My Rating: 4 Stars
This was a different, tricky and great historical mystery where both the living and the dead are suspects. Very refreshing!
Recently widowed Alice Goodway developed the ability to speak to spirits. She decides to become a medium with the help of her aunt and helps those who wish to speak with their loved ones. Her life is turned upside down when she receives a threatening letter quickly followed by a dead body in her home. The sceptic Detective Sergeant Michael Brennan and open-minded Constable Jaggery are sent to investigate and catch a killer before they reach their price: Alice herself.
The first book I read by A.J. Wright and I loved it. I’m curious to read the first story and how it all began. Even though I felt like I was missing something with the relationship between the characters, I would say it can still be read as a stand-alone.
The plot is brilliant created and developed. The plot takes place in the Victorian Age, Lancashire 1894 which gives a very English taste and a very nice setting for a murder. Everything about the crime makes sense and slowly the reader is taken on a trip through several people, ghosts and clues that entangle the story and make it hard to guess the identity of the killer. The fun part is that it can be both the living and the dead which were for me, a treat to read. The best part is that no strings are left loose and the complex case is beautifully solved. It was a tricky, evolving murder mystery full of twists and turns that leave the reader glued to the pages to see what the next page has in store.
The style of writing is simple, compelling and it has the appropriate tone and vocabulary from the 19th century. The reader doesn’t get lost in the story and the tone of the narrative runs as smoothly as the story itself. Wright doesn’t make it easy though. The tone of which he writes is suspicious and even though he doesn’t full out blame someone, he installs doubt in the mind of his readers, in a very skilful way indeed.
The characters are quite colourful since there are many of them. The author throws all sorts of clues but the reader will not be 100% sure if it’s a real clue or a distraction attempt. Even so, all the characters play their part and each one has a certain depth to them. The dead characters add spice to the story and I don’t think I would have enjoyed the book like I did without them. In the beginning, however, it was a bit difficult for me to remember all the characters, their names and identities since they all get introduced in the beginning. But, as the story goes on, everything becomes easy to follow.
A great historical mystery that can also be considered a cosy-mystery to be enjoyed by all the fans of the genres.
Thank you NetGalley, the publisher Endeavour Press and the author for allowing me to read and review a digital copy of this book.