Things in Jars
In the dark underbelly of Victorian London, a formidable female sleuth is pulled into the macabre world of fanatical anatomists and crooked surgeons while investigating the kidnapping of an extraordinary child in this gothic mystery—perfect for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation.
Bridie Devine—female detective extrao ...more
Also at the end when she is with Inspector Rose and it says she has a plan, what is everyone else interpretation of this? (hide spoiler)]
I think the implication behind giving Rose the "special" madeira at the end is that he's there for romantic reasons but Bridie is going to redirect him toward a case they can work on together.(less) (hide spoiler)]
This is incredible combination of humor, kitsch, folklore with the writer’s talented and never ending imagination.
We meet one of the most interesting heroines, Bride Devine , a woman detective, wearing a dagger strapped to her thigh, smoking pipe, solving murders by reading corpses and talking with ghosts.
It seems like one of the heroes , also the part of love triangle is Ruby Doyle, champion boxer who is also dead.
In Things in Jars, A 7-foot tall bearded parlor maid, mythical sea monsters, a ghost, and a winter mermaid are all brought together by a female pipe-smoking detective in Victorian London to solve the kidnapping of a mysterious child.
When a child with supposed supernatural powers is kidnapped, Detective Bridie Devine is commissioned to find her. Bridie's sleuthing abilities lead her into the dark underbelly of nineteent ...more
(Note: For optimal effect, the above quote should be read in a whispery, quivery, British-accented voice.)
Oh yes. There are many, many things in jars between the pages of Jess Kidd’s aptly titled novel -- and they are all so brilliantly and twistedly delightful.
Bridie Devine, “pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire,” has just accepted quite the unusual case. Christabel Berwick, the secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, has been kidnapped right out from under ...more
A dark, bizarre and fanciful world
Imaginative storytelling that was menacing, detailed and plotted to perfection.
I was quickly captivated by the gothic setting and the missing child investigation. The female detective, Birdie Devine specializes in domestic investigations and minor surgery. She was a fantastic character that brought humor and humanity to the tale.
The supernatural elements and fairytale esque cast of characters kept me glued to the pages and immersed in their quest f ...more
A cloth covers the jar that Bridie took from the bookcase in the nursery, and Ruby is thankful for this. For the contents have the ability to rearrange even a dead man’s sense of reality. As with all terrible, wondrous sights, there is a jolt of shock, then a hypnotic fascination, then the uneasy queasiness, then the whole thing starts again; the desire to look and the desire never to have looked in the first place.1860s London, the prime of the Victorian age. About fifteen years before Sher ...more
Bridie Devine is a female detective in Victorian London. One day she is approached to investigate the case of a missing girl, Christabel - the secret child of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick. She is reported to have supernatural powers. Bridie is hot on the case; she lost her last missing child and is determined to save this one. Her search for the girls is aided by her seven-foot-tall housemaid, and a tattoo covered ghost.
Sounds interesting, right? Well, it was...but there is a ...more
From the first sentence, you know this book is going to be different. “As pale as a grave grub, she’s an eyeful.” The writing is just gorgeous, in that Victorian, Dickensian fashion. Think Dickens matched with Grimms Fairy Tales. Or Dickens if he was smoking hashish ( or one of Prudhoe’s blends) and into Irish folktales.
I loved the characters: Bridie, part sleuth, part doctor (untrained), Cora, her seven foot maid with a beautiful baritone voice and Ruby, a dead b ...more
—Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid
I'm a huge fan of Jess Kidd's exquisite, playful writing and KERPOW, what a start! Her vivid prologue was one of the finest things I've read in a long, long time. Gadzooks! That alone was worth the entrance fee.
The book is set in a Victorian London that Dickens might have portrayed: one which is theatrically grotesque and wonderfully atmospheric - whose slums are as lively as a bla ...more
Absolutely breathtaking. I must read more from Jess Kidd ASAP! While the mystery of the disappeared girl is front and foremost in this tale, I felt that the idea of our fascination with creatures and humans different from the norm, and our desire to contain them, was a huge theme explored as well. This was a timely, thought-provoking read, and although it took me a bit to get through this one, it was well worth the time taken to read it.
