of the story, two police detectives, and police department secretary Sara Howard, join forces to track down the killer.

The book is a tense psychological thriller, though I did find I got bogged down a little with the actual psychology part of it. Carr gave his main character, Kreizler, a tendancy to lecture and I found that my attention wandered away at times.

The digressions into New York CIty’s past, both criminal and otherwise, were interesting. As were the vibrant descriptions of 19th century New York’s underworld and its inhabitants.

On the whole, I found “The Alienist” to be an enjoyable read.

A Mortal Curiosity

27 Sep

“A Mortal Curiosity” is the second Lizzie Martin/Inspector Ben Ross book written by Ann Granger. The book is set in 1864 when Lizzie, adrift from her role of companion to her ‘Aunt Parry’, goes to Hampshire to act as a companiom to a young woman recovering from the loss of her child.

Ben is uneasy about Lizzie going, and his fears are realized when the young woman is found covered in blood and hysterical beside the body of a ratcatcher.

Ben is sent from Scotland Yard to investigate and the stage is set for a fabulous story.

“A Mortal Curiosity” is an absorbing read. The characters spring from the page full of vivacity and idiosyncrasies which make them curiously addictive. I was drawn deeply into the plot and I only put the book down with reluctance.

All of the Lizzie Martin/Ben Ross books can be read out of sequence, because Ms. Granger has the balance of backstory just right. Enough so someone new to the books can work out what is going on, and not so much as to annoy a regular reader of the series.

One of the best books I have read this year. Highly recommended.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Perplexed Politician

16 Apr

My second book, “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Perplexed Politician” is released today.

It is available directly from the publisher, MX Publishing: https://mxpublishing.com/products/sherlock-holmes-the-case-of-the-perplexed-politician?fbclid=IwAR0Xy74SeUc3o4maqWBV0Jhm51xo2M9Rq3E1uGXndTMFRRrLyYBD3GpmJgw

But also from Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, and the various Amazon sites worldwide.

“When the fiancé of the sister of a Member of Parliament is found dead in mysterious circumstances, the man turns to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson to get an answer to the puzzle. Journeying to the small Wiltshire village of Barrow-upon-Kennet, Holmes and Watson are soon deep into a murder investigation. With few clues and a mounting death toll, Holmes and Watson realize that they are facing something much more sinister than a perplexed politician.”

A New Sherlock Holmes Adventure.

29 Jan

I thought 2019 was a good year, with my first novel, “Sherlock Holmes and the Molly-Boy Murders” released by MX Publishing.  2020 looks to be even better.

I am delighted to announce that on 16th April 2020 my second Sherlock Holmes novel, “Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Perplexed Politician” will be released by MX Publishing.

“When the fiancé of the sister of a Member of Parliament is found dead in mysterious circumstances, the man turns to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson to get an answer to the puzzle.  Journeying to the small Wiltshire village of Barrow-upon-Kennet, Holmes and Watson are soon deep into a murder investigation.  With few clues and a mounting death toll, Holmes and Watson realize that they are facing something much more sinister than a perplexed politician.”

Has the blurb whetted your appetite?  I hope so.  As soon as I have pre-order details I will share them with you.

 

Sherlock Holmes: Legacy of Deeds

30 Aug

London 1894: People have been mysteriously poisoned at a Covent Garden art gallery; and a Russian Grand Duke is asking for Holmes to find the murderer of his manservant.

Are these two cases for Holmes… or only one? Add in an apparent suicide at a girl’s school and you have the recipe for an exciting and absorbing Sherlock Holmes mystery.

“Sherlock Holmes: Legacy of Deeds” by Nick Kyme is well plotted and well written, as well as relatively well researched.

Sherlock Holmes is nicely ascerbic, without being too ill-mannered. John Watson has a nice balance of outrage and sass, as well as being a valuable partner to Holmes, not a patsy. A well balanced Holmes/Watson team.

The Scotland Yard inspector involved in this case is Tobias Gregson. Nick Kyme pads Gregson out nicely. He managed to make my least favourite yarder quite likeable. I am hoping he writes more Holmes/Watson/Gregson offerings in the future.

Highly recommended.

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