Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)” as Want to Read:
The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hangman's Secret

(Victorian Mystery #3)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  468 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Intrepid photographer Sarah Bain and her motley crew of friends are back to hunt criminals in the dark, seedy underbelly of Victorian London, but little do they know, the darkness may lurk closer than they first divined.

Photographer Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and sometime street urchin Mick O’Reilly are private detectives with a new gig—photographing cri
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
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 The Hangman's Secret, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  468 ratings  ·  158 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Hangman's Secret (Victorian Mystery, #3)
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Crooked Lane
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Laura Joh Rowland, and Crooked Lane Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

Laura Joh Rowland takes readers back to Victorian England to continue this mystery series that proves addictive from the opening pages. Sarah Bain and Lord Hugh Staunton have worked well together in the past and, after some results in a recent kidnapping case, have been hired by Sir Gerald Mariner
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Sarah Bain wakes to a pounding on her door just before daybreak. The rude awakenings are part of her lifestyle. Sarah lives above her photography studio and has a sideline for photographing crime/murder scenes in the Whitechapel High Street neighborhood. She and her two partners, Mick and Hugh, have been employed by Sir Gerald Mariner who runs The Daily World newspaper. What awaits her a few streets over may not be fit to print.

The body of bar own
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley, series
Thanks to Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Book will be published on 8 January 2019

Sarah Bain and her two friends Hugh and Mick are called by their journalist boss to a gruesome murder. A hangman that has been beheaded! Although the three are despearate to solve another mystery, their actions are seen as meddling by the local police. Add to the mix both Sarah and Hugh's personal relationship problems with the men they love and Sarah and her half-s
Lili  Marcus
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
An ARC was provided to me by the author and publishers via Netgalley but my opinions are not at all affected by this. :)

Set in 1890 London this novel features Photographer Sarah Bain, a photographer for "Daily World" newspaper though she usually ends up like a detective solving crimes even before the police do. She do this with her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O’Reilly. The books opens with Sarah called to a gory crime scene. A hangman named Harry Warbrick somehow died hanged and deca

Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in 1890 in London, we follow a trio of journalists investigating a murder of a hangman who himself has been hung. The narrator of the story is one of the journalists, a photographer, Sarah Bain who lives well ahead of her time (in her early 30s, still single and focusing on her career). I immediately took a liking to her. Actually, not only her but her 2 partners as well - Hugh and Mick - who are both very likeable characters and compliment each other well. The three of them go on to investi ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-books
The Hangman's Secret by Laura Joh Rowland is #3 in her Victorian mystery series but reads very well as a standalone. This novel follows photographer Sarah Bain and her two cohorts Sir Hugh and Mick who are tasked with photographing crime scenes for the London Daily Mail. The story starts with the hanging death of hangman Harry Warbrink. The trio are on the hunt for the perpetrator of this faked suicide. They are in a race with the police department to solve this crime. And then, as they say, the ...more
Dee Arr
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
At first, I didn’t like the writing because of its form, as it didn’t capture the style and mood of the Victorian Era. In other words, it read like a modern-day novel. As this was my own personal opinion on how a Victorian novel should be written, I initially disregarded my feelings and continued on. It wasn’t long before I realized what was really bothering me about the author’s prose and dialogue.

The writing in the earlier chapters sounds forced, and the author takes every opportunity to intro
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nook, netgalley
The hangmans secret 3.5⭐️

“Somebody was here after Warbricks head come off”
We know that there is no mystery in why these people were hung but what happened after the hanging, what happened to the innocent is a different story.

We follow a journalist who is (as most are) looking for the next best, gruesome story to bring them to the top. She finds clues, inconsistencies, struggles after the beheading site which indicate that something else happened. Something that wasnt supposed to.

Really enjoyed
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
When it comes to reading, I love the Victorian period. There’s something about the grimy glamour of London, of steam mills, of murder in back alleyways… (ahem) that always really grips me. I’m not sure what that says about me, but it does mean that The Hangman’s Secret was the perfect fit when it came to a bit of light winter reading.
Confession time: this is the third book in a series, which I didn’t know when I picked it up. Happily for me, though, the book romps along at such a pace- and fills
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Victorian Mystery at its best!

Superb continuation of the trials and challenges of denizens of the former detective agency who now work for Sir Gerald Mariner, photographing crime scenes for his London newspaper the Daily World.
Called to a pub to photograph a decapitated body that turns out to be a leading hangman, Harry Warbrick, events open up that will lead the trio through a maze of cover ups, hampered by the Official Secrets Act, along with a threatening visit to Newgate Prison.
Something had
Tiffany PSquared
"When we're confronted with a mystery, we feel compelled to solve it, even if it's none of our business."