*Many thanks to the publisher for p ...more
I loved eve ...more
Things in Jars moves us away from the author's usual locations in Ireland and off to London. Of course our main characters are still beautifully Irish and, also of course, one of them is a ghost. Kidd describes Victorian London perfectly with all its horrors and its smells and its poverty among the lower classes.
Her characters too are all larger than ...more
"She's more than pretty. She's a churchyard angel, a marble carving, with her ivory curls and pale, pale stony eyes. But not stone -- brightening pearl, oh soft hued!"
On this beautifully delicate, intriguing note Jess Kidd sings us into this fascinating novel in which most people and things are anything but pale or angelic. This is Victorian London, 1863, post Burke & Hare. 'Burking" is now a verb, corpses and body parts and nature's mista ...more
“London is like a difficult surgical patient; however cautious the incision, anything and everything is liable to burst out.”
The above sums up exactly my experience with this rather eccentric novel, my first by Jess Kidd! Nearly anything and everything macabre, bizarre, paranormal, mythical, and supernatural that you could possibly imagine turn up on the streets of Kidd’s Victorian London. I was both mesmerized as well as a bit out of my element. If you want to be wholly removed from y ...more
Please take this review with a grain of salt as it looks like I am definitely the outlier here. So many others have really enjoyed this. Maybe it is this time peri ...more
A Victorian detective novel set in London, 1863..
This cast of characters is something else! Bridie, a red haired Irish woman..pipe smoking, a small and tough broad and her sidekick, a ghost named Ruby Doyle (especially loved these two)
Bridie is on a case to solve the kidnapping of six year old Cristabel Berwick, an “oddity of nature” who has pike like teeth, who smells of the sea and draws people’s memories out of them.
Jess Kidd is an amazing writer!
This is her third book and I’ve enjoyed the ...more
I was lured into reading this book by the setting of Victorian London, the promise of gothic suspense, and a grand, almost poetic writing style. The final selling point was my Goodreads friend Paromjit's magnificent 5 Star review. The writing style was grandiose, indeed. While often beautiful, atmospheric and descriptive, it sometimes left me feeling like it was too much work reading it. In addition, I had trouble keeping track of all the characters, nor did I much care ...more
Things in Jars reminded me a little of another book from Atria I read last year, The Doll Factory, because of the gothic darkness. This one had more fantasy elements and touches of whimsy, too, which I loved. I also enjoyed the Victorian London setting.
What a tough time to live in the city! Thieves, murderers, and medicine that was possibly more dangerous than helpful. My favorite aspect ...more
Kidd des a great job of writing in such a way that you not only hear what’s happeni ...more
It is a whimsical tale with fluent descriptions. Because of the excessive descriptions, I was often not engaged. Each chapter would start out with lengthy descriptions before getting along to anything else. The pacing of detective work from chapter to chapter was slow moving; the case of the missing girl seemed to inch along.
To best honest, I real ...more
Having said all of that, I encourage re ...more
”Have you reason to be bothering that corpse, madam?”
it took me a damn long time to get through this book, which is the fate of pretty much anything i stupidly decide to read during the weeks leading up to christmas, so don’t read anything into this admission; i’m just making with the context up-front. it is a gorgeous book, cover-wise* and content-wise, but it
So much for me to love about this novel. A dark 1800's Victorian London, a fearless and compassionate pipe-smoking, red-haired sleuth-type with a horror of a past....and a knack for reading corpses, an infatuated, muscled tattooed ghost man, a mysterious missing girl with piked teeth and unique supernatural powers....plus more!
But.... had a difficult time staying focused. Time-line changes don't bother me, nor does a complex storyline, but the interspersed excessive descriptive narra...more
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