Portrait of Peril
Published January 12th 2021 by Crooked Lane Books
For fans of C. S. Harris comes Laura Joh Rowland's fifth Victorian mystery where Sarah must confront her own ghosts--and face her most elusive and deadly adversary yet.
Victorian London is a city gripped by belief in the supernatural--but a grisly murder becomes a matter of flesh and blood for intrepid photographer Sarah Bain.
London, October 1890. Crime scene photographer Sarah Bain is overjoyed to marry her beloved Detective Sergeant Barrett--but the wedding takes a sinister turn when the body of a stabbing victim is discovered in the crypt of the church. Not every newlywed couple begins their marriage with a murder investigation, but Sarah and Barrett, along with their friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O'Reilly, take the case.
The dead man is Charles Firth, whose profession is "spirit photography"-- photographing the ghosts of the deceased. When Sarah develops the photographs he took in the church, she discovers one with a pale, blurred figure attacking the victim. The city's spiritualist community believes the church is haunted and the figure is a ghost. But Sarah is a skeptic, and she and her friends soon learn that the victim had plenty of enemies in the human world--including a scientist who studies supernatural phenomena, his psychic daughter, and an heiress on a campaign to debunk spiritualism and expose fraudulent mediums.
In the tunnels beneath a demolished jail, a ghost-hunting expedition ends with a new murder, and new suspects. While Sarah searches for the truth about both crimes, she travels a dark, twisted path into her own family's sordid history. Her long lost father is the prime suspect in a cold-case murder, and her reunion with him proves that even the most determined skeptic can be haunted by ghosts from the past.
This is the fifth book in the Victorian Mystery series by Laura Joh Rowland.
I don’t read a ton of historical mysteries but the Victorian era has to be my favorite.
I have to say first off that this is a new favorite author for me. I am loving her writing style and characters. They just flow off the page like water into my heart.
Sarah is a crime photographer and has just gotten married. Apparently, they thought she should put down her camera and leave the reporting to the boys. Uh, I don’t think so. I really respect this character for standing up for herself.
There is a lot of cool things in this story but the one I liked best was the spirit photography. What a great plot point and a way to ease into the mention of supernatural things. Just loved the concept!
Since this is book five, I am looking forward to reading the past four books in this series. What a great find! So excited to delve more into Victorian London.
If you like historical cozy mysteries, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed. Hit me up and ask me for recommendations for this genre! I have some great ideas for cool reads!
I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.