Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Genre: Historical Mystery
David Morrell?s MURDER AS A FINE ART was a publishing event. Acclaimed by critics, it made readers feel that they were actually on the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Now the harrowing journey continues in INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD.
Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater,confronts London's harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria. The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.
Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.
This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.
Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.
I haven't read Murder as a Fine Art, the first of the Thomas De Quincey novels, but I had no problems with previous events which were handled extremely well. I was so thoroughly caught up in the story that it was hard to pull myself into the present when I was forced to stop reading for meals, and such.
De Quincey is a fascinating character in the book and by all accounts was just as fascinating in real life. I enjoyed getting a glimpse into how his agile mind worked despite - or because of ? - his extreme opium addiction. His daughter, Emily, was also an engaging character and I enjoyed reading the selections from her diary that told her own experiences within the story. Their family story is quite sad, but Emily is a devoted daughter and sticks by her father despite the hardships caused by his addiction.
The mystery of who is killing the top level British aristocrats and why is a complicated and exciting tale that seamlessly includes so much history and Victorian atmosphere that at times it is difficult to tell where the history ends and the fiction begins. I don't think that a fan of Victorian historical fiction could ask for anything more - from the poor Irish immigrants, the squalid Seven Dials rookery, Bedlam and the debtors prisons to the upper echelons of British society and Queen Victoria and Scotland Yard - this book contains everything needed to make a engrossing and satisfying tale.
Within the mystery, there is discussion of the science and methods of crime investigation, medical knowledge of the time, the study and theories of dreams and psychology and the effects of extreme poverty and violence on people. I enjoyed all the various topics discussed and illustrated throughout the novel.
I will be recommending wholeheartedly Inspector of the Dead to my friends and family. I very much appreciated the Afterword in which the author givew much information about the history of the people, buildings, assassination plots and generally puts the novel in historical perspective for the reader. There is also a list of additional reading that I am anxious to add to my reading list. I plan to go back and read Murder as a Fine Art and will be anxiously awaiting a new installment in this wonderful series.
Praise for Inspector of the Dead"Riveting! I literally thought I was in 1855 London. With this mesmerizing series, David Morrell doesn't just delve into the world of Victorian England-he delves into the heart of evil, pitting one man's opium-skewed brilliance against a society where appearances are everything, and the most vicious killers lurk closer than anyone thinks." -Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Crash & Burn and The Perfect Husband
What the Victorian Experts Say:
"Even better than Murder as a Fine Art. A truly atmospheric and dynamic thriller. I was fascinated by how Morrell seamlessly blended elements from Thomas De Quincey's life and work. The solution is a complete surprise." -Grevel Lindop, The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas De Quincey
"The scope is remarkable. Florence Nightingale, the Crimean War, regicide, the railways, opium, the violence and despair of the London rookeries, medical and scientific innovations, arsenic in the food and clothing-all this makes the Victorian world vivid. The way Morrell depicts Thomas De Quincey places him in front of us, living and breathing. But his daughter Emily is in many ways the real star of the book." -Robert Morrison, The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey
"I absolutely raced through it and couldn't bear to put it down. I particularly liked how the very horrible crimes are contrasted with the developing, fascinating relationship between Thomas De Quincey and his daughter, Emily, who come across as extremely real. It was altogether a pleasure." -Judith Flanders, The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime
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About the AuthorDavid Morrell is an Edgar, Nero, Anthony, and Macavity nominee as well as a recipient of the prestigious career-achievement Thriller Master away from the International Thriller Writers. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic espionage novel. The Brotherhood of the Rose, the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl. A former literature professor at the University of Iowa, Morrell has a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. His latest novel is INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, a sequel to his highly acclaimed Victorian mystery/thriller, Murder as a Fine Art, which Publishers Weekly called "one of the top ten mystery/thrillers of 2013."
For more information visit David Morrell's website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
Inspector of the Dead Blog Tour ScheduleTuesday, March 24
Review at Unabridged Chick
Excerpt at Boom Baby Reviews
Wednesday, March 25
Review at Back Porchervations
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Thursday, March 26
Review at JulzReads
Friday, March 27
Review & Excerpt at Jorie Loves a Story
Interview at JulzReads
Monday, March 30
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Spotlight at Tales of a Book Addict
Tuesday, March 31
Interview & Excerpt at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Wednesday, April 1
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf
Thursday, April 2
Review at Build a Bookshelf
Review & Giveaway at Mina's Bookshelf
Friday, April 3
Review at Peppermint, Ph.D.
Monday, April 6
Review & Giveaway at To Read, or Not to Read
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Tuesday, April 7
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Wednesday, April 8
Interview at Back Porchervations
Spotlight & Giveaway at Words and Peace
Thursday, April 9
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews
Friday, April 10
Review at Layered Pages
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Monday, April 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary
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Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, April 15
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Thursday, April 16
Review at Editing Pen
Review at Luxury Reading
Review at The Maiden's Court
Friday, April 17
Guest Post & Giveaway at Editing Pen
Monday, April 20
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation
Tuesday, April 21
Review at A Book Geek
Review at Books and Benches
Wednesday, April 22
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Thursday, April 23
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Friday, April 24
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict