Eeek! Now I finally get to share my review of this! 😉
Budding Private Detective Cyril Arlington Hartwell has a conundrum. London is being ravaged by the largest run of thefts in recent history. His hunch that it is all tied together may put him and those he loves in more danger than he could have reckoned.
Olivia Larken Hartwell is just home from boarding school for the summer anticipating time with her adoring parents. She misses her absent brother, Cyril, hoping for the day he will finally come home. But tragedy strikes, causing upheaval for all concerned and changes her life in a way she never could have imagined.
Olivia, Cyril, and their friends must bring the hidden to light, seek to execute justice, and dispel the darkness that hovers over London… and their hearts.” (from Goodreads)
I’m a detective story junkie, (*eyes three inch thick Sherlock Holmes collection*), so of course I loved this book. 😀 The Gospel, London, mysterious thefts (or is this terrorism??), and some fun references to a few of my favorite books set in the same time period. (I was especially happy to find Olivia reading Esther Reid. That book is so good.) The British-isms were on point, and the characters well portrayed. I grew to like Olivia, pity Cyril, and find Mrs. Hobbs to be a hilarious angel. But Dudley TAKES THE CAKE. The poor, darling mediator, sidekick, and tired medical student was really just the best. (Do you see that rating? One whole star belongs to him. I’d read a whole book just about him reading the back of Cyril’s newspaper.) I had nearly solved the case so many times and then all my theories when out the window. I spent the whole beginning of the book trying to identify SPOILER ALERT! the Harlands’ mysterious visitor. Was it Cyril? But he’s evil? Was he a double agent? Maybe it’s twins. No, it’s never twins. END OF SPOILER! I was seriously, irrevocably hooked at that point. 😀 The accident took me by surprise as well. I was expecting something, but not that. *wails* Cruel, cruel misleading author! 😛 Even when I pretty much knew who the bad guys were, they were still so frighteningly clever and one step ahead that I hated their guts. And can we talk about that epilogue?! SPOILER ALERT! BANCROFT! END OF SPOILER! Not recommended for younger readers because of intense action, description of wounds, and a child in danger including MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! kidnapping, being threatened with a gun, dangling off London Bridge, and near drowning. END OF SPOILER! Also, two minor, British profanities are used once each.
Best quotes: “Carotid arteries…” Dudley mumbled, half asleep, then he sat bolt upright when Cyril shook him again.
“Nice of you to join us Dudley, though I thought perhaps you might never come. Be a good chap and call the police will you? I don’t want to take my eyes off the scoundrel any longer that I have to.”
Altogether, fantastic debut!!! I hope we get to read more from this author. And SOON. 😀
You can find London in the Dark in paperback and eBook on Amazon. There’s also a Goodreads giveaway and Victoria Lynn is a hosting one on her blog as well (complete with a prize option for us Dudley fangirls.)
Follow the rest of the tour at Ruffles and Grace!