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Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders

by Kate Griffin

Series: Kitty Peck (1)

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775349,664 (3.6)8
A deliciously atmospheric and exciting Victorian mystery.

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Showing 5 of 5
Great characters, very atmospheric, a tad long-winded. ( )
  thiscatsabroad | May 26, 2023 |
I found the first 'Kitty Peck' novel by chance on the library catalogue and was taken with the cover - now I've reserved the other three books in the series! Thank you, Kate Griffin, for restoring my faith in fiction!

In 1880s (pre-Ripper) East London, seventeen year old Kitty Peck is a maid of all work at the local music hall, left alone after the death of her parents and brother. The owner and 'Baron' of the local area known as Paradise, an opium-smoking old crone called Lady Ginger, summons Kitty to her and reveals a shocking secret. Kitty's beloved brother Joey, thought drowned in the Thames, is not in fact dead - and Kitty can get him back, in exchange for information. Young girls from the music halls in Paradise are going missing and the Lady wants answers. To spy on the toffs and punters at the halls, Kitty becomes the Limehouse Linnet, singing from a gilded cage suspended sixty feet in the air. But will her death-defying act be enough to save the girls and free her brother?

I loved Kitty and her world, which is brought to life in all the grime, smoke and danger of nineteenth century London by the author, who worked for SPAB, or the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings. The characters are either larger than life, like Lady Ginger and her thuggish manager Fitzpatrick, or wonderfully captivating like the outspoken and fearless Kitty and her enigmatic friend Lucca. I was also hooked by the Jeffrey Deaver-esque plot about the mysterious artist and his gruesome masterpiece, which was far darker than I was expecting for a Victorian 'lady detective' novel (although Kitty would probably say that she is no lady!) The pantomime villain trope is a little old, and of course Kitty's skills on the trapeze came in handy when she was in danger (and sent me down a Google rabbit hole reading about the whispering gallery at St Paul's), but a few clichés weren't enough to put me off.

Wonderful heroine with a strong narrative voice, evocative historical setting, and a macabre mystery - what's not to love? Onto book two, and three, and four! ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Apr 25, 2023 |
This is a murder mystery set in the seedy theatres and backstreets of London in 1880. The atmosphere and the sense of time are well described, and the characters rounded and with interesting backstories. Despite these strengths, I can't say I hugely enjoyed this, perhaps because of some of the seediness and degradation involved which left a nasty taste in the mouth. Some aspects of the plot seemed a bit implausible as well. That said, I liked the central character enough to read the sequel, in which she seems set to rise in the world in which she lives. ( )
  john257hopper | Oct 23, 2018 |
1880, in the Limehouse area of London dancing girls go missing. Lady Ginger who rules the roost is not happy. She uses our heroine Kitty Peck as bait to draw out the kidnappers putting Kitty in danger.

What I liked about this book was the narrative by Kitty. I liked the way she prattled on in her own way as she tells the reader her story. This is the first book in the series and can see that Kitty has a lot more to offer.

What I didn't enjoy was the fact that the story was a little bit long winded. As much as I enjoyed following Kitty around at times I felt not a lot happened and the story was just plodding along. I did towards the end start to get fed up and was glad when all was revealed.

Some of the descriptions of the Limehouse were intersting but I just didn't quite get that sense of place. If the narrative didn't keep reminding the reader where the story was set it could have been anywhere.

I don't think for me there is enough in this book to seek out anymore in the series. It's a shame as the story started out with a lot of potential but I felt it lost its way. ( )
  tina1969 | Jan 9, 2018 |
I got the book thinking it was by the Kate Griffin who wrote the Matthew Swift series. It isn't. So it was a disappointment. The book tells a fast moving tale, but while it is well written, it doesn't shine with the brilliance of the other Kate Griffin (Charlotte Webb) who is a wordsmith. Fans of cozies should stay away from it, as it has a dark theme. ( )
  mysterymax | Oct 28, 2017 |
Showing 5 of 5
This is Griffin’s debut novel and I think it is possible to tell; while the characters are very well drawn, and the mystery is unusual and exciting without being too fanciful, this isn’t as polished as it could be, and less literary than you might expect from Faber. However, it’s bursting with life and full of thrills as Kitty strives to uncover who’s behind the music hall murders. I’m pleased to see the next instalment of her adventures should be arriving soon.
added by 2wonderY | editAdventures with Words (Jan 21, 2014)
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