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Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Murder of Patience Brooke by J C Briggs

The first in the series of Detective Sam Jones and Charles Dickens. London 1849 was a city of contrasts. You had the well to do leading a life of comfort and ease, and then you got the horrendous alleys and slums where every villain and vice existed. Literally hell holes. J C Briggs brings London to life in his stories. Almost unimaginable but obviously very much part of the life of the city the two sides lived together almost seamlessly. In this story a young, quiet, well behaved woman living at a Home of Refuge found brutally murdered and her body displayed in a deliberately wanton manner brings Detective Sam Jones and Charles Dickens to investigate and find out how this happened. Clues are scarce and by piecing a few random bits of information a net is thrown to find the young man - a toff, moneyed and fearless and bring him to book. It was not going to be easy - the suspect is shrewd, knows how to play the game, knows how to play on his connections and this is a time when Detectives and people like Dickens were looked down upon. Dickens himself of very humble origins has climbed out of the poverty he was born into and has always a fear that he will be dragged back into that morass. The story apart from trying and solving the mystery murder of this young woman is also a piece of history detailed and descriptive of how the city of London was and how it was evolving. It also was descriptive of the social changes that were happening and what was going to come. The development of industry, railways and the education of women were all just coming into being and the story has glimpses of all this. An absolute page turner for all lovers of vintage crime detection, for those who like to read about social change and those who like stories like the ones of Sherlock Holmes and that vintage. A download from Amazon this was a fabulous find.

2 comments:

Dorothy Borders said...

I've always found this period of history fascinating for many reasons. I used to love the historical mysteries of Anne Perry that were set in that period. I'm putting this one on my read list.

Katherine P said...

I love historical mysteries and I love that Dickens is a character in this one. I need to give this author a try. Thanks for sharing!