Award-winning author Laura Joh Rowland is back with the sixth in her critically acclaimed Victorian Mystery series in which Sarah must search for the killer of a woman she found murdered on a train all the while waiting for the verdict of her father's trial for heinous crimes committed two decades earlier.
London, November 1890. Crime scene photographer Sarah Bain Barrett faces a perfect storm of events. She and her husband Detective Sergeant Barrett are riding on a train that crashes. While rescuing other passengers, they find a woman who's been strangled to death. Their search for her identity and her killer lead them to Cremorne Gardens, a seedy riverside pleasure park that's a combination carnival, theater, freak show, and museum of oddities. It's among the most challenging cases that Sarah, Barrett, and her friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O'Reilly have ever undertaken. The suspects include a dwarf, a female acrobat, and a member of the Royal Family. Due to the royal connection, the police commissioner declares the case top-secret. Sarah and company must investigate on the quiet, keeping the suspects, the press, and the public in the dark. That's easier said than done. The investigation is complicated by the injury Hugh sustained during their last case, Mick's romance with a woman who has psychic powers, and Barrett's old flame.
Meanwhile, Sarah's father Benjamin Bain goes on trial for a rape and murder that happened more than two decades ago. The victim was a teenage girl named Ellen Casey. Is Benjamin Bain as innocent as he claims? Sarah has serious doubts. The trial is the scandal of the year, a media blitz. The outcome--and the truth about the murder on the train--are beyond Sarah's wildest imaginings. What dangerous secrets are hidden behind the tawdry glamor of Cremorne Gardens? Is Benjamin Bain wrongly accused, or a guilty sinner who deserves to be hanged?
About the Author
Laura Joh Rowland is the award-winning author of the samurai detective Sano Ichiro mystery series set in 17th century Japan, as well as a historical suspense series starring Charlotte Bronte. Her work has been published in 21 countries; nominated for the Anthony Award, the Hammett Prize, and the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award; won RT Magazine's Reader's Choice Award; and been included in the Wall Street Journal's list of the five best historical mystery novels. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan. She is a former aerospace scientist, a painter, and a cartoonist. She lives in New York City with her husband Marty.
Praise for Garden of Sins: “Rowland’s portrait of Victorian London is so immersive . . . A Grand Guignol treat, dazzling and lurid.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The author’s blending of inner turmoil with outer dangers creates a novel that adds depth and subtlety to the Victorian mystery genre.” —Historical Novels Review
Praise for the Victorian mysteries: “Gritty, imaginative, and full of nail-biting suspense." —Tasha Alexander, New York Times bestselling author
"Laura Joh Rowland was able to bring Victorian England into such vivid life, and a story we all know into new relief. This is a fantastic read." —Charles Finch, bestselling author of The Inheritance
“A dark, seductive peek into the dangerous underbelly of Victorian London.” —C.S. Harris, bestselling author of the Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries
“Tense, pacy and compelling." —Stephen Gallagher, critically acclaimed author of The Kingdom of Bones and The Bedlam Detective
"Rowland knows just how to [put] a new twist on old tropes with her witty sleuth, while never sacrificing historical integrity." —Library Journal starred review
“The characters are beautifully drawn; the dialogue sparkles; the setting is vividly rendered." —Booklist starred review
“Rowland’s Victorian London is fascinating and her team of irregulars unmatched." —Kirkus Reviews
“Well-crafted...Rowland blends acute psychological observation and meticulous historical research to explore the conflicts faced by an independent woman in Victorian society.” —Publishers Weekly
"A clever look at Victorian women’s norms as well as an entertaining murder mystery." —Historical Novel Society
"Attention to atmospheric detail, original characterizations, and escalating conflict." —Strand Magazine
“Impressively elegant and well crafted...A compelling and compulsive page turner of a read from cover to cover.” —Midwest Book Review
“Rowland is good at designing strong tension and conflict scenes that keep the pages turning.” —New York Journal of Books