There’s an amazing sense of place and time in this novel, as Littlewood (Zombie Apocalypse! Acapulcalypse Now!) perfectly captures the literary style, attitudes, and class consciousness of Victorian England. Albie Mirrals has a passing fancy for his young, poorly situated cousin Lizzie, but he ends up in a happy marriage with a fellow member of the upper classes. When Lizzie is murdered by her husband in a small town with deep-rooted superstitions about fairies, Albie investigates and ends up calling his entire life into question in a mystery that’s pleasant but predictable. Littlewood carefully refrains from revealing whether the fairies are real or mere myth. Albie’s actions doom him at the right moments; indeed, there’s no suspense at all to his character arc, which is straight out of Poe, right down to the uncomfortable romance. The female characters, particularly Albie’s wife, get short shrift in the story, and the plot is predictable for anyone familiar with works of the era. This is an accurate pastiche of Victorian fiction, with all the attendant positives and negatives. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016 Release date: 11/01/2016 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.