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Limelight (Penny Green #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,227 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
How did an actress die twice?

London, 1883. Actress Lizzie Dixie drowned in the River Thames, so how was she murdered five years later in Highgate Cemetery?

Intrepid Fleet Street reporter Penny Green was a friend of Lizzie’s and Scotland Yard needs her help. Does Penny unwittingly hold clues to Lizzie’s mysterious death? Penny must work with Inspector James Blakely to invest
Kindle Edition, 340 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Amazon Digital Services
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The Lit Bitch
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Like many other bibliophiles, I subscribe to BookBub. Basically every day I get an email telling me about all the great deals for ebooks in categories that I have selected. This service is free so if you like book and want to hear about good deals on ebooks, subscribe!

So in one of my emails last week there was a special ad feature at the bottom of the email that said ‘have you discovered Penny Green yet?’ with this great foggy London photo in the background.

And in my mind all I could hear was ‘n
Katherine Sunderland
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I do love an Emily Organ book!

I stalk Emily - sorry - I mean I keep an eye out for Emily's new books as I have read every single one and never been disappointed. This is no exception. Moving to a new historical era following on from the Runaway Girl series that was set in the 1350s, Limelight is set in 1883 and yet again Organ shows off her talent for creating a convincing world and transporting the reader back in time.

What I also admire about Organ's writing is that even though I recognise her
Ashley Marsh
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I actually found this really enjoyable. I loved the characters and the mystery actually kept me guessing.I’m happy to have discovered this series. I’ll definitely be reading the next book soon.
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading and enjoying The Teacher I looked forward to this story and soon discovered it is a very good read.
Penny Green is a great character and I love the interaction with James. This is a good mystery which keeps you guessing. Lots of atmosphere of the time period too.

I must also say here as it isn't listed anywhere, I enjoyed Westminster Bridge, details how to get this are at the back of this (Limelight) book. An added bonus.

I hope we get to read more of Penny Green.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, I liked the concept and the setting...but felt that the author told me the story, rather than showing me the story. I was never absorbed in the story, it felt more like I was reading the clifnotes version, rather than the actual tale.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Almost a 4* read. It had all my favorite elements: a murder in 19th century London with a Scotland Yard detective - so I found it comfortable and enjoyed for the most part. Though at times it was a little repetitive and I felt let down by the end. But I will definitely be reading the next one. Both are free with kindle unlimited which is another plus.
Tony Hisgett
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical, mystery
Penny has an interesting back-story, I particularly like that Scotland Yard are trying to recruit her with a case, even though they were responsible for unfairly getting her sacked from her reporters job. This was a good beginning, but I’m afraid this was probably the high point of the book.
Cara Hinton
Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the book, but I don't think I'm going to read #2. I liked the characters, and the story line, and I love the period this is set in, but the plot was just average.
Patricia Gulley
A good mystery with lots of clothes and location descriptions. I couldn't really believe that the protag got the news reporter job in the first place, yes she could write something to get her fired, but the rehiring element was thin.
Crystal Cornell
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lovely Written Mystery

I do hope a sequel is published soon. This book was thoughtful, well written and kept me wondering who did it until the surprise ending. I love Victorian English mysteries. This wasn't a "cosy" mystery but a story with real tragedy, heartache, adultery and quiet need. Oh, there's a little touch of romance too for Penny. I hope this storyline continues in the next book. You know a story is good when the book ends and you are sad because you want it to continue. I'll be waiti
Avery (Book Deviant)
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3star
See more of my reviews on my blog the Book Deviant

Limelight opens up with Penny being approached by Blakely, tossing you into the story the moment you open up the novel. The banter between the characters, in addition to the setting, gives you an amazing atmosphere that leaves you so engrossed in the story that it literally flies by. During the first half, I couldn’t stop reading this one. I was really engaged and interested in the story, and I felt for Penny and her struggles.

