Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Memento Mori” as Want to Read:
Memento Mori
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Memento Mori

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Take tea with the Victorian Mafia – organized crime has never been so civilized

Revenge is a dish best served cold. At the Lamb residence, it is also served on fine bone china.
The untimely demise of Thaddeus Lamb leaves his son Riley in charge of the vast Lamb empire, which imports tea, picks pockets, extorts, and keeps men warm on cold winter's nights. And so the Lambs gri
207 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Untold Press (first published April 1st 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Memento Mori, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Memento Mori

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  51 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Sadie Forsythe
Memento Mori is an ambitious novel. Taken on by a less talented writer, I think it could easily have been a flop. So many intricately woven plot points going back and forwards in time and revealing small clues before tying them all together in the last few pages surely took immense skill to keep straight, let alone produce readability. But O'Dowd manages it.

While I had a hard time warming up to Sunday (she's not exactly the warm and fuzzy type), she is a marvellous assassin. (I joked at one poi
Christoph Fischer
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Memento Mori" by Katy O'Dowd is an excellent, inspired and unusual Victorian period piece about the Lamb family and about O'Murtagh, a female assassin in London in the 1850s. It is a playful portrayal of organised crime in London in those days, and in the novel the crime comes in many forms and shapes: pick pocketing, prostitution, smuggling, extortion, murder and deceit.
Told in two main narratives, the book follows not only the Lamb family after the father's ominous death, but it also follows
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am so excited to review Memento Mori, a mystery novel that was written by the incredible Katy O’Dowd !

The first thing I need to say is that I read it in one sitting. It was just too hard to put the book down. There is so much to love about this particular story. I mean, so much. Let’s start with the storyline. In the Victorian London, Sunday O’Murtagh, (a kick-ass female assassin, oh yeah !) is hired by the Fox family to seek revenge at all costs against the Lamb family. Those two families are
Georgiann Hennelly
Apr 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Memento Mori, Is an unusual inspired Victorian period piece about the Lamb family and O'mortagh a female assassin in 1850"s London. A playful portrayal of organised crime in the 1850's, the crimes are many and varied from prostitution , pick pocketing, smugling, to murder. The book follows the Lamb family after the Father's death, but it also follows the fate of a 5 year old girl from the 1930's onward. A stranger gives her a Momento Mori from her Mother and she survives as an orphan on trickery ...more
L.L. Hunter
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Momento Mori is another fabulous piece of fiction from Katy O'Dowd! I loved this book so much more than the Lady Astronomer. Her writing style is superb and if Ms O'Dowd isn't looked upon as a literary great in years to come, then I will be shocked! The style can be compared to those of Oscar Wilde and Fitzgerald. It was truly an astounding read. I loved the whole idea of a female assassin drinking tea with her soon to be victims. Just genius! I recommend Momento Mori to fans of the genre or any ...more
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you are looking for a clever take on the normally stuffy and staid Victorian era, take a close look at Katy O’Dowd’s Memento Morian the organized crime on the dark side of the streets. A civilized Victorian Mafia? Follow the Lamb family as their patriarch goes missing and is found dead. Wealthy, powerful and not quite legal, this family often takes in street waifs, while providing them food, shelter and a sense of “family,” the Lambs are also grooming them to be the perfect petty thieves. Mea ...more
April Hollingworth
Apr 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review Courtesy of April Hollingworth

Momento Mori is wonderfully descriptive. It transports you back in time but through the eyes of many different characters. A female Assassin, who is extraordinarily good at her job, thieves, henchmen who love their clothes, and delightfully intriguing brothers who control their empire as they unravel the pieces of their father’s murder.

Opening Scene:

London 1835
The small girl sat on her haunches and watched the man on the floor.

The Review:

In this intriguing st
R.B. Harkess
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Memento Mori is a tale of revenge, and like all such stories as a bleakness to it. It has overtones of Joe Abercrombie’s “Best Served Cold” - but we are at least spared another repeat of that overused ‘Klingon Proverb’ quote.

