Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Historical Crime Fiction

Arrowood and the Thames Corpses Mick Finlay 4* #Review @mickfinlay2 @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #HistoricalCrimeFiction #Victorian #London

South London, 1896.

William Arrowood, Victorian London’s less salubrious private detective, is paid a visit by Captain Moon, the owner of a pleasure steamer moored on the Thames. He complains that someone has been damaging his boat, putting his business in jeopardy.

Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett suspect professional jealousy, but when a string of skulls is retrieved from the river, it seems like even fouler play is afoot.

It’s up to Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett to solve the case, before any more corpses end up in the watery depths . . .

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I received a copy of this book from HQ in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A run of the mill case for Arrowood and his assistant takes a sinister turn, leading to many bodies, and connections to a cold case. This is a dark, gritty historical crime thriller, set in Victorian London, which doesn’t shy away from the deprivation and danger. Graphic descriptions portray the setting, and ethos of the time, make it grisly reading but add to the historical authenticity.

Arrowood is enigmatic and not at all glamorous. but his knowledge of psychology sharpens his detective skills. His life is chaotic, but his crime-solving is exemplary. There are touches of humour in this story that lighten the noir quality, and the crime-fighting team, have a good dynamic.

Atmospheric, authentic and absorbing, with a cleverly crafted plot, and a cast of believably flawed historical characters.

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review: Wanton Wager – Christy Carlyle (Whitechapel Wagers Series)



 Set against the backdrop of Victorian London’s dangerous East End, a young woman’s disappearance brings together a wounded war veteran and the one woman who can see beyond his scars.

As a probationary nurse at Whitechapel’s Samaritan Hospital, Ada Hamilton is required to remain unmarried and devote her energies to helping those in need, but when her sister goes missing, she becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of her disappearance. A menacing aristocrat may hold the answers, but it is his friend, scarred Afghan War veteran William Selsby, a man with questionable intentions and haunting grey eyes, who may hold the key to her heart.

William Selsby returned wounded and broken from Afghanistan to find his betrothed married to another man. Eight years later, desperate for a woman’s touch, he accepts a wager from a debauched nobleman, winning the chance to take the man’s mistress off his hands. But the woman he encounters in Whitechapel overturns all his expectations and may be the one person who can see something worth cherishing in the man he has become, wounds and all.

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Wanton Wager: A Whitechapel Wagers NovellaMy Review

‘Wanton Wager’ is the second novella in the Whitechapel Wagers series. Set in Victorian London at the time of the ‘Ripper Atrocities’ it succinctly conveys the seedier side of nineteenth century Whitechapel and the underlying danger from a serial killer who terrorizes its inhabitants.

The wager which Will Selsby reluctantly agrees to and wins leads him to a vibrant, if slightly sordid public house in Whitechapel. Will is war-weary and mentally and physically scarred. Ada lives above the pub and works tirelessly as a probationary nurse at the local charity hospital. She is at her wit’s end searching for her missing sister. Ada and Will’s unconventional meeting at the pub reveals surprising attraction and empathy between them despite Will’s questionable motives for being there.

There are some lovely touches in this novella like the sinister quality of Lord Frederick Ashdowne given that there is a serial killer on the loose. Ada and Will’s sizzling chemistry and the couple’s sensuous love scenes.

The vivid mannerisms of the secondary characters give the story ambience and depth. You can hear the unruly characters in the pub and feel the disdain of the heartlessness aristocrats.

This is a romantic love story of two characters that are easy to like with an interesting plot and atmospheric setting. It is definitely worth reading.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

 Read my review of the first book in the series Scandalous Wager

Wanton Wager: A Whitechapel Wagers Novella by Christy Carlyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wanton Wager  A Whitechapel Wagers Novella by Christy Carlyle
Christy Carlyle

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Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review Scandalous Wager Christy Carlyle

Scandalous WagerToday I am reviewing Scandalous Wager Christy Carlyle’s debut novel. Christy designed the fabulous cover of my debut e-book The Dragon Legacy.

Here’s what to expect from Scandalous Wager:

Set against the backdrop of London’s dangerous East End in 1888, Victorian propriety and passions collide when a spinster strikes a scandalous bargain with a detective caught up in the investigation of the Ripper mystery.

Elizabeth Ainsworth has decided she will never marry. Years spent on the shelf have taught her plain looks and a distinct lack of ladylike talents won’t win a proposal from any of the eligible young constables or inspectors her Detective Chief Inspector father invites to their home. Most of them are too busy staring at her younger, prettier sister anyway. And Lizzy is content to be a spinster, especially if it means she can continue with her charity work in Whitechapel. But she has one lingering regret. She wants to experience passion at least once in her life and, most of all, she wants to experience it with Ian Reed.

Detective Inspector Ian Reed has aspirations to ascend the ranks of the Metropolitan Police, and he hopes proving himself to his superior, Detective Chief Inspector Ainsworth, will help him get there. A series of brutal murders plaguing Whitechapel have him working long hours, so when Ainsworth’s daughter shows up on his doorstep and offers herself to him, he fears he might be dreaming. Fascinated with Lizzy from the moment he meets her, Ian is determined to spend more than one night in her arms, despite what it might cost both of them.’

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My Review

The first novella in the Whitechapel Wagers Series Scandalous Wager is set in Victorian London at the height of the ‘Ripper’ atrocities. The characters in this fast paced story make an instant impact.

Elizabeth (Lizzy) is an intelligent headstrong heroine who is tired of her virginity and with strong reservations about marriage even if it was likely she wants to experience the passion of carnal love.

Ian the sexy diligent Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector has only met Elizabeth at formal soirees at Detective Chief Inspector Ainsworth’s home. Surprise is not the only emotion he feels when she visits his Whitechapel lodgings alone.

This is an atmospheric tale. Whilst aware of the poverty, oppression of women and the inherent danger of living in East End London in the late 19th Century you focus on the passion igniting between Lizzy and Ian. The love scenes are sensuous and leave you wanting more.

A lovely insight into Victorian Whitechapel society I can’t wait for more.

I received a copy of this e-book from the author in return for an honest review.

Scandalous Wager by Christy Carlyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Scandalous Wager

Christy Carlyle

 Newly published Victorian era romance author Christy Carlyle is often accused of having her head in the clouds, but most often 19th century England serves as the setting of her daydreams. A period of immense industrial and technological innovation as well as social change, the era offers plenty to inspire story ideas and challenge her characters, whether they be self-made rogues, heartbroken aristocrats, or the forward-thinking women who love them.

A former English and history teacher, Christy has a BA in history and is working on an MA in English literature. When she’s not writing or studying, she works as a book cover artist/graphic designer and freelance editor. When all else is done, she relishes time spent with her little family unit: Scottish husband (though not a kilt wearer, unfortunately) and brother and sister shelter cats.

Connect with Christy here:

Romancing the Victorians Blog




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