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Sitting Murder
A Baffling Victorian Whodunnit
Lancashire Detective Mystery – Book III
A J Wright

Endeavour Press
12 October 2017/ ASIN: B076F4RBFB
Mystery /Historical

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 

Wigan 1894: A fatal pit accident claims the lives of several miners, including the husband of Alice Goodway. Married for only a year and very much in love, Alice is devastated and soon after starts to see things, and then conducts séances. Collecting the money is her husband’s formidable aunt Doris and a brisk trade is soon being conducted. It seems nearly everybody has lost a loved one, but a threatening letter has DS Michael Brennan and his trusty sidekick Constable Jaggery called in to investigate. Not long afterwards there is a death, but was the victim the real target?

Move over foggy London! It makes a change to read about somewhere other than the capital’s well-trodden streets in late Victorian mysteries, and there are not many novels set in Wigan. There is nothing generic either about the author’s almost tangible descriptions of this grim, impoverished mining town, and short of a time machine reading this is the next best thing. This is also a rather grim tale akin in tone to the first one (Striking Murder), set in another bitter winter and focusing on the characters’ grief. Children, spouses, friends, lovers have all died tragically and those left behind are desperate to contact them, not usually with very positive results. Expect a teasing plot where everybody is a suspect, but this is also a look at the psychological fallout from dabbling in this type of occult activity. There is a sense that ultimately nobody wins; a bleak but inevitable outcome in a book that packs more of a punch than might be expected. This series gets
better and better, one to follow wherever it takes the reader next.

Previous reviews for this series:

Striking Murder #1
Elementary Murder #2
Sitting Murder #3

Reviewed 2018