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August 14, 2017

Review: The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief by Lisa Tuttle

by MK French

Miss Aphrodite (Di) Lane had been fascinated by psychic phenomena but disillusioned by the apparent trickery of her friend Miss Fox. This led her back to London, where she became the assistant and partner of Mr. Jasper Jesperson, a consulting detective. They were hired on to follow a somnambulist after a number of smaller cases local to their office. The case was soon tied to that of missing mediums in the city, and then it grew even more personal when Miss Lane herself was abducted.
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The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief
May 2017; Hydra; audio, ebook (303 pages)
historical, mystery, paranormal
This is billed as "Sherlock Holmes meets Penny Dreadful" in Victorian era London.

It certainly evokes that kind of charm both in its language and descriptions, as well as the craze around psychic phenomena of the time. Sherlock Holmes and Watson are referenced as fictional characters here, so don't expect a crossover as they work together. Instead, they model their collaboration after the fictional pair, with Jesperson as Holmes due to his eclectic upbringing and knowledge. Di is more the voice of reason, so of course, she's the one that is marked to be kidnapped. The book is mostly told from her point of view, with occasional dips into Jesperson's journal after her kidnapping.

The characters are engaging, and the mystery itself seems rather obvious to the reader. It's more the atmosphere and setting up the dynamics that are the focus of this book, and the characterizations really shine.

This is the start of a series, so I hope that the next books have more elaborate mysteries to solve.

Buy The Curious Affair of The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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