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Friday, 15 July 2016

‘The Secrets of Gaslight Lane’ by M.R.C. Kasasian

Published by Blake Books,
2 June 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-78185-975-9

It is 1883 and Sidney Grice and his god daughter March Middleton live at 125 Gower Street from where Sidney runs a “personal” detective agency. They are approached by a young lady by the name of Charitable Goodsmile to find the murderer of her father Nathan. On examination of his body, it seems he was killed very slowly and with great deliberation.

What particularly interests Sidney is the fact that Nathan was related to the Garstang family also murdered in the same house ten years previously. The case was never really satisfactorily solved.

Inspector Pound, who had been in charge of investigations into the Garstang killings reveals that Nathan had had most to gain from their deaths, but he had a rock solid alibi, he was locked in the police cells all that night.

The only other real suspect was the Spanish maid Angelina Innocenti, but she went completely mad after the murders and ended up in Broadmore. It was never proved one way or the other whether she was guilty or not.
Sidney is sure there is a connection between the murders ten years ago and that of Nathan, but how to prove it? Then a diary of Nathan's turns up making for disturbing reading. Will this help to solve all the killings?

Things come to a head when the staff  believe the house where the murders took place is haunted and refuse to stay. Sidney and March agree to spend the night there but end up being very frightened themselves. Sidney very cleverly solves all the murders leading to a very satisfactory ending.

This is a very creepily atmospheric book, bringing 1883 London to life. Descriptions of the thick smog are especially vivid.

Sidney Grice is like a very grumpy Sherlock Holmes, so downright rude that he is at times very amusing and I could only feel sorry for his long suffering god daughter who bears the brunt of his sharp tongue. An enjoyable read that brings together well the two incidents of murders that took place ten years apart.
Reviewer:  Tricia Chappell.

Martin Kasasian was raised in Lancashire. He has had careers as varied as a factory hand, wine waiter, veterinary assistant, fairground worker and dentist. He lives with his wife, in Suffolk in the summer and in a village in Malta in the winter

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf  (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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