Original Title: The Mangle Street Murders
Year Published: 2013
Published by: Head of Zeus
Number of Pages: 336
First Sentence: “It is sixty years since I first met Sidney Grice.”
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country’s most famous private detective. It is 1882 and London is at its murkiest yet most vibrant, wealthiest yet most poverty-stricken. No sooner does March arrive than a case presents itself: a young woman has been brutally murdered, and her husband is the only suspect.
The victim’s mother is convinced of her son-in-law s innocence, and March is so touched by her pleas she offers to cover Sidney s fee herself. The investigations lead the pair to the darkest alleys of the East End: every twist leads Sidney Grice to think his client is guilty; but March is convinced that he is innocent. Around them London reeks with the stench of poverty and gossip, the case threatens to boil over into civil unrest and Sidney Grice finds his reputation is not the only thing in mortal danger.
This book was so much better tan I expected. I, for some reason, did not have any high expectations when starting it and was pleasantly surprised. It was a nice and interesting story and a very enjoyable read.
March is a lovely character. She is headstrong but without being bitchy. I enjoyed reading this book through her perspective. She is also quite complex, and I enjoyed her small rebellions against what was seen as appropriate behaviour for women during this time. But she did so without it being over the top, and she was also capable of blending in with the other ladies.
I did however have issues with Sidney, which might have been the author’s intentions. Sidney is an absolute bastard, cruel and unsympathetic. I kind of wanted to slap him several times during the book. He was like a bad version of Sherlock Holmes or perhaps a less likeable version of Sherlock Holmes. He had no redeeming qualities and it just made him annoying, instead of interesting.
The plot itself was quite interesting. The mystery was definitely a mystery, and very entertaining. It was a quite complex mystery and I really enjoyed the conclusion to the story. The plot was well paced and it never got boring or too much. There is no direct romance in this book which was very nice. There are hints of a relationship in March’s past but it is only dipped into via flashbacks and don’t take away anything from the rest of the story.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do, and I will most likely read the other books in this series.