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Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder

(Marion Lane #1)

by
3.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,502 ratings  ·  358 reviews
They were a band of mysterious private detectives who lived beneath the streets of London in a labyrinth of twisted tunnels and ancient hallways, the entrance to which no one had ever found. The Inquirers were something of a myth, a whispered legend that may or may not exist, depending on whom you asked. They were like ghosts, some said, these sleuths who guarded the city. ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 10th 2021 by Trapeze (first published December 29th 2020)
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,502 ratings  ·  358 reviews


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James Tivendale
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
I received a review copy of Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to T.A. Willberg and Trapeze Books for the opportunity and for inviting us to the book’s Blog Tour. Minor spoilers may follow.

Marion Lane and the Midnight MurderA colleague asked me today what I’d been reading recently and I described Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder to them as follows: Well, you know Harry Potter has a Wizarding School? Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder has an acade
...more
Whispering Stories
Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

Set in London, England in 1958. Marion, 23, is a trainee detective working for an underground (literally) organisation called Miss Brickett’s who investigate those crimes that might get overlooked. People can call upon the services of Miss Brickett’s via a series of drop-off letter points throughout the city.

The staff can only enter and leave the maze of underground rooms and tunnels via a normal-looking bookshop which has staff members portraying as shop sta
...more
Amanda McGill
Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder reminded me so much of Harry Potter and it brought back so many amazing memories. Marion is an intern learning about the secret world of detectives in underground London. The gadgets reminded me of the spells in Harry Potter and the tunnels in the underground felt like the many passageways in Hogwarts.

Unfortunately that is where the similarities ended. JK Rowling created a magical world where you remember traits about every single character, regardless how mi
...more
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quote:

But that was the thing about death, as Marion knew so well. No matter how much the deceased were loved, life does not wait for the grieving. Though on the inside everything will change and what used to matter falls away, the routine and ordinary remain unchallenged.


My Review:

This is not my typical genre and I struggled a bit with the unfamiliar world-building, complex storylines, and vast cast of uniquely drawn and unorthodox characters, but my curiosity was well and truly poked a
...more
Linden
It's 1958, and 23 year old Marion, who lives with her abrasive grandmother in London, is invited to apply for a job at a small bookstore. It turns out that this is a cover for a group called the Inquirers, mysterious detectives who operate beneath the city of London. When her friend is arrested for murder, Marion is determined to find the answers, even risking both her job and her life. This book is described as appealing to fans of the Harry Potter universe. It had some fantasy elements, but I ...more
Jennifer
Thoughts to come...
Thea | (unapologetic_bibliosmia)
Alchemy. Secret underground tunnels. A labrynth of secrets and intrigue. A set of very unique private investigators and a murder mystery set in the darkness underneath London's 1950' streets. This was truly like James Bond meets Sherlock Holmes meets Harry Potter.

This was such a delightful book. I was utterly captivated and drawn into this unique world underneath the ground. It has all the elements of a favourite novel.... Underground bunkers (always been obsessed with them, since working at on
...more
Darlene
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marion Lane is an apprentice inquirer for a secret agency in London that solves the mysteries the police cannot. She's in her element. The pay stinks but she's following her dream. Everything is going great until a coworker is murdered and her killer can only be someone else at the agency.

I can't tell you how much I loved this book. Marion is a completely relatable, likable character. I was rooting for her. I was invested in her. She was real to me. I wanted to work right beside her. A secret in
...more
Maine Colonial
I picked this book because it seemed to have so many appealing elements. Set in postwar London, it’s about a secret crime detection and apprehension agency that operates literally underground, getting tipoffs from ordinary citizens through special drop boxes on the streets.

The agency, Miss Brickett’s, is like a sort of grownup Hogwarts, with trainees and teachers, lots of insider intrigue, seemingly magical devices, and a danger from within. The protagonist, Marion Lane, is a trainee with a tro
...more
Sarah Penner
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so delightfully fun & escapist! An underground investigative organization...clocks and keys and hidden rooms...a secret map...alchemy and old war secrets...there is so much to love here! Brava to Willberg for a brilliant, adventuresome debut.
Stuart McCarthy
3.5 stars.
This wasn't quite what I was expecting if I'm honest. However, I still enjoyed it. A good detective story with a sense of wonder mixed into the suspense.
Some aspects that seem more at home in a fantasy book, rather than a realistic espionage/murder mystery book though.
...more
Ks.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just wow. I often say that I "couldn't put the book down," but this time I literally could not put it down! All that I remember from the last two days is sleeping and reading this book! I absolutely adored this steampunk-ish, alternative history mystery.


The plot of the novel revolves around a super-secret organization of sleuths, who live in the tunnels (!) under the 1950s London, while pretending to work at a bookstore. There they invent all kinds of cool gadgets and investigate whatever c
...more
Kamila Komisarek
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder” is a debut novel by T. A. Willberg. It’s a mystery set in 1958 London, but with a bit of a fantasy twist. I absolutely adore the cover, which was the main reason I wanted to read this book.
I love the setting the author created. Marion Lane is an inconspicuous young woman who works in a tiny bookstore called Miss Brickett’s Secondhand Books and Curiosities. But the truth is, that’s only the cover-up for the secret organisation of private investigators, who
...more
Jeanette
DNF no rating. Too silly and too naive for any period, let alone that one. Ridiculous context which doesn't succeed in world building or depth of character to become fantasy fare. ...more
tomisin ✨
2/5 stars ⭐️⭐️

It's like Harry Potter but without the flavor.

