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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Snap Shot by Marilyn Todd

Although the cover has no real connection to the book which is set in 1895 and is not gory in the way the cover implies, I liked the description and the Victorians setting and decided to give it a go.

from description:  1895, London 

Taking risqué photographs is the only way Julia McAllister can retain her independence as a young widow in London. 

But one by one, her models are dying — and now she is being framed for their murders. 

The relentless Inspector Collingwood is on the case and Julia knows he’s watching her every move. 

With young women still dying, and her own life on the line, Julia must unmask the real killer before it is too late… 

Can Julia clear her name? Will Collingwood believe her?

Or will the dark secrets of her past come back to haunt her…? 

Snap Shot is the first in a new series featuring Victorian photographer Julia McAllister.   Julia is intelligent and skilled; however, in order to keep customers, she has to pretend that the previous owner of the studio is still alive.  An independent woman with her own business doesn't sit well with the Victorian social norms, so Julia keeps up the facade of being the apprentice photographer.  But taking the ordinary pictures of the trade barely sustain her, and Julia wants a nest egg large enough to help her travel and take artistic photographs.

Thus the sideline of naughty pictures.  I was happy with this one, which has some light moments among the more serious incidents...until the end.  I wasn't as pleased with the end.  

I imagine the next book will be about Julia becoming a crime photographer.  She mentions that the French have already begun using crime photography.  I imagine she is referring to 
Bertillon, who pioneered the practice of mug shots and crime scene photographs.    (some of the photos are graphic.)

Read in June; blog review scheduled for July 18.

NetGalley/Sapere Books
Historical Mystery.  July 29, 2019.  Print length:  252 pages.

Welcome to the bookstore...


  1. Such an intriguing premise. I'm curious where this story will lead and why you wasn't pleased with the end. :p I'll keep this book in mind.

    1. In spite of having some problems with the book, I will read the next one. :) It is an interesting idea having the character use Bertillon's techniques in fiction.

  2. The photography aspect of this one reminds me of Rowland's The Ripper's Shadow. Her main character takes 'boudoir photographs' too. Did you ever read that one?

    1. No--I abandoned it for some reason, but now I'm going to check and see if I still have it and give it another chance. Did you like it?

    2. It was only a 3-star read for me. Not bad, but not amazing either. There were parts I remember really liking, but other parts not so much. I'd try the author again though.

    3. Maybe I won't give it another chance after all. So many books still on my TBR list. :)

  3. I am also intrigued as to why you didn't' like the ending!

    1. I do plan to read the next in the series, but to say why I didn't like the ending would be a spoiler. :(