The paranormal answer to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Jesperson and Lane are turning the Victorian era upside down in this bewitching series from John W. Campbell Award winner Lisa Tuttle.
“A lively, entertaining blend of murder mystery and supernatural adventure . . . Arthur Conan Doyle would have approved.”—George R. R. Martin, on The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist & the Psychic Thief
“Witch!” cries the young man after stumbling unexpectedly into the London address of the consulting-detective partnership of Mr. Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane. He makes the startling accusation while pointing toward Miss Lane . . . then he drops dead. Thus begins the strangest case yet to land—quite literally—on the doorstep of Jesperson and Lane.
According to the coroner, Charles Manning died of a heart attack—despite being in perfect health. Could he have been struck down by a witch’s spell? The late Mr. Manning’s address book leads Jesperson and Lane to the shrieking pits of Aylmerton, an ancient archaeological site reputed to be haunted by a vengeful ghost. There they sift through the local characters, each more suspicious than the last: Manning’s associate, Felix Ott, an English folklore enthusiast; Reverend Ringer, a fierce opponent of superstition; and the Bulstrode sisters, a trio of beauties with a reputation for witchcraft.
But when an innocent child goes missing, suddenly Jesperson and Lane aren’t merely trying to solve one murder—they’re racing to prevent another.
Don’t miss any of Lisa Tuttle’s enchanting Jesperson and Lane novels:
THE CURIOUS AFFAIR OF THE SOMNAMBULIST AND THE PSYCHIC THIEF | THE WITCH AT WAYSIDE CROSS
Praise for Lisa Tuttle
“A stylish, distinctive storyteller.”—The Washington Post Book World
“This John W. Campbell Award–winning author remains one of fantasy’s best.”—Publishers Weekly
“Sleepwalkers, psychics, and the spirits of the dead (or are they?) make for a heady stew in Lisa Tuttle’s latest, The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist & the Psychic Thief, the first full-length novel about Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane, a dauntless duo of Victorian detectives first introduced in her stories for Down These Strange Streets and Rogues. They’re an entertaining pair, and it’s great to see them back in action in a longer work. Here’s hoping this is only the first in a long series of Lane and Jesperson adventures. Tuttle does a lovely job of putting us back in the foggy streets of Victorian London in this lively, entertaining blend of murder mystery and supernatural adventure. Arthur Conan Doyle would have approved.”—George R. R. Martin, on The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist & the Psychic Thief
The Curious Affair of the Witch
This is the second in a Victorian era mystery series with professional detectives Jasper Jefferson and Aphrodite (Di) Lane being woken abruptly by a man, Charles Manning, knocking at their door at 2:00 a.m., in obvious terror, screaming "witch" at the sight of Miss Lane and then dropping dead. Although the authorities pronounce this as death by natural causes, the man's brother hires the detective duo to investigate his last moves to confirm this. Their investigation takes them to the village of Aylmerton, noted for the infamous "shrieking pits," where Charles had resided at the Vicarage with Reverend Ringer and his family, and then on to Wayside Cross, home to Miss Bella Bulstrode and her two sisters. As they press forward with their investigation, they need to separate facts, superstitions, and fairy lore, before unraveling the truth of the death of Charles and maybe others. The story moved along quickly, told primarily through the eyes of Miss Lane, and captured the flavor of the Victorian Era, with its prejudices against woman, and its tales of fairy rings and witches. There was a subplot involving a maid and (spoiler) a missing child, but while this has some connections with the main story, I found it to be more of a distraction and a deliberate attempt to interject a bit of paranormal into the story. The relationship between the two main characters is similar to that between Mary Russell and Sherlock in Laurie King's series, although I don't think Jesperson has enough respect for Lane's intelligence, nor is he as quite as intuitive as Sherlock but then he is still young. Disclosure: I am voluntarily reviewing this book received from NetGalley.