Sitting Murder A Baffling Victorian Whodunnit by A. J. Wright Endeavour Press Horror , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 12 Oct 2017
Sitting Murder is a competently written but somewhat lacklustre Victorian mystery. From the start you know that not all is kosher with Alice Goodway and her seances. She knows more than she otherwise should, but DS Michael Brennan does not believe in ghosts. When Goodway’s husband’s Aunt is murdered, he must unravel the threads of the past to find a clever and determined killer.
Conceptually the plot is acceptable. The problem is that the characters are difficult to empathize with. There is no one that is remotely interesting or in the least likable. Brennan seems to simply plod along. As an investigator he isn’t a compelling or unique figure. When you don’t care about the characters, you don’t care what happens.
On the whole, I can’t recommend Sitting Murder. There are many far better historical mysteries.
2 / 5
I received a copy of Sitting Murder from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
With a myriad of motives, the question is who? Detective Sergeant Michael Brennan of the Wigan Borough Police has no time for tales of ghosts and the afterlife, or of the dead contacting the living. So, when he finds himself investigating the case of a recently widowed young woman, Alice Goodway, who has suddenly developed ‘the Gift’ of mediumship and has received a threatening letter, he embarks on the inquiry with no small degree of scepticism. But just as Brennan and his burly colleague, Constable Jaggery, consider how to proceed with the case, something much more sinister takes place… a murder, in Alice’s own home. Who would commit such a crime? Could it be one of the seven ‘visitors’ who had been to sittings with Alice and not liked what they had heard? Or the interfering and sanctimonious Inspector of Nuisances who strongly disapproved of the séances? There are a lot of old wounds opened and painful memories shared with Brennan and Jaggery as they meticulously gather the information they need to solve the case. The challenge will be narrowing down the suspects, using clues from both the living and the dead… This devilishly plotted Victorian whodunnit keeps the reader guessing right to the end, with red herrings aplenty scattered along the way.