My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over a week
Pages - 416
Publisher - Canongate books
Source - Review book
Blurb from Goodreads
London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.
As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.
Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.
Victorian era, 1800s, meet Bridie, anatomist/detective she is hired to discreetly find Christabel, a child that no one knows about and very valuable on the black market. Meeting blocks at every turn Bridie has to do what she can to save the child but Christabel is no ordinary child and some folk will kill to get their hands on her.
This is a bit of a mixed bag, Bridie is a belter of a character, different, fierce especially for her time and she encounters a ghost that follows her around. Whist doing her thing and following the clues we also get kick backs to when Bridie was younger and how she came to be who she is now, her interest in human bodies/anatomy.
I laughed at a few parts of this, some tongue in cheek type humour and just the way Bridie is. Then there are some real dark parts too, poverty, death, murder, folklore - it is a mixed bag. This was my first read at this author it won't be my last, I can't say the author reminds me of X author as I don't think I have read anything like this before. I enjoyed it and wasn't sure where it was going, certainly a different read and kept my interest, 3.5/5 for me.
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