After a while, thou
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty good overall, I didn't figure out the mystery ahead of time, which was good. As a series, this looks pretty promising. There were a couple issues, the most distracting being that there really wasn't a plausible explanation as to how the victim was identified. I found it hard to believe that police would have recognized the victim enough to call family in to ID her. She was in disguise and aged five years, and someone who was dead was previously identified as her. If both bodies looked so ...more
Gwen Stevens
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Fantastic New Mystery Series!

Uh oh! Actress Lizzie Dixie’s managed to get herself killed—twice. She was drowned in the Thames River the first time, and now she’s been found shot dead in Highgate Cemetery. It’s quite a feat, but no worries. Intrepid street reporter Penny Green is hot on the trail of untangling the mystery of Lizzie’s hidden lives and buried secrets. Penny Green being on the case is a miracle at all because: (1) it’s 1883 and women don’t solve murders; (2) Penelope has already
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was really enjoyable. The protagonist, Penelope (known as Penny), is a newspaper reporter in late 19th century London. I think she's probably petite, well-educated, wears spectacles, and would be awesomely played by Shirley Henderson if someone did a film adaptation. The author seems to have a keen eye for period detail and descriptions are quite evocative. (There's also a historical appendix that informs us nicely about what's fictional and what's based on historical fact.)

Through some cir
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
A famous London actress who had drowned five years previously in a notorious boating accident, is found shot dead in Highgate cemetery.
Penny Green is a reporter who was a friend of the actress and is asked by Scotland Yard to help in any way possible to identify a possible murderer and why she has mysteriously ‘come back from the dead’ just to die again. She is to work with a young Inspector Blakely.
It is quite an interesting story with one or two annoying side shoots involving Westminster and t
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Penelope Green is a lady in all sense of the word, except perhaps by wealth in that she relies on her job as a reporter to pay her rent on an attic room in a boarding house where it is a struggle to cover her expenses each week. Penelope is proud, independent and craves a career she is good at, but this is the 1880's and she has to hide her intellect and abilities from misogynistic colleagues who like to remind her she is only tolerated in their masculine profession, while content to let her do ...more
Linz Bassett
Absolutely devoured Limelight by Penny Green. I loved how she was incredibly unique for her time, not only by being a spinster but being a pioneer in women's journalism. I love the Victorian era and thought it was interesting how the fashion was incorporated as a serious matter. I thought there was a healthy dose of suspects, and the ending while somewhat surprising was not completely out of left field. It made sense with the clues given. I'd definitely recommend this who anyone who loves myster ...more
Lois Zollars
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good Mystery!

I would have given this story five stars, but I felt that there was a little too much repetition in the telling of the story- dragging out information that was already well known to the reader. I typically do not purchase mystery books, but with the story taking place in London during the Victorian era, plus the main character being a female news reporter, I was intrigued. I enjoyed the story enough to purchase the remaining four books featuring Penny Green. This is the first time t
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book started off with an interesting premise and a likable heroine. A little over half way through I just got tired of it.
I agree with some of the other reviewers that there was too much telling and not enough showing. It felt like too much of the book was spent with Penny sitting around and talking through her speculations.
And the romantic angle was beyond fruatrating. It didn't need to have a romantic angle but the attraction between Penny and James was obvious but it went nowhere. Afte
Jan McClintock
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Likable characters; lack of emotion

This is the first book in a planned historical mystery series about Penny Green, female reporter in 1880s London. The author uses wonderful descriptions to transport the reader to the Victorian setting.

There was a lot of dialog, but I felt a lack of internal emotion was a major flaw; Penny is an interesting character, but we are seldom treated to her feelings. Instead, we are left to assume them based on the narrative. I'd like to know more of how she (and oth
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When actress Lizzie Dixie shows up dead a second time Scotland Yard scrambles to find out why she wasn't dead the first time. James Blakely is on the case and needs the help of reporter, Penny Green because she knew Lizzie quit well but, like everyone else, thought she had died 5 years earlier in a boating accident. Why was Lizzie hiding and who was she afraid of were the questions that needed to be answered while rumors were bandied about and before the wrong man was sent to prison for her deat ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I like historic novel. This is a fun one, and I think the time period is well-researched. I felt comfortable in the era as I read it. I also like mysteries, at least ones that make sense (which this does). Near the end of the book, I had the bad guy figured out, but then there were a couple of twists that made me smile.