It started out pretty great and was super engaging, but that fell apart pretty quickly. The whole mystery was pretty bland and uninspired to me, honestly.
...more
Janet Martin
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An alternate 1953--or is it? Twenty-something Marion Lane, a lowly bookstore employee, is secretly an apprentice in a very special and clandestine detective agency. Things happen. People die. People have disappeared. In order to save an old family friend who is being blamed for a murder, Marion finds herself exploring the tunnels below London to solve the current mystery, and a batch of old ones. This charming story moves right along at a good clip with both suspense and plenty of action. I coul ...more
Sarah-Hope
This book was very engaging at the beginning—an alternate, post-WWII London with an unofficial "investigative" force that emerged out of the Bletchley Park code-breaking program and that is housed in tunnels under the city. Unfortunately, for this reader at least, the engagement didn't last. The title never seemed to decide what it wanted to be: mystery, alternate history, horror novel. And, yes, those can be successfully combined, but that wasn't the case here. ...more
Gobookmart
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on Gobookmart

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder : By – T.A. Willberg (Novel Review and Podcast)

Review :
Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg is a totally superb locked room secret loaded with steampunk components. Set in 1958 after world war London, Marion Lane has a job with a secret detective office she should hide from her controlling grandma, who thinks Marion works for a book shop and needs to wed her off to the first breathing man accessible. Marion adores her new position at this novel association, where she can utilize her mechanic
...more
Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller
“The bookshop was a link to the outside world, to stability and normality, and a portal into the mysterious and intoxicating world of Inquiry.”

Think Harry Potter catching a train at Platform 9 ¾, which will whisk him off to wizarding school. But here we have Marion Lane, a young woman living with her grandmother in postwar London, whisked off to a world of secrets and detective work.

Marion recently lost her job and has been lucky enough to secure an appointment for a new one. She has an intervie
...more
Thea | (unapologetic_bibliosmia)
Alchemy. Secret underground tunnels. A labrynth of secrets and intrigue. A set of very unique private investigators and a murder mystery set in the darkness underneath London's 1950' streets. This was truly like James Bond meets Sherlock Holmes meets Harry Potter.

This was such a delightful book. I was utterly captivated and drawn into this unique world underneath the ground. It has all the elements of a favourite novel.... Underground bunkers (always been obsessed with them, since working at on
...more
Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: December 12th 2020


"We all have our secrets, Marion. Bill has his, you have yours. It doesn't mean you don't trust each other. Some truths are private, and they should remain that way."

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Park Row in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
...more
Jordan Gilbert
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-in-2021
SO MUCH FUN.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF @35%
2020; Park Row/HarperCollins

I love historical mysteries so when I saw the cover of this book and the title, I was in. There is nothing wrong with the writing of the story, and the characters are very interesting. I just am not a big fan of books about spy, espionage and gadgets. After 35%, I just was like meh, and needed to move on to the next book.

***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook/audio from the publisher through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely m
...more
Kate Welsh
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun steampunk mystery!
Steena Holmes
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m going to copy what others have said about this book: it was such a fun read and my only regret is that there isn’t more!

Plunged into the depths of underground London in 1958, I was instantly capitivated by both my imagination and my curiosity as I was swept away into a world I wished I were a part of!

I love London, England…I’ve been there numerous times and recently (in my last trip) did a Jack the Ripper tour…and I found myself wondering if any of the streets I’d walked were in this book.

T
...more
Alix
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I absolutely LOVED Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder. What a great way to start off 2021. This reminded me of a steampunk Harry Potter mixed with murder, underground labyrinths, cool gadgets, and alchemical secrets. There was a lot going on in this book but it all worked together seamlessly. I love the idea of an underground detective agency and I sincerely hope there’s a sequel where we can see Marion in action again.
Kathleen
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was super fun! Set in 1950s London, it's a secret society of investigators complete with underground tunnels and ingenious gadgets that give them a jump on the police. It very much reminded me of the TV show Warehouse 13. I thought the author did a great job of creating that secret, underground world that was just slightly off-kilter of the world we know and filled the story with really likable characters - that includes the ones we weren't supposed to like. I was completely engaged and del ...more
Kidlitter
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The perfect read for a rainy day, set in foggy, smoggy, dirty old post war London town. It's 1958 and Marion Lane loves her detective apprenticeship with the mysterious agency Miss Brickett's Investigations & Inquiries. She may be young, orphaned, and a bit timid, but she's determined to become an Inquirer. When a filing clerk in the agency is horribly murdered and the entire agency is threatened by dangers without or within, Marion must rise to the challenge of solving whodunnit. Her investigat ...more
Wildrie Du Plessis
Suspence and mystery with James Bond style gadgets. Kept me intrigued to the end!
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T.A. Willberg grew up on a small-holding in South Africa. At 27, she moved to Malta with her partner and wrote her debut novel, MARION LANE AND THE MIDNIGHT MURDER. Though the novel is set in London, much of the inspiration for the story setting arose from the labyrinthine corridors beneath Malta's ancient capital - Valletta.

T.A. credits her father, a mechanical engineer from Germany, as the infl
...more

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“But that was the thing about death, as Marion knew so well. No matter how much the deceased were loved, life does not wait for the grieving. Though on the inside everything will change and what used matter falls away, the routine and ordinary remain unchallenged.” 0 likes
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