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I'm so happy I stumbled upon this series. Unfortunately, Audible didn't initially have them all, so I read out of order. Each is an excellent stand alone 19th century mystery. However, the drama of the characters history is quite compelling, and that is somewhat spoiled when read out of order.
The narrator gives each character an individual voice. I forget I'm listening to a woman, she has the ability to make one see the characters.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This series is the type of mystery novel I love best. It is definitely not a "cozy" mystery, but neither is it bogged down by procedural minutiae or ever-increasing levels of violence intended to shock jaded readers. While dark and occasionally gothic, it avoids crossing over into blood and gore horror. It's greatest strength is the sense of time and place, wrought with the aid of prodigious historical scholarship. History would be a much more intriguing subject in school if taught through the personal, human, lens employed by Harris. The way real people and events are woven throughout the series is impressive, always based upon real timelines and interests. The politics of the time offer insights into repercussions still felt today. The series also retains the reader's attention with complex, evolving characters, their psychologies enfolding across the novels as both the characters and the reader grasp hidden motivations, needs, and outlooks, becoming more self-aware and wise with time and maturity. In that sense, the series also offers an enlightening view of human nature. This is first rate literature all around, not just as a mystery novel.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful