Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Hydra for allowing me to read and review this ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Let me start by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It’s definitely reminiscent of a Sherlock Holmes mystery and it delivers the atmosphere of Victorian England set in London in 1893.
The tale concerns a duo of investigative detectives, Jasper Jesperson and Aphrodite ‘Di’ Lane.
Miss Lane works with her companion of four years, Gabrielle Fox, for the SPR (Society for Psychical Research). She discovers that they are engaging in fraud. Shocked by this, Miss Lane abruptly departs for London, to look for work and lodgings as she is without funds to support herself. She unexpectedly comes across an advertisement for an assistant detective in a shop window and applies. Miss Lane meets Jasper and is hired on the spot.
Jasper (very much like Sherlock Holmes) is an highly intelligent lateral thinker with a wide array of interesting skills at his disposal. As a contrast, Miss Lane is a more logical, rational person with a strong fascination for anything psychic related.
Since they need to obtain some well-funded cases, Miss Lane reluctantly writes to all her previous contacts telling them of her change in career and recommending Jasper and herself for any investigations they may require.
They soon find themselves with a number of separate cases, which strangely turn out to be linked.
One of the cases is to determine why Mr Creevy, a happily married man, has suddenly resumed sleepwalking.
Lord Bennington, a previous acquaintance of Miss Lane, invites them to a private seance by a Mr Chase, a reportedly powerful psychic from America. The duo discover that a number of mediums have recently vanished, including Hilda Jessop.
The pair investigates only to find that this is related to Mr Creevy’s sleepwalking in a very interesting and mysterious way. Miss Lane herself becomes the target of a ruthless, dangerous and powerful force and is kidnapped. What is their fate? Will Jesperson get to the bottom of the mystery?
The language of the story is directly in keeping with the Victorian era and lends itself well to the mystery woven in this tale. The atmosphere and characters are interesting and well written. The story caught and held my interest from beginning to end. I particularly enjoyed the psychic twist to the tale. Even the fog played its role in lending itself to creating the mysterious and slightly frightening atmosphere experienced by some of the characters.
I hope that this is the first book of a series as I would definitely like to read more about these detectives and their interesting cases.
This book deserves a fascinating