The Dublin Railway Murder by Thomas Morris #NetGalley @HarvillSecker #victorianmystery #truecrime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Dublin Railway Murder by Thomas Morris. This is a very interesting Victorian mystery that is based on a real case.

I requested this book via NetGalley and I was approved to read this from the publisher, Harvill Secker.

An astonishing real-life locked-room murder mystery set in Victorian Dublin, packed with gripping, perplexing twists. This meticulously researched true-crime tale reads like a quintessential Victorian thriller and is perfect for fans of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

One morning in November 1856 George Little, the chief cashier of the Broadstone railway terminus in Dublin, was found dead, lying in a pool of blood beneath his desk. His head had been almost severed; a knife lay nearby, but strangely the office door was locked, apparently from the inside. This was a deed of almost unheard-of brutality for the peaceful Irish capital: while violent crime was commonplace in Victorian London, the courts of Dublin had not convicted a single murderer in more than thirty years.

From the first day of the police investigation it was apparent that this was no ordinary case. Detectives struggled to understand how the killer could have entered and then escaped from a locked room, and why thousands of pounds in gold and silver had been left untouched at the scene of the crime. Three of Scotland Yard’s most celebrated sleuths were summoned to assist the enquiry, but all returned to London baffled. It was left to Superintendent Augustus Guy, the head of Ireland’s first detective force, to unravel the mystery.

Five suspects were arrested and released, with every step of the salacious case followed by the press, clamouring for answers. Under intense public scrutiny, Superintendent Guy found himself blocked at almost every turn. But then a local woman came forward, claiming to know the murderer….


This is a well-researched account of the death of George Little. He worked as a cashier for the Broadstone Railway in Dublin and his death occurred in 1856. This was a case that confounded detectives as the room was locked from the inside and initial observations were confusing.

This is quite a good read and one that I did find very interesting as it took me back to a very different way of investigating crime. The laws were very different from today and the way things were undertaken to solve showed how things have changed over the years.

This was interesting for a number of reasons as it showed various aspects of society at the time, living conditions and also how the proceedings could be hampered by newspaper reports. I really enjoyed the way the author laid this book out, it made for following what could have been a very confusing account, much easier to follow. Questions led to more questions, sometimes leading to dead ends. There were various suspects and yet it took many months for things to finally come to a conclusion, even then it was not altogether clear cut.

The research is meticulous and there are some great footnotes to show how things have changed over the years. The facts have been used well and incorporated into a narrative of events. This makes for a practical and analytical read, showing the stories of those involved but without emotion. At times it felt like reading a newspaper article. I think this style is good for a true crime read, not that I have read that many, but it was a style I enjoyed.

This is a slower book and there is some overlapping, but this I think is expected given the era of the crime. We are lucky to have computers to cross-reference, double-check and back-up as well as have a much more advanced technology to assist with identification. There are mentions of major changes to the law to show a comparison between then and now.

This is a good read and one for those who enjoy true crime and especially historical crime. Well laid out, a good pace and some very interesting facts. I do think it could have been a little shorter in length but that is just my opinion. I would happily recommend this one.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman @HarvillSecker #mystery #historicalfiction #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman. This is a wonderful story that mixes historical fiction with myth and mystery in a Georgian era.

My huge thanks to Harvill Secker for granting my request to read this title via NetGalley.

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‘Weaves together Ancient Greek myth with suspenseful mystery and beguiling romance…utterly irresistible’ Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

A pure pleasure of a novel set in Georgian London, where the discovery of a mysterious ancient Greek vase sets in motion conspiracies, revelations and romance.

Perfect for readers who loved The Binding and The Essex Serpent.

London, 1799. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents’ famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle’s suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young antiquarian scholar. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore the shop to its former glory, and to escape her nefarious uncle.

But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has believed about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth she starts to realise that some mysteries are buried, and some doors are locked, for a reason.

Gorgeously atmospheric and deliciously page-turning, Pandora is a story of secrets and deception, love and fulfilment, fate and hope.


Set in 1799 London, Pandora Blake, known as Dora does not have the happiest of lives. She lives above her parents’ antiquities shop, once a place that was frequented by wealthy customers. After the death of her parents, the shop belongs to her Uncle. He is an odious man and one that is devious.

This is a mystery that I absolutely adored. Using some facts from history the author has taken some liberties with dates for the benefit of the story. All of this is explained at the end of the book and makes for interesting reading in itself.

Dora is the main focus of the story, she is a budding designer and she has her mothers talent for her artistic flair. Her parents sourced items to sell in their shop from their own excavations, legitimate and above board. When her Uncle suddenly brings in an object that he hides away from Dora, she knows he is up to something, but quite what it is will take time to discover.

This is a fabulous blend of history, fiction, fantasy and with a strong mystery to it. The setting was great as society at the time still travelled the world on their “tours”, adventures and exotic destinations that took weeks to get to are something for the upper echelons of the society of the day. This was balanced with the ordinary, working folk or those that have no homes, very little clothing and with little in the way of life. These different sides of society and the contrasts were a great part of the story and I think the author used them to great effect.

This is a mystery though, a mystery about Dora, her Uncle, a large vase and the death of her parents. Chance and fortune bring Dora into contact with several people, some helpful, some unsavoury and some just plain rude. They do however play their parts well and give a broader picture of life in London a the turn of the century as well as adding valuable details as part of the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and although some of the smells and sights might have been unpleasant to read, the author does a cracking job of describing them. This does have the feel that this is something that could be part of a series as I do think it has the potential to be expanded upon. I do hope this is the case as I would definitely be looking to read another book that features Dora.

A wonderful mystery, historical fiction and crime that I would definitely recommend.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx