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Season of Darkness

(A Gaslight Mystery #1)

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  27 reviews
When Inspector Field shows his friend Charles Dickens the body of a young woman dragged from the River Thames, he cannot have foreseen that the famous author would immediately recognize the victim as Isabella Gordon, a housemaid he had tried to help through his charity. Nor that Dickens and his fellow writer Wilkie Collins would determine to find out who killed her. Who wa ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published May 1st 2019)
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Average rating 3.24  · 
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Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Season of Darkness is a historical murder mystery that treats us to the illustrious characters of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins in the roles of detectives. The relationship between Dickens and Collins is very interesting and intriguing, where Dickens is more the mentor and advisor to Collins but not as a master-apprentice. The real-life relationship was one of a close life-long friendship.

Two young housemaids, Isabella and Sesina, have known each other for many years and spent time to
Clemens Schoonderwoert
This exciting novel is the 1st part of the "Gaslight Mystery" series from the author, Cora Harrison.
Storytelling is of a very good quality, the atmosphere of Victorian London come wonderfully off the pages, and all the characters come remarkably well to life within this mystery, although I have to admit that as a whole the mystery at this moment of time, is not as great as the "Reverend Mother" or the "Burren" series.
The story is set in Victorian London, probably I think in the 1850s, and also f
Season of Darkness is an historical mystery featuring Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as interested bystanders after a young woman’s body is fished out of the Thames. Dickens’ friend in the police, Inspector Field, notices him and calls him over to where the body is lying. In a major coincidence, Dickens recognizes the young lady as a former resident of his Urania House, the home for the betterment of girls who have been in trouble. This girl, Isabella, disliked the world of rules and left th ...more
Judy Lesley
I enjoy reading the novels in Cora Harrison's Burren series so much I was eager to try the first book in this new series set in the Victorian era. This book was just okay for me, certainly different from the pleasure I get from reading about a female judge dispensing Irish justice in the sixteenth century. Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins take on the Holmes/Watson type characters as they investigate the murder of a housemaid in a boarding house. These two authors deserve to be treated as intel ...more
I have enjoyed Harrison's other mystery series so far so I thought I'd give this a try. It's an interesting premise-the Victorian author superstars of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, friends in real life, team up to solve the murder of a housemaid Dickens once knew. The actuality of this crime fighting duo though seemed a bit off. Dickens came off as a pompous know-it-all with Collins as his bumbling sidekick. ...more
Patricia Romero
First in the Gaslight Mystery Series

Cora Harrison is one of my favorite authors. Her Reverand Mother series is wonderful reading!

In this new Historical Fiction Series, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins have teamed up to try and solve the murder of a young servant girl named Isabella Gordon. Isabella is one of the young ladies that Dicken's charities had tried to help. Unfortunately, Isabella wasn't a rule follower and she along with her friend, Sisena, moved on to work in a lodging house owned
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isabella Gordon is set on blackmailing someone. When she is found dead in the Thames, Inspector Fields brings the author Charles Dickens to the morgue, in the hopes that the girl will appeal to Dickens as a potential character for one of his novels. Dickens recognizes the girl as a former pupil at Urania Cottage (Dickens’ scheme for the education and retraining of women who would then immigrate to Australia in hopes of a new life) and is determined that the killer will be brought to justice.

I f
Nathan Albright
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-2020
This is the first novel of two (that I know of) in the Gaslight mystery series set in Victorian London where the author has Charles Dickens and his friend Wilkie Collins, and their bumbling and incompetent Police sidekick Inspector Fields seeking with varying degrees of effort and success to solve a mystery, along with Sesina, a servant girl who fancies herself a solver of mysteries as well. As one comes to expect from this particular mystery novelist, the mystery is one that is rich in complexi ...more
Helen Howerton
Famous people do interesting things, and Charles Dicken was no exception. Season of Darkness by Cora Harrison is definitely an example of that, as the famous writer did have an interest in police work and detecting. We even have Wilkie Collins along, a good friend of Dickens, to serve as a Watson. It just would have been better if the book had moved along a little faster.

Blackmail is never a good idea. It gets you killed. Isabella Gordon is dead, strangled. She was a maid in a house owned by a r
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, mystery
"Season of Darkness" is a mystery set in 1853 in London. Wilkie Collins helped his friend Charles Dickens to solve the murder of a maid that Dickens once tried to help educate through Urania Cottage. Wilkie and Sesina, a maid who was best friends with the dead girl, were the main view point characters. They went about solving the murder in their own ways, though Sesina was tempted to blackmail the murderer (since she feels she's very clever) while Wilkie and Dickens wanted to turn whodunit in to ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I liked how the author used two Classic authors as for this story. The combination of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as sleuths for this murder mystery worked well for me. There was a good atmospheric air to the story that gave a good vibe as I read.

