The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s the London of 1882. When Mrs Dillinger approaches Mr Sidney Grice—Britain’s foremost personal detective—with a plea that he exonerate her son-in-law, an ironmonger accused of murdering her daughter, he refuses outright. It is only when Miss March Middleton—his new ward who has only recently arrived in the metropolis—agrees to pay for his services that he accepts…with disastrous results for everyone concerned.
This wonderful, fast-paced Penny Dreadful is the first in a deservedly well-loved series, one that I came to when by chance I happened to pick up one of the later books, and it was a pleasure to meet all the regular characters again, this time on their very first outing.
So what can you expect? Well, there are a number of grisly murders, with the murder scenes described in gory, vivid detail. There’s a generous dollop of humour, most of it black. There’s a fair amount of indignation at the position of women in Victorian society. There are plenty of twists. And there is an excellent narrative voice in the form of March Middleton, a very modern young woman, who provides the perfect counterfoil to her cantankerous guardian. I can honestly say it was right up my street.
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