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A Mortal Likeness (Victorian Mystery, #2)
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A Mortal Likeness

(Victorian Mystery #2)

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  462 ratings  ·  101 reviews
A photographer in Whitechapel, London, Sarah Bain is also a private detective—skilled at capturing others’ dark secrets, and expert at keeping her own. When a wealthy banker, Sir Gerald Mariner, posts a handsome reward for finding his missing infant, all of London joins in, hoping to win that money for themselves. Usually discouraged by a saturated market, Sarah is instead ...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Crooked Lane Books
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  462 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2017
I’ve never read a Victorian mystery before so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But this intriguing story pulled me in right from the start. There were so many different diversions that I wasn’t quite sure which one I wanted resolved first. Where was missing baby Robin? What exactly were Hugh and Sarah’s past criminal activities? Who murdered Noel Vaughn and his mistress? What is the story behind the disappearance of Benjamin Bain? The author manages to successfully weave these multiple questi ...more
The eye of the camera doesn't lie.

Sarah Bain lifts that camera gently into position. She and her detective partner, Lord Hugh Staunton, have been hired to photograph an unsuspecting couple near the Crystal Palace in London. The gentleman's jilted wife needs proof of his waywardness. A quick snap taken of the saucy redhead leaning seductively towards him is quite the catch. But later, Sarah's developed photo reveals a man in the background who greatly resembles her own father who has been missing
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fast-paced whodunnit full of enough twists to give you whiplash!

It is the second in a series and while it took me awhile to catch up with what has happened, it reads just fine as a stand alone.

You will be questioning each suspect, then believe in their innocence, then will find more reasons to think they’re guilty over and over again! This whodunnit changes directions rapidly, and will give even the best detective readers a run for their money.

This story read a bit like YA, but the
Carol (Bookaria)
I'm a fan of a well-plotted mystery, although I usually read the ones that take place in contemporary times, this one managed to keep me engaged throughout.

This is a novel that takes place during Victorian times in London. The main character is photographer and private detective Sarah Bain. She and her business partner Hugh have been retained by a wealthy man to investigate the kidnapping of his youngest son.

Sarah and Hugh then embark on the task of investigating the person responsible for the d
Susanne  Strong
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars.

An Entertaining Mystery Set in Victorian Times.

Sarah Bain is a photographer and a private detective. She and her partner Hugh are hired by a wealthy man to investigate a crime. The kidnapping of a young boy. Tension ramps up when Sarah’s camera reveals more than she bargained for and she must determine what is real and what is not real. Soon her suspect list grows and Sarah and Hugh find themselves in danger, and their anxiety and fear is palpable.

Several side stories occur which left me
Holly  B
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A setting in Victorian England and a photographer Sarah Bain who has become a private eye is on her next case since solving the identity of Jack the Ripper (in book #1).

Hired by Sir Gerald Mariner in London to find his infant son, Robin, who is missing and believed to have been kidnapped. Her and her partner Hugh are hot on the trail of suspects possibly involved.

There are a few side stories involving Sarah and some dark secrets from her past come up and haunt her throughout the story. She i
Paul Falk
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Transported back in time to the latter part of the nineteenth century, I find myself standing on a cobblestone street somewhere in the heart of London. The startling clitter clatter of a horse and buggy pass before me. Kerosene lanterns light up the darkened street. Dampness and an overriding smell of horse manure overwhelm my acute senses. Jack the Ripper's reign of terror had just come to a crashing end. Different time, different world.

This exquisitely, well-written narrative effortlessly, sw
Montzalee Wittmann
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Mortal Likeness (Victorian Mystery #2) by Laura Joh Rowland is a book set back in the late 1870's and is book two in the series. I didn't read book one, although now I want to read it, I had no problems reading this book without reading book one first. I requested this book and the review is voluntary.
I really like the main characters. They are well developed and certainly not your normal characters. The woman is a woman that has a mind of her own, which is not really liked at that time, and
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Continuing this series, Laura Joh Rowland takes readers back to Victorian England for more mysteries. Sarah Bain and Lord Hugh Staunton made a name for themselves while working on the Jack the Ripper case, though few know of their successes. They’ve chosen to open a private investigation firm, willing to work for anyone who has the means to pay them. While tailing a philanderer, Sarah and Hugh are able to capture a photo to substantiate their investigative claims. Soon thereafter, the subjects o ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Mortal Likeness is the second book in the Victorian Mystery series. I have not yet read the first book, The Ripper's Shadow, but was easily able to follow the plot and characters in this story. So, it isn't necessary to have read the first book to enjoy this newest book in this series. There are references to the first book, however. I very much enjoyed this book, so I'm going to backtrack and read The Ripper's Shadow.

Sarah Bain is a photographer and a detective. Sarah is hired by Sir Gerald
Linda Strong
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This is a real treat for lovers of historical fiction. A MORTAL LIKENESS sees the return of Sarah Bain, Lord Hugh Staunton, and Mick O'Reilly. Sarah and Hugh run a private detective agency... mainly because they are unsuitable for any other type of employment and they solved a major previous murder case.

The author has done a fine job of combining two different stories. It's when they dovetail that things get really dangerous.

Sir Gerald Mariner hires Sarah and Hugh to find his kidnapped infant so
This historical mystery is exactly what I like; set in Victorian London with a strong female lead and supporting characters I would love to have as friends.

Sarah Bain and her friend Lord Hugh Staunton have opened their own detective agency. The difficulty is that they're running out of money and need some wealthy clients to pay the rent. So far it's been lost items and cheating spouses, none of it very lucrative. Things change when they become mixed up in the kidnapping of Robin Mariner, the inf
Brenda H
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Mortal Likeness is the second book in the Victorian Mystery series by Laura Joh Rowland. Our protagonist, Sarah Bain, is a photographer in Whitechapel, London. She is also a private detective. Along with her friend, Lord Hugh Staunton, a disgraced nobleman, she is hired by a jilted wife to find evidence of an affair.

