Cindy's Reviews > Mad Hatter's Holiday

Mad Hatter's Holiday by Peter Lovesey
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May 07, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries, 19th-century
Read in June, 2009 , read count: 1

Alfred Moscrop is looking forward to his holiday at Brighton. Like many other middle class Victorians, his two week stay by the sea is the high point of his summer.

But Moscrop has an unusual hobby. Today we might call him a Peeping Tom, but he would describe himself as an "optical enthusiast." He enjoys trying out his newest telescope on the bathers. He's not really looking for sexual secrets, he's just sort of, well, peeping. (Which honestly, how many of us do? You know, taking a look in someone's window as you drive by.)

This time, his spying has gotten him involved a little too deeply. He sees a remarkably beautiful woman. He can't help wanting to know about her. He follows her. He spies on her. He follows her stepson, her maid, her husband. And the more he watches, the more he gets tangled up in her life. He contrives a meeting with the family. He's convinced she's in the victim of a plot by her cheating husband. He sees himself as a rescuer.

What I enjoyed about this book was that I really couldn't tell where the story was going. Is Moscrop to be trusted? Is the woman? Are any of the characters really who they seem?

This is from a series featuring Victorian detectives Sergeant Cribb and was on the PBS show Mystery! But it wasn't quite like the others I had read in the series. I don't want to give too much away, so let me say that I really enjoyed it. There were some loose ends at the end of the book, but it felt like a realistic conclusion. Well done.

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06/13/2009 page 26
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