Somehow London's hangman has himself been hanged. Sarah Bain and her friends take it upon themselves to try and solve the mystery of his death - suicide/murder? They've solved two other cases before this, so it shouldn't be that hard, right?

The Hangman's Secret is full of action and suspense. Its characters are loyal to each other, but I found them to be a little cookie-cutter. I enjoyed the
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2019; Crooked Lane Books

I just released I missed a book, and so I was happy to read book three and four back to back. Once I started the first chapter, I was back in Sarah Bain's world. And, how I missed them all. Sarah, Hugh and Mick no longer have their detective agency and have another new job. They are now working for Sir Gerald's London’s Daily World newspaper, photographing crime scenes. On their next crime scene, they come upon a hanging of a pub owner It was so brutal he w
Nicola Weideling
Aug 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
I love Victorian Literature, books about Victorian history and society, books based in Victorian times, basically anything remotely 'Victoriana'! So I was looking forward to reading The Hangman's Secret, part of a series of books by Laura Joh Rowland about Sarah Bain, an intrepid photographer and her band of friends.

However, I have to admit that I didn't like this novel. I was put off on page one by the first of many anachronisms that grated on me throughout the novel and made it difficult to s
Enjoyed the first in the series but clearly wasn't in the mood for this one. ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Rowland's Victorian Mystery #3 is the Hangman's Secret. I got along okay reading this as a stand alone but am tempted to pick up the prior two because these characters are amazing. Set in London and Jack the Ripper time - women were considered like children - "To be seen and not heard". Sarah Bain is a newspaper photographer for the "Daily World" Gathered around her are a group of men with a zest for solving murders. It is enlightening to read these stories where life did not revolve around cell ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thank you Netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC.

Set in London in the late 1890's, both the police and the press are struggling to find motive for the hangman's murder as well as finding his killer. Sarah Bain is a photographer for the Daily World newspaper, running her own detective agency on the side. She's a strong female lead, taking the reader through the story at a fast pace. Lines are crossed, the bounderies between press and police get blurry, both camps are competing for the truth
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is the third installment in the Victorian Mystery series.

The trio of house-mates, Sarah, Hugh and Mick, need to solve the murder of the hangman who was hanged in his own pub. The story leads them around London and England, and into Newgate Prison. They make enemies and friends and eventually solve the murder, of course.

I liked that the main characters are a motley crew, a female photographer, a homosexual lord, and a schoolboy in love with a much older actress.

What I didn't like about th
Sarah Perchikoff
I seem to have an affinity for books with hangman in the title as this is the second one I've read this year. Also, full disclosure: I didn't realize this was the third in a series until I started reading and there were events I didn't know about. But, overall, this book does stand on its own if you also haven't read the first two books in the series. And The Hangman's Secret and The Victorian Mystery series is definitely worth checking out. Let's get to the review.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):


This was awful. There were too many characters, over twenty!, and hardly any backstory on the main ones. I guess the author thought we'd read the two previous ones in the series where I assume she gave some backstory so she didn't need to retell any of it. There's really not one character I can say I truly liked in this. Everyone was bland and most were unlikable. I don't like first person narration either because we only get one persons point of view.

This takes place in 1889 and spans probably
First of all I would like to say that the cover of this book is really great. The characters of Hugh and Mick could have done with a little more information. Hugh is mostly just 'the homosexual' and Mick 'the urchin'. Since this is the third book in a series, I suppose the author plans to work on these characters in books that follow this one. I had no trouble getting into to story although I didn't read the first two books. In fact, sometimes I could have done with a little bit less information ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I arrived late to the party for this series. The Hangman’s Secret is the third book in Laura Joh Roland’s Victorian Mysteries series. Fortunately, there are enough callbacks and exposition for me to feel like I wasn’t missing too much to understand the characters in this fair to middling mystery. There are problems with the writing in this book that almost put me off (discussed below), but the mystery itself was interesting enough that I just had to keep reading...

Read the rest of my review at A
 Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Jenn Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ Schu
A fantastic read filled with suspense and action. The relationship between the characters, Sarah, Lord Hugh, and Mick, was well done. This reader had a sense of what they meant to one another. I am particularly critical when it comes to pacing, this book did a wonderful job at maintaining the steam throughout the novel, masterfully moving it forward. I enjoyed the setting and the mystery does keep one guessing up until the end. A Net Galley book.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
3.5 stars
I am fascinated by the Victorian Era, and this series has been on my wish list since it began so I jumped at the chance to read this third installment, THE HANGMAN’S SECRET. With its plucky protagonist, heaps of atmosphere, and an intriguing mystery, the book did not disappoint.