The stories dual threads weave intricately around each other, drawing ever closer until thy meet with an interesting twist. That’s as much as I will say about plot. Others will summaries it in their reviews, and I don’t want to give out spoilers.

A common problem in revenge p
Laura Wilkinson
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Katy O’Dowd’s latest offering is a jewel of a novel which should be enjoyed by adults, young and old. Set in the murky world of the criminal classes of early Victorian Britain it is as dark and polished as the jet stones crafted by the one of the Mafiosi-like warring families around which the action is set. An abandoned, unloved waif is cast onto the cruel streets. Rather than curl up and die this stray flourishes to develop into a ruthless assassin. Meet Sunday O’Murtagh, a glorious, take-no-pr ...more
Gemma Masson
Apr 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel almost, almost defies genre definition through the skillful combination of hard-bitten crime thriller, historical narrative and mystery all incorporated into a polished brass steam-punk setting!

The shifting narrative has a pattern and structure which ensures that the reader does not get lost with the changing perspectives while at the same time not getting too far into one character's story at any one time which prevent lethargy in the reader and also keeps the reader in suspense want
J.A. Campbell
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
What an entertaining story about a Victorian Assassin. O'Murtagh is hired for revenge against a powerful Mafia-like family because she is one of the best, her services are in high demand. Her first target is a pirate, and from there she turns her skills against jewelers, clothiers, funeral home directors, and others. While on the surface these targets may seem innocent, corruption runs deep. On the other side, you follow the Lamb family while they try to root out corruption amongst the corrupt. ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Let me start by saying that this is not my typical read and at first I thought I just don't know. I admit. I was wrong. I was impressed. This is the first time I have ever read anything by O'Dowd. Memento Mori is set in London's Victorian period. We follow Sunday O'Murtagh an assassin who is hired for revenge against a powerful organized crime family similar to the Mafia. I can not say much more than that for fear I will give spoilers. So, I will go straight into what I thought about everything. ...more
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was honored to receive this book in exchange for a fair review. Memento Mori is written from several character's points of view. I truly enjoy books written this way, as it gives you a lot more insight into the story. The book opens with murder and mystery. We are led through with tidbits about how the main character came to be who she is. I could not put this book down. The story is very well developed with mystery around every corner.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 stars. No real plot
Memento Mori by Katy O'Dowd is a unique tale about the Lamb family and the assassin who has been hired to take them down. The Lamb family is known for their public business of tea imports and it's behind the scenes business of thieves, drugs, and prostitution. When the patriarch Thaddeus Lamb is found murdered, his sons begin searching for the culprit and taking revenge when deemed necessary. O'Murtagh is an assassin hired by Carmine Fox, the daughter of the late William Fox, whose family at one ...more
Dannica Zulestin
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: freebie, viva
A mediocre Victorian story of intrigue and murder.

The Lamb family is under attack after the murder of their patriarch, Thaddeus Lamb. O'Murtagh, a female assassin, has been hired to kill off their business associates as one by one she gets closer to the family itself. Meanwhile, Kavanagh and Riley Lamb, Thaddeus' sons, try to find those conspiring against their family and get their revenge.

Good Things
O'Murtagh is an excellent name. So is Kavanagh. Super Irish. :)
There's plenty of historic
Bea  Charmed
"Memento Mori" was a fun, smart, tightly written thriller with a snarky sense of humor. It pulled me in right from the start and kept me reading until I finished. I did have to take time out from reading to get a few hours of sleep and go to work otherwise I would have read it straight through.

The story follows O'Murtagh, an assassin with no known family, and the Lamb brothers, Riley and Kavanagh. The Lamb family is a major crime family who is under attack, both personally and professionally. As
Rachel Brune
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book on Kindle in exchange for an honest review.

