The Jubilee Problem has Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Lucy James working together to prevent any disruption of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1897. Who might want to cause death and destruction on the occasion?
The "threat of terrorism was very real and police chiefs, who had received a tip-off about ‘an anarchist outrage’, brought hundreds of retired officers back into service to keep the public safe." (source)In the novel, Holmes and crew include the Fenian Brotherhood and Kaiser Wilhelm's agents as major suspects who might threaten the celebration.
So...who is Lucy James? Ahem, she is the daughter of Sherlock Holmes, given up for adoption by her mother. In an earlier book in the series, it seems the young Lucy came to Holmes asking for his help in seeking information about her parents. Evidently, they were both surprised.
A light read that felt a bit like a YA novel.
Historical Mystery/YA? Nov. 1. Print length: 352 pages.
Sitting Murder by A. J. Wright is the fourth book in the Lancashire Detective series. I have not read any of the previous books, but this one works perfectly as a stand-alone.
Sitting Murder is set during the late Victorian period in Wigan, a town known for its cotton mills and coal mines. When a mine accident takes the life of Alice Goodway's husband Jack, Alice's grief and sense of abandonment is intense.
But then it seems that Jack is able to communicate with Alice from beyond the grave, acting as a spirit guide. Word spreads and a number of people want Alice to contact their loved ones. Jack's abrasive aunt, moves in with Alice and persuades her to do a limited number of "sittings."
Alice views these sittings as a way to comfort those who are grieving, and along with the pat phrases offered by most purported mediums, Alice reveals information she should have no way of knowing.
Although the thoroughly detestable aunt makes sure the privilege is paid for, Alice only responds to a few of the people who are eager to commune with the dead, and most of these petitioners are comforted to feel that their loved ones are content.
Then the first threatening letter arrives, and DS Michael Brennan and Constable Jaggery are consulted. Brennan, while seriously skeptical of the whole mediumship-and-communication-with-the-dead scenario, is definitely concerned about the implied threat and tone of the letter.
Before Brennan and Jaggery can prove who wrote the letter, Alice's aunt is murdered, and Brennan suspects that the real target was Alice. As the investigation delves into the secrets of most of the those who requested sittings, Brennan and Jaggery try to keep Alice safe while narrowing down the list of suspects.
Sitting Murder was a fun historical mystery with complications that kept me guessing--and that is precisely what I want from this genre. It fit the mood of the season with the psychic/medium element, provided a solid mystery in a favorite time period, and introduced two likable characters in DS Brennan and Constable Jaggery.
Historical Mystery. Oct. 12, 2017. Print length: 282 pages.