London -- fiction

The Nightingale Gallery: Being the First of the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother Athelstan by P.C. Doherty

The Nightingale Gallery: Being the First of the Sorrowful Mysteries of Brother A

There are graphic novels that literally paint then print images onto the page. The Brother Athelstan books are another kind of graphic novel. They have a very visual feel to them, only it’s done with words. Some medieval mysteries are as stuffy as a centuries-old cupboard. P.C. Doherty’s The Nightingale Gallery isn’t like that. Its characters breathe and move and love and murder with a striking vivacity.

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by

Eel’s early morning spent scavenging on the Thames River as a “mud-lark” brought a few things to the surface. There was a nice piece of copper, but he had to give that over to one of the stronger mud-larkers, a kindly blacksmith turned to this low way of making a living. But he did come away with two valuable things—or at least valuable to him. One was a half-drowned cat, thrown into the river by a bully boy. The other was a word of warning from the old blacksmith. Fish-Eye Bill was looking for him again, he said. A year Eel had spent in an easier life, getting his schooling, working two jobs and staying away from places he might be seen by Bill’s crew. It sounded like the makings for serious danger. Though in Deborah Hopkinson’s The Great Trouble, Eel’s problems are only beginning.

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman

Alchemy and Meggy Swann by Karen Cushman

“Ye Toads and Vipers!”

Meggy Swann has reason to be angry. Her mother had finally succeeded in getting rid of her, having her dumped miles and miles from home at her father’s tiny house in London. She’s never met him before, and he clearly doesn’t want her. It’s not like she can run away somewhere else though. An accident at birth has left her legs crooked, and she is in constant pain.

Only able to walk with the help of two sticks, the world of 1573 can be an especially cruel place for such a one, but she has angrily adapted. Alchemy and Meggy Swann, by Karen Cushman, tells her story from the time she is dumped like a sack on her father’s narrow doorstep, frightened and seemingly helpless, to the brave things she must do to protect herself and others she has come to love.

The English Monster or, the Melancholy Transactions of William Ablass by Lloyd Shepherd

The English Monster or, the Melancholy Transactions of William Ablass by Lloyd S

The English Monster, by Lloyd Shepherd, blends two stories of horror—one short, sharp, and bloody while the other is a slow unraveling of a man’s conscience.

October, 1564: A handsome young man, just married and very much in love, travels a dangerous path to the port of Plymouth, England, where he hopes to find a berth on a ship bound for adventure, but more importantly, riches to make their new life together secure. It is try and succeed or fail and never return for William Ablass. His letter of introduction earns him a place on board Captain Hawkins’ vessel where he becomes shipmates and friends with Francis Drake, later “El Draco,” the terror of the Spanish fleet.  Their adventures succeed in turning a golden profit but at a very dark cost.

Dorchester Terrace: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel by Anne Perry

Dorchester Terrace: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel by Anne Perry

For those who have followed Charlotte and Thomas Pitt from their awkward yet charming days of courtship in The Cater Street Hangman, Anne Perry’s recent Dorchester Terrace is a very enjoyable continuation of the series. Thomas has risen far since his days as a regular London policeman. He’s now head of Special Branch, a reward for his brilliant detective work and, probably not incidentally, saving Queen Victoria from a dastardly plot.

But, in class-conscious, 19th-century Britain, family background matters a lot to some people. Thomas, a gamekeeper’s son, often encounters people who question his ability to do his job when they find out who he isn’t. One of those is his immediate predecessor as head of Special Branch, Victor Narraway. In the preceding novel, Victor lost his job to Thomas almost but not quite disgracefully and rather lost his heart to Thomas’ clever and kind wife, Charlotte. Charlotte, born to live in Narraway’s world of privilege, has assisted her husband’s investigations through the years, but now that he is privy to so many state secrets, that will surely change—won’t it?

The London Eye Mystery

By Siobhan Dowd

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"Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye, but after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off-except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery."
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The Hunchback Assignments

By Arthur Slade

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In Victorian London, fourteen-year-old Modo, a shape-changing hunchback, becomes a secret agent for the Permanent Association, which strives to protect the world from the evil machinations of the Clockwork Guild.
First of a series.

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Acts of Revision

By Martyn Bedford

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"'The court will not be persuaded to accept that these were 'legitimate acts of revenge. . .''

"'Acts of revision is what I said.' Gregory Lynn is thirty-five years old. A bachelor, an only child from the age of four-and-a-half. Scarred by childhood trauma, he lives a solitary life, sequestered in his London house, drawing cartoon fantasies to pass the days. But the world has a way of creeping in. Gregory's mother dies. And he discovers, in a dusty box in the attic, the long-forgotten school reports whose words are the unending refrain of a man sentenced to failure at an early age. Must work. Little progress. Disappointing.

"Gregory Lynn reads, and remembers: teachers and subjects, names and places. The history teacher who humiliated him. Lynn, that's a girl's name, isn't it? The geography teacher who threatened to expel him. The gym teacher who called him donkey. And on and on. As methodically as a professor laying out a lesson plan, Gregory Lynn prepares for the cold-blooded acts of revision that will even the score with those who made him the way he is--seven deadly subjects in all.  Acts Of Revision plunges readers into the mind of Gregory Lynn --a place at once terrifying and irresistible, where fantasy and reality, guilt and innocence blur beyond recognition."

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Perlman's Ordeal

By Brooks Hansen

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Dr. Perlman -- classical music lover and scrupulously scientific hypnotist -- is about to leave for the symphony when a hysterical teenage girl is brought into his office. Soon, in a time just before the reign of Freud, a charismatic imposter and the pioneering doctor will fight a heated battle over the teenager's soul.

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