2015 Reading Challenge, Book 27: The Somnambulist By Essie Fox

This is a Victorian Gothic mystery or murder mystery I’ve had hanging about in my bookcase for a good while. I put it on my reading challenge list as the whole idea was to expand my reading habits and generally speaking I avoid all Victoriana related things as they’re a little too stylised and misty-eyed. Or else too elaborate and painstaking. I’m not fond basically. Once I started this, however, I got into it fairly easily.

This is the rather complicated story of Phoebe Turner, who uncovers mysteries about herself, her mother, her Aunt Cissy and the man who takes her on as his wife’s companion after her Aunt Cissy dies: Mr Samuels. The owner of Samuel’s department store, the man is a stranger to Phoebe, but she soon discovers he’s more tangled up in her life than she could ever have imagined.

This novel is beautifully written and not so misty-eyed as others I’ve read in the sub-genre, even though a good part of it takes place in Upper and Middle Class society it doesn’t shrink from the problematic underbelly of the era. Well developed characters and an excellent story that moves along at a good pace keep you from losing interest and I finished this fairly fast.

It was a tad predictable but none of that marred my enjoyment. I would recommend reading this.

You can buy this book in the UK here

And in the US here


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