Head of Zeus
“125 Gower Street, 1882:
Sidney Grice once had a reputation as London’s most perspicacious personal detective. But since his last case led an innocent men to the gallows, business has been light. Listless and depressed, Grice has taken to lying in the bath for hours, emerging in the evenings for a little dry toast and a lot of tea. Usually a voracious reader, he will pick up neither book nor newspaper. He has not even gathered the strength to re-insert his glass eye. His ward, March Middleton, has been left to dine alone.
Then an eccentric member of a Final Death Society has the temerity to die on his study floor. Finally Sidney and March have an investigation to mount – an investigation that will draw them to an eerie house in Kew, and the mysterious Baroness Foskett…
4 of 5 stars
I was sent a copy of this book by the publishers and this is my honest review.
The Gower Street Detective books continue with this second outing for Sidney Grice and March Middleton. Since his last case Sidney Grice has seen his star wane, he is made a mockery of in the newspapers and children sing ditties about him outside his house. Things change however with a visit from from a member of the macabre society whereby the surviving member inherits the wealth of all the others. When that visitor dies in Sidney’s study both he and March are drawn into a world where the other members are in danger, and that danger seems to also be directed towards the intrepid duo.
I had just finished reading the first book in this series, The Mangle Street Murders and had to pick up The Curse of the House of Foskett straight away. I love discovering new authors and new series and so it was a joy to read these books.
I was soon immersed in the world of March and Sidney, full of idiosyncrasies, banter (from March at least) and murder. In this book the relationship between March and Sidney develops and we find that Sidney does have the capability of feeling something other than disdain for his fellow humans. The relationship between March and Inspector Pound also develops nicely, even when violence gets in the way.
The misogyny continues with March and other women in the book having to almost justify their existence, though this now often comes across as parody and exaggeration of what the situation may have truly been like for women in 19th Century Britain.
March’s detective abilities are developing in this second outing and Sidney can be seen to discreetly encourage this. Also developing is her ability to deal with the violence that she suffers herself and can be seen to give as good as she gets.
More back story of the time March spent in India is revealed, and a further back story is hinted at, one which I can see being featured in a number of any up coming books.
Again I spotted the villain before the reveal but again it didn’t spoil the book and there were plenty of other surprises that cropped up.
This was another page turner for me. I loved the fact that when I settled down to read it I was lost in the book, eager to find out what would happen but disappointed that I would soon be at the end.
Now I have to wait impatiently for the third installment, the worst part of finding a new series I like!