I am thoroughly enjoying this historical mystery series.
I was a little disappointed that Blake was missing for the beginning of the story, but amusedI am thoroughly enjoying this historical mystery series.
I was a little disappointed that Blake was missing for the beginning of the story, but amused by the way he was returned to the tale.
These are not quick reads. The focus is much more on the history and the setting, but I love learning so much in such an entertaining manner.
In this title, we learn about late 19th century kitchens, cooking, food preservation, gentleman's clubs, British political parties, poisons, upstairs/downstairs drama, and more! Plus, I was fascinated by the portrayal of Alexis Soyer, as my son had read a brief biography about him.
This installment focused on a series of poisonings taking place at a gentleman's club in London.
Again, if you're hoping for a spine-tingling, page-turning mystery, this won't be it. If you're looking for a novel with historical depth, dry humor, and intriguing characters with a bit of a mystery tossed in, this will be perfect for you.
I look forward to reading more about Blake and Avery in the future.
This is a slow build, but I grew to thoroughly enjoy it, due to the author's attention to historical detail and ability to create characters with deptThis is a slow build, but I grew to thoroughly enjoy it, due to the author's attention to historical detail and ability to create characters with depth.
I have not read the first book in the series, The Strangler Vine, and that never became an issue while reading this title. Yes, there are references to the characters' pasts, but enough information is given that I was able to enjoy this book without any problems.
It's Victorian London, and Captain Avery is avoiding returning to his country home and pregnant wife by agreeing to help a friend, Jeremiah Blake, whom he met during his time in India, with a case involving the deaths of two printers.
The case isn't necessarily complicated, but it is interesting due to all of the characters and historical tangents we get to learn about along the winding way to solving the case: the Chartist movement, transportation of prisoners (and children!) to Australia, Victorian evangelicals, broadsides and the freedom of the press, and so much more.
It took time for this book to grow on me, but by the end I wanted to know more about the recurring characters and spend more time in Carter's Victorian England.
My son and I listened to this audio book while commuting together to work and child care together this summer.
The blurb on the back describes it as aMy son and I listened to this audio book while commuting together to work and child care together this summer.
The blurb on the back describes it as a cross between "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Clue."
How could we resist a book with a description like that!? How could anyone?
Very fun, very well-plotted children's mystery.
The characters are all archetypes that Victorian mystery lovers can't resist: the poor, yet bright, narrator, the spoiled rich children, the crazy countess, the suspicious butler, the angry cook, the mostly awful parents, and more.
There are secret passages, secret letters, missing jewels, things that go bump in the night, and plenty of twists and turns.
I'll admit that I figured out most of it before the end, and my son even figured out a bit of it, but neither of us minded because the story was intriguing, the details were perfect, and there was quite a bit of dry, British humor as well.
If you enjoy a good mystery, and want a story for your child who loves mysteries too, but isn't ready for Agatha Christie, then this should do the trick.
My son gave it possibly the highest praise possible for an almost 7 year-old. As soon as we finished, he declared that the author HAD to write a second book!
Maybe she will, if we're lucky.
*Content note: There is a death, there is a dead body, and there are repeated declarations of plans to murder, so if your child isn't ready for that, don't try this title yet. While more silly than gruesome, it's still death. There are also some uses of the British euphemism "bloody," which goes right over my little guy's head without a mention, but may bother others....more