Minotaur Books | 31 May 2022 | 352 pgs
In this first book of a new series featuring homicide detective Mallory Atkinson, author Kelly Armstrong takes her readers through time and space to Victorian Scotland in 1869 to solve a murder case - a mystery in which somewhat related to her harrowing encounter that may have led her going back in time.
Mallory was visiting her dying mother and while she was out for a breather, someone attacked her after she thought she heard a woman screamed in distress in a dark alley. When she woke up, she found herself in a foreign land dressed in Victorian housemaid attire. She later learned that she'd woken up in Catriona’s body and she was the woman who was murdered in the same spot where she was assaulted in present time 2019.
As much as Mallory was shocked about the time travel and the body swap, her curiosity and her role as a detective quickly allowed her to adjust to the life as a housemaid to Dr. Gray, her employer. Dr. Gray was an undertaker, but he was also a medical examiner who assisted (discreetly) Detective McCreadie in his cases. McCreadie's recent case was a strangulation of a young man, and Mallory found the attack quite similar to Catriona’s and herself which made her think that the murderer might be of the same person. Without arousing Dr. Gray's curiosity about her true self, Mallory has to learn to adapt to the Victorian lifestyle without the modern gadgets but would she be able to catch the murderer so that she could return to the present world?
Well, I'd had so much fun reading this book! Basically, it has all the elements I love in my reading: time travel, suspense, Victorian setting and most of all, likeable characters such as Mallory and Dr. Gray. Their banter and their differences (in most aspects) entertained me but what I liked most is reading about Mallory's input of the modern investigative theories in Dr. Gray's findings and making sure that they wouldn't disrupt the origin investigation methods. The secondary characters are well-portrayed as well and allowed readers more than a glimpse of their various roles and their interactions with other characters. Overall, this was an engaging read and I can't wait to find out more of Mallory's adventures in the next book.
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