Author: Karen Odden
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: November 6, 2018
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
Odden composes a delightful mystery!
Nell Hallam has a dream to study piano at the Royal Academy in London, but since her father passed, it will be difficult to earn the tuition. She and her brother Matthew live in Mayfair, which is a nice area of London, and he is an inspector at Scotland Yard. Determined not to trouble her brother with her dream, Nell has developed an alias as a man named Ed Nell and lands a gig playing the piano at the Octavian, a music hall in Soho. She knows her brother wouldn’t approve, but fortunately he works late into the night and she is always able to make it home before he arrives. One night on her way home, she finds one of the performers beaten and left for dead. Soon, other murders start to occur throughout the Soho district. The more that she is immersed in the world of the Octavian, the more she finds that people aren’t what they seem on the outside. Performing is all just an act, but will Nell be able to separate the people who are guanine and who are criminals?
This is by far one of my favorite historical fiction reads of the year. I was pulled into this book within the first two paragraphs and couldn’t let it go until the end. I struck up a quick friendship with Nell and she tugged me along through late 1800s London. I loved getting to meet the characters at the Octavian and see how everyone performed. I shared all of Nell’s emotions and loving heart that made her extremely genuine. I fell for Jack’s character as I got to know him and learned that things aren’t always what they seem.
The suspense throughout this book stayed very tight and kept me tearing through the pages. There were a few surprises thrown in for good measure that you might not expect, but it was well worth reading. I’m glad that I got a copy of this book as a new author has found a place on my shelf.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.