Just Out Book Review – Murder at the Natural History Museum by Jim Eldridge

Dear Readers,

Happy Publication Day to Jim Eldridge and his Fifth installment in Museum Mysteries – Muder at The Natural History Museum. It is published by and is out on 20 August. The book is available in all good bookstores and online.

I had the opportunity to read and review this book for Netgalley. In short, I’d love to read all the previous installments in the series. The main characters are new additions to my favourite characters circle. Welcome.

Synopsis

1895. When the newly dubbed ‘Museum Detectives’ are asked to investigate deliberate damage to a dinosaur skeleton at the Natural History Museum, there is evidence that the fossil-hunting mania of the notorious Bone Wars in America may have reached their shores. But for Daniel Wilson, famed for his involvement in the Jack the Ripper case, and renowned archaeologist Abigail Fenton, events soon take a sinister turn… A museum attendant is found dead in an anteroom by none other than the infamous theatre manager Bram Stoker, who it seems may have had a personal connection with the deceased. Facing pressure both from an overseas business and local celebrity, Wilson and Fenton must rely on their talents and instincts to solve their most puzzling case yet.

Review

If you thought that museums are wonderful but quiet, dusty and boring places where nothing exciting happens, think again. You can’t even imagine to what length people would go and what they would be willing to do to secure a place on trustee committee or position of curator or… contract to deliver bones and fossils.

A very unorthodox (for Victorian times) pair of detectives: male and female for that matter (and living together ‘in sin’, my oh, my) – Abigail Stoker and Daniel Wilson come on the scene to investigate seemingly harmpless incident, destruction of the exhibit… But the case takes unexpected twist becoming a murder investigation which, in turn, drags many more secrets, misdeeds and outright crimes that surround Natural History Museum.

I loved the pair. I want to be their friend. And I definitely want to be invited to the wedding. Abigail and Daniel are surrounded by many colourful characters. Amazingly, police detectives and constables are not thick, short-sighted and purely stupid here as in most Victorian-times cozy mysteries (or not all of them).

Villains are big, pompous, titled and overbearing. Women are scheming, intelligent and fearless. Reader gets a very unexpected, unorthodox picture of Victorian London and its elite, a very unexpected.

Real-life personalities and celebrities are… just that.. real people. Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Bernard Shaw and many more… Reading this book felt like watching Midnight in Paris but set in 19th century London.

Mystery and suspense a plenty. Readers is entertained along the way with many sub-plots, back stories and descriptions. But they all are in the right place and at the right time.

Given that this is fifth installment, reader is getting only glimpses of the previous adventures. However, this book reads well on its own.

Overall, I enjoyed the read for characters and sprinkling of real-life personalities and celebrities. This book made me search far and wide for Oscar Wilde works and biographies.

My had is off for the author and his creation. 5 stars.

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