My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads Blurb: Jane Austen meets Arthur Conan Doyle in a historical fiction debut for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Elizabeth Wein.
Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to speak but curiously allows her to mimic other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back… and watch as she unintentionally scares off every potential suitor. Only the impossibly handsome Mr. Thornfax seems interested in Leo…but why? And does he have a connection to the mysterious Black Glove group that has London in its terrifying grasp? Trapped in a city under siege by terror attacks and gripped by opium fever, where doctors (including her brother-in-law) race to patent an injectable formula, Leo must search for truth in increasingly dangerous situations – but to do so, she must first find her voice.
I had fun reading this Victorian mystery. The main character’s selective mutism/mimicking was a very interesting trait. I have never read about a character with that affliction before so it was pretty cool.
The publisher describes this as a cross between a Jane Austen Novel and a Sherlock one. While I would not agree with that description, I can see where the intent to create that vibe came from.
The mystery in the novel captured my attention but it was a very light and simple mystery. No nail biting here.
The romance in the story was sweet too, although it did feel a little silly near the end.
I found the subject of casual drug use in Victorian England very interesting. I don’t know why I am always interested so much in vices of times past, but nevertheless I quite liked that part of the story. I also liked how the author wrote more about the subject at the end of the book.
Overall I found this to be a fun read with a light mystery and an intriguing main character. 3.5/5
Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Borrow
Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.