Home ReviewsFantasy Mini Review: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Mini Review: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

by Aleen @ Lampshade Reader

Things in Jars Rating Banner 4 star

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

things in jarsI picked Things in Jars by Jess Kidd as my first BOTM Club book. She’s a new to me author and the premise of the story intrigued me. Can’t pass up a Victorian Era book, either. While the 3rd person POV threw me off (I was never a fan before), I quickly got used to the flow of the storyline and appreciated the detailed descriptions of each character.

The author is really really good at descriptions:

A man of middle age with luxuriant side-whiskers, the twin carpets of which cover his cheeks, as if to compensate for the smoothness of his pate.”

Besides the abundant description candy, there are the characters themselves that must be appreciated too. Fair warning though: this is a gritty read, and bad things happen to almost everyone in it, especially the main character, our heroine, Mrs. Devine.

You will find paranormal aspects in this story as well, with Ruby the ex-pugilist ghost. He was a treat. Loved the animated tattoos on his ghostly skin.

Another fair warning: I hate the term trigger warning, but there is a scene in this story that really made me feel ill at ease. If you don’t like bad things happening to animals (pets), you might get squeamish about it. If you really want to know what exactly happens, by all means I’ll tell you, just contact me. It could be a deal breaker for you.

It has a bittersweet ending, but It also leaves it where there could be a series.


Things in Jars

Mini Review: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
by Jess Kidd
Published by Atria Books
on February 4th, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Gothic, Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: Print
Source: BOTM Club
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: 4 Stars



Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jars is a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

Fantasy Historical Suspense


About Jess Kidd

jess kidd author photo

Jess Kidd was brought up in London as part of a large family from county Mayo and has been praised for her unique fictional voice. Her debut, Himself, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards in 2016. She won the Costa Short Story Award the same year. Her second novel, The Hoarder, published as Mr. Flood's Last Resort in the U.S. and Canada was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2019. Both books were BBC Radio 2 Book Club Picks. Her latest book, the Victorian detective tale Things in Jars, has been released to critical acclaim. Jess’s work has been described as ‘Gabriel García Márquez meets The Pogues.’


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GayathriAleen @ Lampshade ReaderGregShootingStarsMagTanya @ Girl Plus Books Recent comment authors

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I love the blurb and your review. And am all for bad things happening, call me a sadistic. Might give this one a try!


Well this sounds good! Love the idea of the London setting in Victorian times- there’s something about with the foggy streets and the sense of mystery haha!


I chose this one for my January book too. I’ve heard mixed things, so I’m kind of bummed, but we’ll see. I’m glad you liked it overall!


Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

I’ve been seeing this one around lately but I didn’t realize it had a Victorian setting. It also sounds a bit darker than I’d imagined. The animated tattoos remind me of a series by Armentrout that I’ve read. Such a cool addition!

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