By Selenia Paz, guest blogger
Readers are swept away from the first page of J. C. Briggs's The Murder of Patience Brooke, deep into the streets of foggy London and the quiet, sleeping Urania Cottage. When Patience Brooke, one of the women who has been helped by the home for women established by Charles Dickens, is found brutally murdered, Charles Dickens is sent for at once. Together with his friend Sam Jones, Superintendent of Scotland Yard, Dickens sets out to find the murderer.
The feeling of Victorian London is alive within the pages, and readers are able to experience what it was like to be a member of all classes, from the poverty-stricken to the higher elite. Fans of the works of Dickens will enjoy the flashbacks the character goes through, and will experience with great interest what it might have been like for the author to feel things such as embarrassment. Dickens often relives his past and is able to use his experiences to show sympathy for those he is trying to help, and those who are often all around him. Readers unfamiliar with Dickens's works will equally enjoy the story and be able to follow along easily, learning about Dickens along the way.
What is perhaps felt most frequently during the story is the presence of something dark, sinister. Fans of mysteries will appreciate the often creepy moments that permeate the pages. The characters that fill the story are well-written and often provide a different, helpful perspective. As Dickens and Jones set off to discover the reason behind the murder of Patience, more murders take place, until it seems as if they are racing against a clock before another murder can occur.
What results is a heart-racing climax and conclusion that leaves readers hoping Dickens and Jones have another mystery adventure soon. Fast-paced and well-written, The Murder of Patience Brooke is sure to draw in fans of mysteries, Charles Dickens, and Victorian London alike.
Review copy provided by the author.
Selenia Paz is a children's librarian and blogs about books and crafts at http://noonvale.blogspot.com.