As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
For PREVIOUS REVIEWS- Click on MYSTERY PEOPLE below -
Head of Zeus, 5 October 2017. ISBN: 978-1-78497635-4 (HB)
According to Graham Masterton, London in the mid-18th
century was a city with a dark underbelly. Plus ça change, you might say
– but if routine near-slave labour in factories and brothels catering for the
most extreme of perversions exist nowadays, they're well hidden.
This is the world Beatrice
Scarlet, qualified apothecary and single parent, finds herself embroiled in
when she returns to her homeland from the brave new world that is America. She
finds employment in St Mary Magdalene's Refuge for Fallen Women, an
establishment which rescues girls and young women from prostitution, and
teaches them to earn a living by less dangerous means.
All very worthy and
well-meaning – except when girls go missing under apparently demonic
circumstances from the factory owned by the refuge's main benefactor.
Science-minded Beatrice refuses to believe their disappearance is the result of
their own dabbling with witchcraft, and sets out to follow a far more
down-to-earth trail of clues.
Beatrice's quest for the
truth takes her deep into that dark underbelly, and into increasingly dangerous
situations which leave her wondering who she can trust. Help comes from James,
an attractive young teacher and Jonas Rook, a Bow Street constable, and also
from unexpected sources, all vividly drawn in often gruesome detail.
The result is a complex story
rich with historical detail, especially about the apothecary's trade. The
author has clearly done a great deal of research into many aspects of the
mid-18th century, and it finds its way on to the page in vivid colour
– though I did wonder how much time he has spent around small children;
Beatrice's eighteen-month-old daughter Florence is far more articulate and
perceptive than any child of that age I've ever encountered. But she provides a
welcome diversion from some of the more horrific elements, as does the growing
attraction between feisty Beatrice and the rather dishy James.
The novel highlights the
conflict between superstition and science which underpinned just about
everything three hundred years ago – and also tells a graphic, fast-moving tale
with a large element of horror threaded through the battle between good and
evil. Beatrice Scarlet is a heroine of her own time who could teach a lesson or
two to women of ours.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
born in Edinburgh
in 1946. His grandfather was Thomas Thorne Baker, the eminent scientist who
invented DayGlo and was the first man to transmit news photographs by wireless.
After training as a newspaper reporter, Graham went on to edit the new British
menis magazine Mayfair, where he
encouraged William Burroughs to develop a series of scientific and
philosophical articles which eventually became Burroughsi novel The Wild
Boys. At the age of 24, Graham was appointed executive editor of both Penthouse
and Penthouse Forum magazines. At this time he started to write a
bestselling series of sex 'how-to' books including How To Drive Your Man
Wild In Bed which has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. His latest, Wild
Sex For New Lovers is published by Penguin Putnam in January, 2001. He is
a regular contributor to Cosmopolitan, Menis Health, Woman,
Womanis Own and other mass-market self-improvement magazines. He lives
in Surrey. His wife and agent Wiescka died on
27 April 2011, aged 65. He has just finished writing a black thriller featuring
Irelandis only female detective superintendent, Katie Maguire, set in
the Cork underworld; and a dark fantasy, Jessicais Angel, about a
girlis search for five supposedly-dead children.
Lynne Patrick has been a
writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short
stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She
crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to
have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge
of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime