This murder mystery is the fourth book in the Inspector Ben Ross series. It isn’t necessary to have read any of the previous books- I hadn’t and still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Set in Victorian London, a neighbour of Ben’s- a seemingly penniless yet obviously educated loner is bludgeoned to death in his lodging. Ben sets off on the investigation, following all manner of twists and turns and turning up various suspects. He’s unofficially aided by his lively wife Lizzie who carries out her own enquiries and becomes convinced that the victim, Thomas, was being followed by a mystery clown…
I seldom read whodunits but I really enjoyed this book. It kept me guessing (most) of the way through and I found it gripping and humorous. The dialogue especially, though written in Victorian-style speech was realistic and lively. Lizzie is a perfect foil to her inspector husband. The characters of pompous Jonathan Tapley (barrister and brother of the victim) and flirtatious Victorine Tapley (widow and chief suspect) are brilliantly drawn.
I’d definitely look out for the other books in the series. Read this if you like your historical crime veering towards the light-hearted rather than the harrowing.
The novel was sent to me by Newbooks Magazine.