The Man in the Shadows

  • Type: Ebooks
  • By: Alys Clare
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Mystery & Suspense
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9780727823045
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A Victorian mystery with excellent character development

I always look forward to the next entry in Alys Clare’s World’s End Bureau mystery series.  Though the setting is Victorian England, there’s something intensely relatable about her characters.  Private detective Lily Raynor, our protagonist,  is smart and plucky, but she’s neither a walking encyclopedia nor a ninja.  Her assistant Felix, though a clever detective and brave man, is no Sherlock Holmes.  But he’s compassionate, capable of friendship, and is quite taken with his boss Lily – in an entirely honorable way.   Even minor characters are fully humanized.  These people, despite their station in life, are capable of joy and sorrow, love and longing, meanness and magnanimity.  In other words, they’re like us.

In this, the third installment of the series, Lily and Felix work to clear the name of a young hop-picker, who was executed for the murder of his sweetheart.   Much of the story takes place in the hop country of southeastern England, and it amounts to a rather delightful country excursion for the reader who’s had enough of the smoggy streets of London.