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Publisher's Summary

In this "miraculous and thrilling" (Diane Setterfield, number one New York Times best-selling author) mystery for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation, Victorian London comes to life as an intrepid female sleuth wades through a murky world of collectors and criminals to recover a remarkable child.

Bridie Devine - flame-haired, pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire - is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing secrets about her past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, Things in Jars is a stunning, "richly woven tapestry of fantasy, folklore, and history" (Booklist starred review) that explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

©2020 Jess Kidd (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about Things in Jars

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Eh

Not my favorite by Jess Kidd.

I found Bridie & supporting characters to be really compelling, but the story was just too brutal and often gruesome for my taste.

The narrator was so so so good...until she spoke in (guess) a cockney accent. Dorcas/Mrs. Bibby in particular was atrocious and almost ruined the entire book. I wanted to bail every time she spoke, but managed to push through.

I like Jess Kidd’s writing, but this one took a turn into a dark place I never want to visit again.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I Don't Often Say This, But...

...I would have enjoyed this better as a book than an audiobook. I'm a big fan of both, but I do them for different reasons. I enjoy audiobooks because they allow me the ability to multitask while still enjoying a good book--and so I do. But this book, unfortunately, really demands your attention. It would be best enjoyed, I believe, all by itself. Without distraction. Its method of delivery simply doesn't allow for multi-tasking while listening, and I found myself back-tracking several times when I realized I had missed a key component to the plot. It was fairly frustrating, which is not what I look for in a read of any sort.

Having now whined sufficiently, I will say the book was well written, although the style will not appeal to everyone, having the feel of a classic Sherlock Holmes mystery. It took me a bit to adapt to the narration, which had that clipped style of short 5 or 6 word phrases found so often in young teen books or William Shatner monologues. Thankfully, this style was only incorporated during the prose. The dialogue portions went quite smoothly and naturally.

The characters were richly diverse and either very appealing or fairly sinister. I was especially enchanted and intrigued by Ruby and his beguiling tattoos. He was a most interesting and unusual character. Most readers will take special delight in the heroine of the story, Bridie Devine, and there's certainly much to appreciate about her. She's completely ahead of her time: she's independent, intelligent, brave, learned, curious, unencumbered by social graces, and intrepid. She has great appeal, and her interesting relationship with Ruby just adds fascination to the story.

While this wasn't really the story for me, I can certainly appreciate its appeal, and easily accept my position as the minority in this case. Next time, I'll try the book instead.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Ummmm...no

I wanted to like this book. I tried to like this book. I just couldn’t get through it. Maybe it’s just me, but, it was confusing at times, I think it jumped around, I wasn’t sure what the heck was going on. Returned it. Narration was ok. I won’t go on to recommending or not. It’s a strange story, and I usually like strange stories, but, this one was too confusing for me.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not for those who swoon at the mention of blood.

The title was the hook that caught me. As children, my now deceased brother and I were fascinated by objects in jars of formaldehyde and would search for them in old museums. I have little interest in mystery novels. The narration of the first paragraph was so different and intriguing. Stories and dreams and memories interspersed holds the reader/listener tightly....for one would not want to miss even the most subtle information. Set in a world designed of dark and dangerous macabre. The setting itself is a character and unique as those who are named and nameless.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bridie Divine 💪

Such a different story - so refreshing! Intriguing and hilarious. Loved every moment. Narrator was brilliant.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Made it Only Half Way Through

Enough already. 6 hours in and I have no Idea what's going on, nor do I care. Just too weird for me. I wanted to like it, as the narration was not half bad. But to bazaar for me to even give it another try. Tried 3 times, but finally gave up.

My first and last Jess Kidd

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Possibly Favorite Novel of All Time

I was enamored of this from the first sentence to the last. The combination of the narrator's beautiful depiction and the author's rolling prose made this a feast for the ears. I've rarely fell in love with characters as deeply as Kidds' and I'm sad to leave them at the end. Highly recommend!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic Read

Couldn't stop listening. Fantastic Story. The Macabre, the interaction of characters, best story i havenlistened to in a long time. You could actually picture the characters and it read like a movie.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun story.

I very much enjoyed this story. The story is sweet and interesting. If you enjoy Jess Kidd you will like this book.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unusual

Weirdly wonderful story. Interesting main characters - hope to meet them again in the future.

3 people found this helpful