The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross
“The paranormal answer to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Jesperson and Lane are turning the Victorian era upside down in this bewitching series from John W. Campbell Award winner Lisa Tuttle.” *Penguin Random House
The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross has all the elements of what I like to read. Victorian era, mystery, strong female protagonist. The Jesperson and Lane detective agency sets out to solve requests for missing persons, stolen babies, murder, and various other crimes of the time. While light on an emotional connection or tension between Miss Lane and Jesperson, there is a good amount of period style, language, and flavor. As events pile up and things get nicely complicated for the duo, I was hoping the “witch” aspect wouldn’t be too fluffy and was rewarded by good witch-bad witch clarification, information, and timely community perceptions. I also enjoyed the poison and plant information. Not for my own use, of course. Just information and setting. The investigation is easy to follow, and the characters are entertaining and interesting, especially Ms. Bulstrode. She seemed to stand out from the younger siblings, and I hope she shows up in later stories. The resolution was believable and had me flipping back to earlier pages, wondering how I missed the hints.
This book was good enough where I will buy the earlier book in the series. I read an uncorrected copy from NetGalley and was quite distracted by the heaps of punctuation errors. Despite that, I’m looking forward to more of this author’s work as I was truly taken back to the time period and offered a fun getaway from an icy winter night here in reality.
Lisa Tuttle was born and raised in Houston, Texas, won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 1974, and now lives with her husband and daughter on the west coast of Scotland. Her first novel, Windhaven, was written with George R. R. Martin. Other novels include Lost Futures, which was short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, The Pillow Friend, and The Mysteries.
The Curious Affair of the Witch at Wayside Cross. From the casebooks of Jesperson and Lane
Read more book reviews HERE.