Using these figures as sleuths gave me a feeling of a Holmes and Watson style mystery read. Dickens came across as aloof and reminded very much of Holmes, while Collins was more approachable and tries to work things on his own at times and is sim
Pam Sartain
Season of Darkness by Cora Harrison is a murder mystery, with Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as the investigators.

These two authors get sucked into the crime as Dickens recognises the woman who is murdered as one of the young women who went to Urania Cottage, which was a home where women could improve themselves, and then emigrate to Australia, America, or South Africa, to make better lives for themselves.

I found the characters to be quite good, but I found them to be a little obsessive over
Bethany Swafford
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Charles Dickens supports a home to help young women better themselves. When one of those women turns up dead, he and his friend Wilkie Collins set out to find the murderer.

It would seem every notable person in history was capable of solving mysteries. It didn’t seem like much of a stretch to imagine Charles Dickens being clever enough to do that. Still, this was a hard book to get through.

This is told from two points of view: Sesina, the friend of the murdered girl, and Wilkie Collins, a friend
Charlotte Pawson
Charles Dickens as an amateur detective helping the police and getting background for his stories is the start of a new series. A body found in the river will bring back memories for Dickens as he knew the girl who had briefly stayed at one of his charity houses Urania Cottage. Too headstrong to stay she had left with another girl called Sesina. They had both become housemaids together in a boarding house. Dickens was determined to find what had happened to Isabella since she left his house but ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Authors Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins are shown a body by Dickens friend Inspector Field. The body had been retrieved from the Thames, unknown, and so her death will probably go unsolved. But Dickens knows her as someone once resident in Urania Cottage, a home for fallen women. Both authors decide to investigate, helped, by Anna Marie Sesina, friend to the dead female, Isabelle Gordon.
The story is related from two points of view, Sesina and Collins.
I enjoyed this historical mystery, it was
Melissa Dee
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cora Harrison’s “Season of Darkness”, a Gaslight Mystery, stars authors Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, along with a sassy and smart housemaid named Anna Maria Sessina. In parallel, upstairs/downstairs investigations, they work to solve the murder of Sessina’s friend Isabella, who they suspect was killed by a man she is blackmailing.

The action is fast-paced, and the setting, gaslit London, is filled with smoke, fog and moonlight.

I enjoyed this book immensely!

I voluntarily read and reviewed a
Kathleen Gray
Fans of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins might quarrel with this historical mystery that puts them into more or less Holmes and Watson roles as they try to find the murderer of Isabella. She was a young woman who has had a difficult life. Dickens felt a sense of responsibility to her because she had moved through a house he helped to fund. This has good atmospherics but the story itself felt forced. That said, it's still an entertaining read. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. ...more
Cindy Ladensack
Engaging story of a murdered housemaid with Charles Dickens playing Sherlock and Wilkie Collins as Watson. The POV switched between Collins and a surviving maid, which was an effective way to show two different viewpoints, but the maid’s voice was a bit grating. And using “celebrities” always feels a little indulgent. I do love Harrison’s Reverend Mother series, but this one not quite as much.
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens are the amateur detectives solving the case of the murder of a young girl. A servant girl, with links to Dickens turns up dead. Collins is generally the good cop and Dickens is the bad cop. Which if you know anything about the real Dickens is probably appropriate. Great depiction of Victorian London too.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like Cora Harrison's mysteries and I liked this engrossing and entertaining novel.
The book is well researched and well written, the characters are fleshed out and interesting, the mystery keeps you guessing and it's full of twists and turns.
I look forward to reading other books in this series.
Many thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story, set in Victorian London with Mr Dickens and Wilkie Collins helping the maid servant, Sesina, solve the murder of her friend Isabella. I think I like the Reverend Mother stories better.
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a new series for Harrison. Will try #2.
Good enough story and moved along at a good pace. The characters are well developed.
The Dickens character is so unlikable, I'm not sure I want to read another story with him as a central character.
Aug 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Season of Darkness features Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as the sleuthing team, aided—or not—by housemaid Sesina, who was friends with the murder victim at the heart of the story. Dickens and Collins are an effective pair, the one much more self-assured than the other, which gives them an interesting mix of dissimilar strengths. The author sets enough false trails to keep readers guessing until the fast-paced ending. The depiction of the class divides in English society at the time, partic ...more
Sherilyn Leas
rated it really liked it
Feb 09, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Oct 23, 2020
rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2019
rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2020
rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2019
Heather Bennett
Season of Darkness is a historical mystery that is very well written ,but the story is very slow in spots that I lost interest a few times. The characters and descriptions are well written.
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Cora Harrison worked as a headteacher before she decided to write her first novel. She has since published twenty-six children's novels. My Lady Judge was her first book in a Celtic historical crime series for adults that introduces Mara, Brehon of the Burren. Cora lives on a farm near the Burren in the west of Ireland.


Other books in the series

A Gaslight Mystery (2 books)
  • Winter of Despair (A Gaslight Mystery #2)

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