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The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross

(From the Casebooks of Jesperson & Lane)

by Lisa Tuttle

Random House Publishing Group - Hydra


Mystery & Thrillers , Sci Fi & Fantasy

Pub Date 28 Nov 2017


The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross is a decent, but entirely unremarkable paranormal mystery. I expected more based on the description.

What would you do if a man enters your home, cries witch and dies at your feet? In the case of Jesperson and Lane, you investigate, particularly when the unknown man has your card in his pocket. Charles Manning died of no known poison, but the peculiar circumstances surrounding his death imply foul play. The man, previously employed in the city had recently abandoned all practical concerns to write poetry and research the occult in Aylmerton. At his brother’s request, the two travel to Aylmerton to uncover the mystery of his last days. Amongst the suspects number Felix Ott an occult researcher and lecturer, Miss Bulstrode a practicioner of natural medicine and her two sisters and Aylmerton’s vicar and his uncompromising wife. Charles Manning isn’t the first to mysteriously die, but is his death and that of his friend murder?

The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross is entertaining enough, but it is shallow in story and character. It’s laced up tighter than a Victorian corset. Lisa Tuttle is a good writer, but The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross seemed to be going through the motions with very little emotion.

3 / 5

I received a copy of The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



The paranormal answer to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Jesperson and Lane are turning the Victorian era upside down in this bewitching series from John W. Campbell Award winner Lisa Tuttle.

“A lively, entertaining blend of murder mystery and supernatural adventure . . . Arthur Conan Doyle would have approved.”—George R. R. Martin, on The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist & the Psychic Thief

“Witch!” cries the young man after stumbling unexpectedly into the London address of the consulting-detective partnership of Mr. Jasper Jesperson and Miss Lane. He makes the startling accusation while pointing toward Miss Lane . . . then he drops dead. Thus begins the strangest case yet to land—quite literally—on the doorstep of Jesperson and Lane.

According to the coroner, Charles Manning died of a heart attack—despite being in perfect health. Could he have been struck down by a witch’s spell? The late Mr. Manning’s address book leads Jesperson and Lane to the shrieking pits of Aylmerton, an ancient archaeological site reputed to be haunted by a vengeful ghost. There they sift through the local characters, each more suspicious than the last: Manning’s associate, Felix Ott, an English folklore enthusiast; Reverend Ringer, a fierce opponent of superstition; and the Bulstrode sisters, a trio of beauties with a reputation for witchcraft.

But when an innocent child goes missing, suddenly Jesperson and Lane aren’t merely trying to solve one murder—they’re racing to prevent another.

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