Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Book Review - The Murder of Patience Brooke

The Murder of Patience Brooke (Charles Dickens and Superintendent Sam Jones #1)
Author:  J C Briggs
Publisher:  Sapere Books
Publication Date:  December 27, 2018
4 Stars

Imagine Charles Dickens not only as a famous writer but also as an amateur detective.  This is the premise of the Murder of Patience Brooke.  Patience Brooke is the matron’s assistant at a home that Charles Dickens established for fallen women.  She is found brutally murdered outside the home.  Dickens is determined to find Patience’s killer to not only bring him to justice, but also to protect the future of the women’s home.  Dickens turns to his friend, Superintendent Sam Jones, to help him unravel this mystery.  Besides insisting that she had never been a prostitute, Patience was very secretive about her past.  This complicates the investigation as Dickens and Jones are not sure who Patience really was, and they have very little to go on in regards to motive.  The only lead seems to be the mysterious presence of a man with a crooked face.

What a great start to the Charles Dickens and Superintendent Sam Jones mystery series.  I truly enjoyed all the aspects of this story:  setting, plot, and characters.  The setting is Victorian England, and the author does such a great job of painting a vivid picture of this time.  The story takes us through the streets of London (many of them notable) and beyond.  We are taken on a ride through the dark, seedy side of London, where we are given a look at the dangerous lifestyles and the desolate situations that many Londoners were in.  This is starkly compared to how the upper class of England lived.  The author does a great job showing the great disparity of the two.  A fact that Dickens himself was really dismayed with.

The plot was intricate and intriguing, and it had many surprising twists and turns, much like the back alleys of London.  Nothing was as simple as it first appeared.  I found myself very much invested in the investigation, and it was hard to put the book down.

The plot is supported by a great variety of interesting and realistic characters.  The historically accurate attributes of Dickens himself are seamlessly woven together with the fictional components of the story.

I loved this story, and I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series.  I think if you enjoy historical mysteries and mysteries set during the Victorian Era that you will enjoy this book.

Thanks to Net Galley and Sapere Books for an ARC of this book.  #NetGalley #TheMurderOfPatienceBrooke

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