New York, January 1896: Arthur Conan Doyle, the renowned creator of Sherlock Holmes, arrives at the Britannic Hotel with his wife, Louisa, ready to begin his first American tour. While he prepares his lectures, Louisa becomes mesmerised by this brash, vibrant, dangerous city, especially when a woman's brutally butchered corpse is found in a Bowery alley and Louisa is convinced from the artist's sketch in the paper that she'd seen the victim at the hotel.
Arthur is patronisingly sceptical about her womanly "fantasies" but when she sprains her ankle and is forced to remain at the hotel while Arthur goes on tour, Louisa cannot resist pursuing her intuitions. And when more bodies start appearing, she's convinced that she holds the key to the killings. With the help of the hotel's hard-bitten detective and an ambitious female news reporter, Louisa starts to piece together a story of madness, murder, and depravity - a story that leads inexorably back to the hotel itself, the strange story of its unique construction, and a madman who is watching her every move.
Read by Jane McDowell. Jane McDowell's work spans theatre, film, television and radio. Screen work includes a leading role in the award winning British feature film Twelve In A Box, major roles in several Bollywood films, numerous short films, and the BBC dramas Dustbin Baby and Daughters. She has recorded plays and poetry readings for BBC radio, works regularly for BBC Audio Books and Calibre Audio Library and for Interact, a company of actors who read to stroke patients in London hospital. Jane holds an MA in Performance Studies from Central School of Speech and Drama. She lives in London with her daughter Antonia.
©2012 Kenneth Cameron (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group
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"really good book"
I read the previous review and I now know what the reviewer meant. The narration is good, nothing annoying about the voice, good character delineation, etc. For some reason though there are quite long gaps in the recording and this is why I presume, the previous review said it was a bit slow. I really liked this story it was well paced despite the recording faults. A perfect Victorian murder mystery.
Have to agree with previous poor reviews - story had potential but too rambling. Filthy language, mostly gratuitous, and bewildering amount of Louisa's sexual thoughts added nothing to story.
The narration was adequate, good try at many accents, not always consistent! Lengthy pauses unnecessary.
I chose the book because I really liked the idea of reading about ACD's wife investigating! Great idea, fair plot (though gory and sexual) but ultimately disappointing. Am struggling to finish.
"Hopefully not the beginning of a series"
I confess that I often choose books somewhat looking for longer books to have more pleasure. However, this was not the case here as the book was unnecessary lengthy, at times unnecessary crude (and I read and watch CSI and other shows that show/tell all), and rather boring. The characters are too stereotypically and I am not sure what some of Lousia's reflections about sex add to the book besides of the obvious and that not very well. Had I read the book, I would not have finished it but as I was listening I stuck with it... it was not worth it.
The plot and concept of the story are great, and if it wasn't for the language I would have really enjoyed this book. I have nothing against swearing, but in the end I turned it off two hours before the finish because of the gratuitous use of very foul language that did nothing to enhance the story. I wonder if the author was going for a prize as to how often she could use the 'f' and 'cu' word in a sentence.
"good spin off about ACD"
very interesting to hear how Arthur Conan Doyle despised his famous character! The narration of Louisa is a bit slow but if one perseveres it is not a bad read
This was a excellent book. A bit slow at the start but once I got into it it was really good. I just couldnt get enough of it. It should be put into a film.I was a bit disappointed with the end.
This book had a good setting with, surprisingly, strangely familiar characters. It had a strong storyline with a strong female main character. The descriptions of the setting and life of new York in that decade is how I always imagined. The story's twists and turns is exciting and has you gripped until the exciting action packed ending. An enjoyable 'read'!
I had high hopes for this book but no luck. Unfortunately crime and murder mystery authors these days seems to think that the more crude a book, the better it is. The book indeed progresses at a slow pace, but that is not as irritating as other readers/listeners have found. The trouble is that the narration blunders around a lot and the murderer is painfully obvious. To compensate for this, the author tries to shock with offensive language but succeeds only at appearing at a loss how to spin a good story.
However, there is something to be said to the detail with which New York is described at the end of the 1890s.
I tried to persevere with this book - but I have to admit defeat. I'm pretty sure that there is a very good story in here somewhere but I felt it just plodded along running down side alleys rather than getting to the point. I thought narration was good but I did notice big gaps between sections - couple of times I thought the playback had stopped!
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