South London, 1896.
William Arrowood, Victorian London’s less salubrious private detective, is paid a visit by Captain Moon, the owner of a pleasure steamer moored on the Thames. He complains that someone has been damaging his boat, putting his business in jeopardy.
Arrowood and his trusty sidekick Barnett suspect professional jealousy, but when a shocking discovery is pulled from the river, it seems like even fouler play is afoot.
It’s up to Arrowood and Barnett to solve the case, before any more corpses end up in the watery depths . . .
This was a fun read, what with Arrowood railing against the better known Sherlock Holmes, and dealing with the women in his life, mostly by running away from them.
A clever, knowing Victorian murder mystery, replete with street urchins, Cockney thugs, rat catchers and hopeless coppers. Add a twisted plot involving revenge and a rather vile use of human remains and you have a gritty little thriller on your hands.
Considering how much Arthur Conan Doyle came to hate his creation, he might have been glad to hand the torch on and let another consulting detective take the limelight.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.