Friday, November 21, 2008

BOOK: "Some Danger Involved" by Will Thomas

It's been a while since I've done a book review. But I finished this one today over my lunch hour and thought I'd comment on it.

Some Danger Involved by Will Thomas

I like period mysteries. The combination of a detective novel and a historic novel, when well done, is something I like better than either genre alone.

This one is set in Victorian London. I'm following another series set in the same time/place (Anne Perry's series "Charlotte and Thomas Pitt"). This one has a grittier edge; there are overtones of both Conan Doyle and Dashell Hammett in the writing style.

The story is written in first person, which can be hard to do. But I liked the POV character right away. Thomas Llewelyn, our narrator, is at the end of his rope - he makes one last try to find a job while contemplating suicide. He's been kicked out of Oxford and has spent eight months in jail for petty theft. No one will hire him, but Cyrus Barker, the "enquiry agent" takes him on. No sooner than Thomas settles in, but the case begins.

The mystery is set in and around the Jewish emigre population of London, and we get to see all kinds of interesting facts and tidbits about their culture and the prejudices and issues they faced in this time frame. The mystery itself is interesting enough and the resolution took me quite by surprise!

My only negative comment is that said resolution was just a touch hurried. But the pacing may well have been deliberate to show our hero's state of mind.

There are at least four other books in the series, and I'll be getting them from the library in the near future!

I would give this one three and a half stars.

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