cover image Blood Is Blood

Blood Is Blood

Will Thomas. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-17038-5

Thomas’s first-rate 10th Victorian historical (after 2017’s Old Scores) boasts plenty of detection, derring-do, and emotional drama. Private detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, are in their London offices when the floor collapses from a dynamite blast. Llewelyn is largely unharmed, but shattered bones confine Barker to the hospital. Reconstructing their scattered files, Llewelyn identifies five men with deadly grudges against the duo. He gets unexpected assistance when Cyrus’s Pinkerton agent brother, Caleb, arrives without warning from America. Barker greets his brother, whom he has rarely seen since adolescence, with distrust, but Llewelyn welcomes Caleb’s skills while hunting the five targets: a French anarchist, a corrupt financier, a gang leader, and two murderers. In the ensuing mayhem, Caleb’s troubled past catches up with him. Always a witty narrator, Llewelyn comes into sharper focus with his boss temporarily sidelined. But the story’s star is Caleb, whose vividly drawn presence brings the grit of the Wild West into the series’ English milieu. [em]Agent: Maria Carvainis, Maria Carvainis Agency. (Nov.) [/em]