Author: Alex Grecian
Genre: historical mystery
Length: 422 pages
Where Bethany’s copy came from: The Indianapolis Public Library
Plot Basics: In the wake of the Jack the Ripper killings, Scotland Yard has organized a squad of 12 new detectives to start to deal with London’s murders, including young Walter Day, recently promoted from Devon. But when one of the Murder Squad’s own ends up stuffed in a steam trunk, the victim of a brutal killing, the Yard has to step up their methods of investigation to figure out if there’s another serial killer loose in London.
Banter Points: After reading Lyndsay Faye’s fantastic first two Timothy Wilde historical mysteries last year, Alex Grecian’s books caught my eye as another choice in that genre and I finally got to the first one. The book starts with a bang. Newly minted Detective Walter Day is presented with the gruesome case of the murder of Inspector Little, a fellow Murder Squad member. Dr. Bernard Kingsley is trying to apply new forensic methods (like fingerprints) to the case and everyone thinks he’s nuts.
Bummer Points: Grecian is no substitute for Faye. Where the plot starts out strong, it fizzles and I was completely bored by the end. There was no suspense to who the killer was and no doubt that Day and the rest of the Murder Squad would bring the bad guys to justice. There is an unfortunate amount of anachronistic dialogue (and poorly written anachronistic dialogue at that.)
Word Nerd Recommendation: I might give book #2 a chance, because it’s possible this one suffered from first book/set-up problems. With a few things that happened to characters at the end, it might give the next one more focus. On the other hand, there are enough books on my TBR pile that I might not get to it.