While tailing the wayward husband, Sarah and Hugh find themselves in the Crystal Palace. Seizing an opportunity to catch the man and his mistress in several incriminating moments,
Oct 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
not for me
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Unlikely compatriots and fellow private detectives Sarah Bain and Lord Hugh Staunton, are thrown into, well are lured into really, the case of a kidnapped young child, Robin Mariner. The beloved son of wealthy banker and hard nosed businessman Sir Gerald Mariner, a friend to those in high places, has gone missing. Sir Gerald hires them with a retainer they cannot resist. He insists on a confidentiality clause which puts Sarah immediately at odds with her beau, Police Constable Thomas Ba
Feb 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Upfront, I couldn't finish this. I was thoroughly put off by the inappropriate sexual encounters of the main characters. This is supposed to be a mystery set in Victorian times! I don't believe most people of the time acted in this manner-homosexual affairs, promiscuous relationships. I know this is not what I'm looking to read about with a historical mysyery.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This lively yarn embraces the private lives of a small troupe of amateur detectives to offer an unexpected bite of 19th century reality from a courageous slice of perseverance. Combining the limited knowledge they possess they attempt to unravel the knots in a very long string of challenges, while trying not to upset the delicate balance of social hierarchy and propriety.

It’s a personally punishing time for each of them for very different reasons and yet they perform to the best of their ability
Thank you, Netgalley, for this arc. I am loving these books and I can't wait to read the next one!
Linda Baker
The second book in the Victorian Mystery series featuring photographer Sarah Bain and her titled friend, Lord Hugh Staunton. The two have formed a detective agency after their success in The Shadow of the Ripper. Sarah was evicted from the premises of her studio as a direct result of that first case; Hugh was disowned by his family after they discovered his homosexuality. Sarah and Hugh not only work but also live together, along with Hugh's manservant and a street urchin, Mick, who assisted the ...more
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a twisty second installment to the Victorian Mystery series, and whenever I had to put it down, I always remembered exactly who was who and what was happening in the story. Sarah Bain and her friend Hugh have launched a private detective agency, and due to being at the wrong place at the wrong time, they are hired to investigate a famous kidnapping case. A baby, Robin, about 20 months old, has been kidnapped from his crib during the night, and his father hires Sarah, Hugh, and street urc ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. I'd give it ten stars if I could. I can't wait to read more from this series.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve read and liked Rowland’s historical mysteries set in Japan, but I skipped the first in this series set in Victorian England. (It was about Jack the Ripper, and serial killers are not my thing.) The plot in this one sounded more interesting to me, so I decided to give it a try.

Sarah Bain is a partner in a fledging detective agency in London. When she and her partner and friend, Hugh, happen on evidence related to a high-profile kidnapping case during another investigation, they are hired by
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Photographer Sarah Bain and her friend Hugh Staunton are eager to get their newly formed private inquiry agency off the ground but so far they haven’t had much success and realize that they need to find a means to provide for themselves before they are out on the streets.

A fortuitous turn of events will have them working on a child abduction case for one of the wealthiest families in London. If they can get the child back safe and sound surely their services will be sought after but Sir Gerald M
Deborah Crain
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sara Bain's photography business is no more, and Lord Hugh and Mick have teamed up with her to form a detective agency. Clients are in short supply, and Sara and her crew getting involved in a kidnapping while following a wayward husband. They move to the elegant home of a wealthy man to find out who kidnapped his son, and everyone has a secret to hide. All of the occupants is not above killing someone to keep the secrets undercover. Several violent events follow, and as a reader I was never sur ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2018; Crooked Lane Books

Sarah Bain and her crew are back and are now running a detective agency. After solving the Ripper case, Sarah can go back to her studio. Since they cannot take credit for the Ripper or that it was even solved, they don't have any experience to back up their new venture. Sir Gerald Marine posts a generous reward for his kidnapped son to be found so the crew jumps at the chance to get the job. When Sir Gerald hires them, it is the only the start of their trou
Megan W. (pnwbookworm)
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fast paced historical mystery with enough twists to keep you guessing. The story has a bevy of possible suspects, each with their own possible motives and means. I constantly thought I knew who it was, only to change my mind a few pages later. The story takes place in Victorian London and Rowland does a great job of pulling you in and setting the scene without being overly descriptive. Although this is the second book in the series it works well enough as a standalone and I was able to catch o ...more
Jen Deal
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was off the beaten path of preferred mystery writing styles that I sometimes wander from but unfortunately not for the better.

If you want a book that is essentially terrific at illustrating how a typical person like I would approach a mystery we decided to try to solve, this is it. Maybe that is what the title meant.

All the heroine's progress was trial and error, she was highly emotional about personal and profession matters, and the smartest person in the book seems to be the street
Sidney Lock
Apr 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stupid, weak willed characters and an even worse murder case that gets too long winded. How in the heck did Sarah even solved Jack The Ripper case??? As a main character, she is pathetic beyond belief!
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
A Mortal Likeness - simply - silly.
Margaret Hollon
Apr 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
Seemed to have tons of highly improbable (and somewhat ridiculous) situations. Very hard to read; like it was written for 5th graders.
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Granddaughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants, Laura Joh Rowland grew up in Michigan and where she graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and a Master of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband. She has worked as a chemist, microbiologist, sanitary inspector and quality engineer.

Other books in the series

Victorian Mystery (5 books)
  • The Ripper's Shadow (Victorian Mystery #1)
  • The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery #3)
  • The Woman in the Veil (Victorian Mystery #4)
  • Portrait of Peril (Victorian Mystery #5)

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