Things in Jars by Jess Kidd
I 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.
It has a bittersweet ending, but It also leaves it where there could be a series.
Things in Jars
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.
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