The main character, Penny Green, is well thought-out and I found myself rooting for her to succeed.

I will go ahead and read the next Penny Green book. I don't think it will disap
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Apart from a penchant for repetition (there were many chapters where Penny just kept telling us the same thing over and over) and this one rather unpardonable "hanged vs hung" mistake (I believe a detective refers to a criminal getting "hung" - which, ha, unless he meant that he was hefty in the downstairs department, it doesn't mean being executed), this mystery novel was very charming and fun to read. There was a double twist that totally got me, although not every puzzle was solved, so that m ...more
Tammy Buchli
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
This was one of those books I should have loved. From the description (spunky Fleet Street journalist teams up with Scotland Yard detective to solve a very twisty murder), it should have been right in my wheelhouse. But... it just never grabbed me. I didn't really care about any of the characters, the mystery didn't hold my interest -- in a nutshell, the book just failed to excite me. It wasn't poorly written or anachronistic, so I will give the second book in the series a try at some point. But ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really well-done mystery. All the clues are there and you can see them quite clearly after the big reveal, but you might be clever enough to figure it out well before then. I wasn't. But even if you are, it's still a fun turn around London to get there. Just like being in the city itself, the story includes amusing bits of detail. I was deeply troubled by the romantic twist but hope it gets resolved in subsequent installments of the series. This Inspector and the Reporter make for a great duo &a ...more
Kasey Riley
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting

I enjoyed this book. The mystery was woven well enough to keep me guessing until the last chapter or so. Well done. This is the first book of a series and yet it seems there was a story I missed. The author alludes to a "case" or story that got the MC fired...huh? I felt I was missing something that was never really revealed. On the good side, it was a minor issue in this story - it just kept me from making this a five star rating.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, prime-koll
Solid historical mystery set in the 1880s. Penny is a reporter who's persona non grata after showing up the police in an investigation. But a new young detective asks for her help in the death of a well known actress. Only thing is, she was already supposed to be dead!

The mystery is complex but not too convoluted. The pacing is good throughout and the solution hangs together very well. This was the first in a series and I'll definitely be continuing.

Arianna Curley
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To start I actually got this book on a whim on my kindle. And I’m definitely glad I did. Penny Green is a spunky lady who can hold her own in a career dominated by men. It was definitely Penny that drew me further into the story. Despite being fictional she is someone I could admire. She’s kicking ass and taking no crap in a male dominated field, which is something I hope to do in my future career. I will definitely be picking up the rest of this series!
Jan 03, 2018 rated it did not like it
Not my cup of tea

I truly tried to like this book, but it was all I could do to finish it.

It wasn't because of the time period, I just flat thought the characters were poorly written. By the time I was half way through I just didn't care who killed who or why, I just wanted it to be over.

But, it could be just me. Maybe you will enjoy it. If you've nothing else to do, give it a whirl.
Cindy Woods
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Good mystery

I enjoyed reading this 19th century setting for this murder mystery. The descriptions of the various locations and architecture was well done. I wish the main characters had been a little better described, though. It seemed to come out in bits and pieces throughout the book. As to the plot itself, it was pretty good. I will say by the end I was surprised.
I would recommend to readers of murder mysteries, especially historical fiction readers.
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Emily Organ is the author of the Penny Green Victorian mystery series and some other books too. Writing historical mysteries combines her love of history and mystery. She lives in the south of England with her family. Find out more at
More about Emily Organ

Other books in the series

Penny Green (5 books)
  • The Rookery (Penny Green, #2)
  • The Maid’s Secret (Penny Green #3)
  • The Inventor (Penny Green Series Book 4)
  • Curse of the Poppy (Penny Green, #5)