After reading Katy O'Dowd's steampunk novel "The Lady Astronomer," I was looking forward to reading this new book, and she definitely did not disappoint. The first thing I noticed was that while this book retains strong elements of the steampunk genre, fully-realized, well-rounded characters (both male and female), and a plot that kept you guessing, the book itself is quite different from "Lady Astronomer." For one,
Amy McK
Sep 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Organized crime of London in the 19th century? Why yes, thank you. Memento Mori begins with the three main characters and ends with them. An assassin is led on a series of jobs detailed in outtakes of a diary. The avenging of a father's death and clearing up the family's name driven by a society column. The motive .... ah, well. Glossed over and a little too common.

Here's what I liked: The cover. The idea of a woman assassin being able to manipulate her way around so easily. The premise of the s
Cathy Ryan
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was given an ARC by the author in exchange for my review.

Although this is not my usual reading, I did enjoy it in the main. Once or twice I kind of lost the plot and had to go back a few pages but was soon back on track.

It started well, the prologue was enough to draw me in. O’Murtagh, a female assassin in Victorian London, started life as a ragged, homeless, five-year old urchin. She survived the manipulation and being used by various people during her childhood until she is taught how to fig
Jillian Lopez
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Full review in my blog: Jillian's Books

I loved the beginning. The prologue got me hooked and I loved what I read there, but as the story progressed I had a hard time following. The time periods were frequently switched from one year to another and then back again. I was slightly confused at first, but I understood it the moment I reached the ending. Ms. Katy O'Dowd did an excellent job in narrating her story! I don't alw
Tammy Hall
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Memento Mori is set in Victorian London era. The Lamb family is a mafia like family who's father has just died and they set out to seek retribution and they aim to take out anyone in their path. As the brothers Riley and Kavanagh seek to find their fathers killer they have a few run ins with their rivals the Fox family. The Fox family have a few tricks up their sleeves the biggest one being assassin Sunday O'Murtagh. Sunday aims to seek her target, Sunday is an orphan or waif as refereed to in t ...more
Erik Bundy
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA, NA, Adults
Memento Mori is a novel told in vivid prose. Rather than follow the life of a single character, the novel is cinematically rendered in multiple points of view to depict the society of the genteel and not-so-genteel criminal classes of Victorian London. It is an amusing period piece and in true Dickensian fashion begins with a ragged orphan and ends with a grand secret revealed.

The schemes and convoluted loyalties of the villains create plot twists that entertain and surprise the reader yet seem
Angela McPherson
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: suspense
What a great adventure! Action, romance and mystery leap off each page, keeping you glued to your seat until the very end. I love books with strong female leads and Memento Mori definitely does not disappoint! Sexy old world charm mixed with deadly mafia wars. Well done, Mrs. O'Dowd, another hit (pun intended) for you!
Talk Books To Me
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What Angela thought… 5 cups ‘O tea

What a great adventure! Action, romance and mystery leap off each page, keeping you glued to your seat until the very end. I love books with strong female leads and Memento Mori definitely does not disappoint! Sexy old world charm mixed with deadly mafia wars. Well done, Mrs. O’Dowd, another hit (pun intended) for you!
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
In 1865 a dying man gives a starving girl a necklace. I thought from the very first sentence the writing in this book was really good. It immediately drew me in and held my attention. I like steampunk and I was enjoying this book a lot. It reminded me a lot of Gail Carriger's books. 4 stars
Terra Whiteman
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Review to come
May 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.
barbara evans
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A new refreshing author

The story holds your interest from beginning to end. The way of writing is very good and the plot original.
Sukh Kak
rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2016
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Katy is an arts and entertainment journalist and has worked for Time Out, Associated Newspapers and Comic Relief and her articles have appeared in The Times (London), Metro (London) and many other arts and entertainment publications, paper and online.
Alongside writing with her Dad under the pen-name Derry O’Dowd, whose first book ‘The Scarlet Ribbon’ was chosen to launch the History Press Ireland’
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »