Meh The mystery was OK, but I really didn t buy the relationship between our hero, Julian, and Sally, the prostitute sister of Julian s valet It seemed kind of icky all around, given the power and class differential And the part where the valet figured out they had slept together, and was HAPPY about it because it made him and his boss kind of like blood brothers in some way Eww I m also not a big fan of the Dr MacGregor character He s too much a caricature, and he doth protest too much about everything every time he makes an appearance, which I think his supposed to make him lovably irascible, but ends up just making him seem whiny. Our Dandy detective Julian Kestrel discovers his manservant sneaking a prostitute into the house only the prostitute is Dipper s sister, who s just been beaten up by a client and who has just stumbled across a Mystery Busy night Julian becomes unaccountably interested in both the girl and the Mystery, and detecting hijinks ensue.This is a pleasant enough read, but it lacks the charm of the first book Julian has less personality here and we are not given any further insight into his character, despite continuing lectures from the curmudgeonly country physician about how Julian is wasting his life In the first book Julian felt mysterious in this book he seems merely to be poorly characterized.I felt no chemistry between him and the plucky prostitute The mystery itself was complex and fairly interesting, but it concluded with a long spill my guts at gunpoint scene, which I usually find implausible.I have the next book lined up, and I hope it s better than this one. Implausible but entertaining linked mysteries, heavy on unlikely coincidences and mistaken identities.Also, dick jokes. A disappointing sequel to Cut to the Quick Much of the plot and narrative are spent away from the delightful Kestrel as a secondary character, he feels like a caricature than anything else, and view spoiler I thought his attraction to and subsequent physical relationship with Sally was completely unconvincing, felt out of character, and really detracted from the book overall hide spoiler The second in the 4 book Julian Kestrel series of mysteries set in 1820 s England This series of books have some of the interesting and creative mysteries and solutions I have yet to guess the culprit before the conclusion The mysteries tend to be constructed of many small mysteries, in this case lots of unknown identities, that must be solved before reaching the ultimate solution I didn t think that the characters introduced in this book were as interesting as the first book and that knocked it down a few notches Sally was your stereotypical plucky heroine which I think to me seemed even like a charicature because she spoke in cockney slang.Which is likely completely realistic for her character but for some reason I have a hard time taking it seriously And while I like that the author tries to include a little romance in her books the relationship between Sally and Julian was just odd and made little sense in light of Julian s character. Though not quite as strong as Cut to the Quick, I still really enjoyed this book We learn a bit about Julian Kestrel than we knew in the first book, and the continuing development of his character and others from the first book is one of the great pleasures of reading this.In this novel, we see a different side of 1820s England than that featured in many novels The heroine, Sally Stokes, is Dipper s sister and works as a prostitute in London She likes to steal handkerchiefs as souvenirs of her clients and it is one of these thefts that gives her than she bargained for as one handkerchief contains a note from a woman who appears to be held against her will She ends up in the care of Dipper and Kestrel, and they all find themselves on the trail of the mysterious author of the note If only they could figure out which client s handkerchief it came from.The mystery in this book takes readers through the underworld of London, with its thieves, reformers, prostitutes and a dark underbelly of human trafficking thrown in I found myself alternately moved by the plight of some of the victims in this piece and respectful of the determination and grit of the survivors of that world The mystery in this book is itself a fantastic puzzle, but there s also a sobering reminder that the glittering world of Regency dukes and ladies came at a terrible price The ultimate villain of this piece is a little too much on the evil mastermind side for my tastes, but it s still a strong book overall.Having read this novel, I have to admit that I m a bit sad to know that there are only 2 Kestrel books left to go and then there will be no. SPOILER ALERT This one was a supreme disappointment I found Julian s relationship with Dipper s sister totally unbelievable This very particular gentleman that needs his bed sheets changed daily is going to slide between them with a street walking prostitute I didn t buy it The mystery wasn t even ultimately resolved through superior detecting, but from a complete babbling confession by the perpetrator while being held at gunpoint Unfortunately, I have already ordered the other two in the series I hope they are an improvement. JULIAN KESTREL STALKS A DIABOLICAL KILLER THROUGH HIGH AND LOW LIFE IN REGENCY LONDONLondon S Notorious Haymarket District, Sally Stokes, A Bold And Bewitching Cockney Prostitute, Picks Up Three Men One After The Other And Nicknames Them Bristles, Blue Eyes, And Blinkers From Each Of Them Sally Steals A Handkerchief And From One She Mistakenly Steals A Letter That Contains An Urgent Plea For Help From A Distraught Young WomanLuckily, Sally S Brother Is None Other Than Dipper, Reformed Pickpocket And Valet To Gifted Amateur Sleuth Julian Kestrel After The Writer Of The Letter Is Found Dead, The Authorities Dismiss Her Death As Suicide But To Kestrel It Looks Like Murder, And He Forms An Unlikely But Highly Entertaining Alliance With Sally To Track Down The Three Clients The Two Embark On A Quest That Leads Them From A House Of Reclamation For Fallen Women To The Abodes Of England S Highest Ranking Families As They Race To Unmask A Dangerous Killer Somewhat disappointing second book in the series I d hoped for development of the two main characters in this one individually and their relationship but instead there s a mostly uninteresting side character who does much of the detecting I still liked it, but I don t think it s even as good as the first, let alone better. This book is filled with suspense from start to finish I enjoyed all of the characters, their relationships and the plot development The mystery itself was quite complex which held my interest The author s style is so eloquent, it s a pleasure to read I m looking forward to the next in the series
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- 289 pages
- A Broken Vessel
- Kate Ross
- 19 March 2017 Kate Ross