Check out London In The Dark by Victoria Lynn
Plot: very good! I enjoyed the emphasis on personal interactions, character growth, and relationships – internal conflict and growth as well as the outer conflict with the “mystery.” Because villain POV snippets were interspersed in the story from the beginning, I figured out most of the plot twists and what was going on well ahead of time – so there wasn’t the suspense aspect present in some mysteries – but this didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book. It felt fresh and interesting.
Writing quality and style: I felt that this detracted just a bit from the story for me, as there were some grammatical errors, some instances of showing where telling could have been better as well as instances where I felt the narration was too detached from the characters. Still, I’ve read a later work by this author where none of these issues were present – so I’m definitely hoping that was unique to this book.
Characters: I loved the everyday mannerisms that set apart the characters – all but Olivia’s habit of touching her neck. I’m sure it’s just me, but it seemed cliche. I loved how the details of daily life were described – the little happy things especially. For most of the book, I felt the characters weren’t deep enough – I didn’t relate to or sympathize with them. In the first several pages, Cyril was a shrewd detective, but then he seemed to lose all distinct personality and become a grump who kept acting and reacting the same way, over and over, throughout most of the rest of the book – I found myself wishing for more variation in his character rather than the same basic scene repeated in every circumstance. (If you must be a grump, be an interesting one!) The same with Dudley: he was so sweet and lovable, but almost too predictably so for the first portion of the book – but then there was just enough variation and depth to make him refreshingly interesting. Olivia took a bit to understand: she seemed quite relatable at first, then uncharacteristically emotionally demonstrative at the drop of a hat (I get she had good reason; it just didn’t seem in line with her previous character to me) – and finally, naive. It was the naive stage that garnered my sympathy again, though – it seemed much more understandable and natural that the previous emotional outbursts. In retrospect, however, I don’t believe she was as demonstrative as I had the impression she was while reading; she was still at least ladylike about it.
The message: amazing! I loved how God and faith appeared naturally in the characters and their lifestyles. So well done, relatable, natural, and touching.
The ending: I loved the epilogue! So sweet. It did, however, confuse me a bit because it occurs AFTER the events in book 2 of this series – so since it’s a series, I may not have wanted to know these events this soon. 🙂 Still, it was so wonderful and wrapped up the characters.
Content: some violence, not described
Overall – if you enjoy mystery, England, or the 1910s era, read this book! Highly recommended. 🙂