Charles Dickens historical mystery series by J.C. Briggs. Released 6th July 2020 by Sapere Books, it's 372 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book and the rest of the series are currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.
I've really enjoyed these historical mysteries set in the middle of the 19th century in London and environs. Charles Dickens is clever, loyal, dogged, and practical and his friendship and cooperative investigation with superintendant Sam Jones makes for engaging and entertaining reading. The plots are always convoluted and well engineered, full of twists and surprises. The story itself is written around a framework of real historical events and people and so well entwined that it's not always apparent where reality shades over into fiction.
Whilst an entertaining read, I did find myself struggling sometimes with the plethora of secondary characters and keeping all the sailors, hostlers, drudges, shopkeepers, and servants straight was taxing. I found myself having to check back in the story to remember which family was which, especially since there were lots of minor children who were orphans in the care of other people. It's a relatively minor problem though, and considering the high quality of the writing, worth the occasional confusion.
Overall, it's a good read and a quality example of the historical-person-as-amateur-sleuth subgenre. Four stars.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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