Sarah, a professional photographer, and her friends Lord Hugh Stanton and Mick O’Reilly have formed an investigative team of sorts, having had success with prior cases (books one and two). They are hired by Geral
Brenda H
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hangman’s Secret is the 3rd book in Laura Joh Rowland’s Victorian Mystery series. Sarah Bain and her friends, Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O’Reilly are private detectives, currently working for Sir Gerald Mariner, the owner of The Daily World newspaper, photographing crime scenes.

While at one of their goriest crime scenes yet, the trio realizes that this is, in fact, the site of a murder and not the “suicide” that it appears. The victim, bar owner Harry Warbrick, moonlights as England’s top h
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There was a time when Laura Joh Rowland was known for her books set in seventeenth-century Japan with Sano Ichiro as the hero. The Ichiro books were great, and I looked forward to each new one which she published. Lately, however she has turned her attention to late Victorian England, and we readers are lucky for it. Rowland is a master, and she has written a corker of a book.

Photographer Sarah Bain and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick Reilly, who was formerly a street urchin, have formed
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Sadly this book was a bit too slow burning for me.
And there was another problem: I haven't realized that this book is the third book in a series until I was far far in and often too confused why I lacked informations.

So me not liking this book too much is for sure not the books fault, but mine. I'll see to read the first two books again and then we'll see if I understand the third book better.

In general the ideas of a female reporter, detective and reporter in the 19th century working together w
Lyndi Trowbridge
I didn't realize when I started this book that it was third in a series. Some of the character histories and previous events in the books were mentioned at first, but the book can still be read as a stand-alone Victorian mystery.
When the hangman is found murdered, a contest begins between the London police force and Daily World reporters to see who can solve the crime first. Crime photographer Sarah Bain and her two friends, Hugh and Mick put themselves in danger to follow the clues.
I like the
Donna Hines
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
A Victorian murder is at the helm and the truth is shocking to reveal.
Three private detectives have set out on a new excursion- to capture the crimes for London's Daily World Newspaper.
Sounds easy enough?!
Well, that's until the same fate that the 'hangman' inflicted is thrown back upon him in a grisly murder.
The detectives -Sarah, Mick, and Hugh uncover there's a connection to Harry's death by hanging and his most notorious executed criminal known as 'Baby Butcher'.
This is a roller coaster ride
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Although I enjoyed this book I didn't find it overly exciting or edge of your seat type of historical mystery.
I love the historical aspect and the references to The Ripper murders, the characters where good and very individual in there characteristics and personalities.
The story followed a very independent woman (a photographer and private detective) of the 17th century which was very unusual. She had a very hard upbringing and now lived with a titled man and a young boy both with their own pro
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rowland’s The Hangman’s Secret is a face paced Victorian murder mystery that kept me entertained from the beginning. I couldn’t put this unpredictable novel down until the murderer was found.
You can’t get your hands on The Hangman’s Secret until January 18th, but that gives you plenty of time to read the first two novel in Rowland’s Victorian Mystery series! If you don’t read the first two novels, don’t fret. Rowland briefly gives pertinent information from novels one and two.
Thank you NetGalle
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Let the Dead Keep Their Secrets (Gilded Age Mystery #3)
  • Murder at the Opera (Atlas Catesby, #3)
  • Death Brings a Shadow
  • Lies That Comfort and Betray (A Gilded Age Mystery #2)
  • A Death in Chelsea (A Mayfair 100 Murder Mystery #2)
  • City of Schemes (A Counterfeit Lady #4)
  • Murder in Bloomsbury (Atlas Catesby #2)
  • Murder at Queen's Landing (A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery #4)
  • Felicity Carrol and the Perilous Pursuit (Felicity Carrol Mystery #1)
  • A Pretty Deceit (Verity Kent #4)
  • Murder at Kensington Palace (Wrexford & Sloane, #3)
  • Murder in Belgravia (A Mayfair 100 Murder Mystery #1)
  • A Treacherous Performance (Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries #5)
  • The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits (A World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery #1)
  • Murder in the East End (Kat Holloway Mysteries #4)
  • What the Dead Leave Behind (A Gilded Age Mystery #1)
  • No Stone Unturned (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, #1)
  • The Body in the Garden (Lily Adler Mystery #1)
See similar books…
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)
  • A Mortal Likeness (Victorian Mystery, #2)
  • The Woman in the Veil (Victorian Mystery #4)
  • Portrait of Peril (Victorian Mystery #5)

Related Articles

We asked Alice Bolin, author of Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession, and journalist-turned-crime novelist Laura...
100 likes · 49 comments