Monday, March 12, 2018
Lock 13 by Peter Helton and Mind of a Killer by Simon Beaufort
Hmmm. If you are interested in narrow boats and the canal system in England, you will enjoy this rather unusual mystery. I did enjoy it and was interested in the narrow boats, which I've always found a romantic part of England's past and present. Sometimes amusing and often unexpected, especially Honeysett's narrow boat new found friend on the canals.
Read in Dec.; blog review scheduled for March 12.
PI. April 1, 2018. Print length: 224 pages.
Mind of a Killer by Simon Beaufort.
Alec Lonsdale writes for the Pall Mall Gazette in London, 1882. After once again having an interview canceled about the London Zoo, Alec happens on a tragic house fire. He joins the crowd and asks a few questions. Patrick Donovan's body is eventually recovered from the fire. A young whore approaches Londsale and tells him that this isn't the first death and that they are not accidents.
Curious, but cautious, they arrange a meeting for the following night. Lonsdale attends the post-mortem and both he and the doctor are shocked that Donovan was not only murdered, but that his cerebrum has been excised. Now, Lonsdale is definitely intrigued and plans to meet the woman that night. He arrives too late; the woman and her companion are dead and Lonsdale himself is attacked.
The police are reluctant for Londale and his colleague Hulda Friederichs to print anything about the story and discourage any further investigation.
A tale of Victorian crime and mystery populated by many real characters of the era and with reference to many cases pulled from the headlines. The plot of the narrative is fiction, but suspenseful and engrossing with intriguing characters, both real and fictional.
Of interest to me were the episodes with Sir Francis Galton, "Sir Francis Galton, FRS was an English Victorian statistician, progressive, polymath, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, and psychometrician. " (Wikipedia)
His presentation in the novel was a combination of hubris, unintended comedy, and general unpleasantness. Although familiar with his name and with several of his accomplishments, I'd never read anything about the personal life of the man. I've ordered a biography that promises to explain his remarkable accomplishments and hopefully, how the man himself (aside from his work) was viewed by his contemporaries.
A compelling historical mystery, Mind of a Killer introduces an appealing protagonist in Alec Lonsdale set in a Victorian world of scientific advancements.
Who is Simon Beaufort? Simon Beaufort is the pseudonym adopted by Susanna Gregory and Beau Riffenburgh.
Historical Mystery. April 1, 2018. Print length: 256 pages.