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Bridie Devine, Female Detective Extraordinaire, Is Confronted With The Most Baffling Puzzle Yet The Kidnapping Of Christabel Berwick, Secret Daughter Of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, And A Peculiar Child Whose Reputed Supernatural Powers Have Captured The Unwanted Attention Of Collectors Trading Curiosities In This Age Of DiscoveryWinding Her Way Through The Labyrinthine, Sooty Streets Of Victorian London, Bridie Won T Rest Until She Finds The Young Girl, Even If It Means Unearthing A Past That She D Rather Keep Buried Luckily, Her Search Is Aided By An Enchanting Cast Of Characters, Including A Seven Foot Tall Housemaid A Melancholic, Tattoo Covered Ghost And An Avuncular Apothecary But Secrets Abound In This Foggy Underworld Where Spectacle Is King And Nothing Is Quite What It SeemsBlending Darkness And Light, History And Folklore, Things In Jars Is A Spellbinding Gothic Mystery That Collapses The Boundary Between Fact And Fairy Tale To Stunning Effect And Explores What It Means To Be Human In Inhumane Times But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much Hans Christian Andersen, The Little MermaidI m a huge fan of Jess Kidd s exquisite, playful writing and KERPOW, what a start Her vivid prologue was one of the finest things I ve read in a long, long time Gadzooks That alone was worth the entrance fee The book is set in a Victorian London that Dickens might have portrayed one which is theatrically grotesque and wonderfully atmospheric whose slums are as lively as a blaBut a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much Hans Christian Andersen, The Little MermaidI m a huge fan of Jess Kidd s exquisite, playful writing and KERPOW, what a start Her vivid prologue was one of the finest things I ve read in a long, long time Gadzooks That alone was worth the entrance fee The book is set in a Victorian London that Dickens might have portrayed one which is theatrically grotesque and wonderfully atmospheric whose slums are as lively as a blanket full of lice Our heroine is special detective Bridie Devine, a dynamic pipe smoking woman of around thirty years of age She wears the ugliest bonnet in Christendom and can drink most men under the table.Ms Devine womankind s answer to Sherlock Holmes has a psychic talent for reading corpses that have met with inexplicable deaths The author describes her as being a woman made from boot polish and pipe smoke Kidd s female characters are often gloriously independent, which I love.Devine s latest case is the kidnapping of Baronet s daughter, Christabel Berwick, a pike toothed child who smells of the sea and is kept shackled and hidden in a locked nursery The magical realism herein is precisely as it should be dark, imaginative, irreverent and wryly amusing To explain this thriller mystery any further would be to divulge its silty, slippery secrets It rather frustrates me that certain ham handed authors find themselves on Booker shortlists when ber talented Jess Kidd can write their socks off Mind you, that said, I m not altogether sure why she felt the need to hyphenate words that shouldn t be hyphenated church yard crest fallen dumb founded gas lights Perhaps she was going for a Victorian style of writing Disappointingly, the story began to lose its cut and thrust in the middle stages I was even gulp bored for several chapters The treacherous ocean had become a gentle millpond and I wantedAh, but wonderful Jess Kidd redeems herself with a poignant scene at the book s d nouement a passage so pitiful, so heroic, that the scales on the back of my neck stood on end and my gills began to gasp Bravo, Jess I squeaked, clapping my fins together Best supporting character awards go to two protags one living, one dead Cora Butter, Bridie s seven foot tall housemaid, who is fiercely loyal and commendably noble and to Ruby Doyle, a top hatted prizefighter whose sliding tattoos have a mind of their own.As ever, Jess Kidd s lyrical prose is a joy to behold and she employs an opulence of literary devices to good effect personification aphorisms allusion and zoomorphism, to name but a few All told, I liked this dark, exuberant, whimsical extravaganza very much Indomitable Bridie Devine is a mesmerising character who will linger in your mind long after the final page is turned Nevertheless, I enjoyed this author s previous offeringsFour stars, bumped up to five, because Jess Kidd has ninja writing skillz Five stars and a statue goes to best portrayed Victorian London book This is incredible combination of humor, kitsch, folklore with the writer s talented and never ending imagination We meet one of the most interesting heroines, Bride Devine , a woman detective, wearing a dagger strapped to her thigh, smoking pipe, solving murders by reading corpses and talking with ghosts It seems like one of the heroes , also the part of love triangle is Ruby Doyle, champion boxer who is also dead Mostly Five stars and a statue goes to best portrayed Victorian London book This is incredible combination of humor, kitsch, folklore with the writer s talented and never ending imagination We meet one of the most interesting heroines, Bride Devine , a woman detective, wearing a dagger strapped to her thigh, smoking pipe, solving murders by reading corpses and talking with ghosts It seems like one of the heroes , also the part of love triangle is Ruby Doyle, champion boxer who is also dead Mostly it was frivolous book is written with great sense of humor and creativity But we have to admit that it is also evil one with gory murder scenes , shocking, cruel, disturbing.I enjoyed the poetic descriptions of Victorian London, immaculate writing and rich, layered, perfectly developed characterization So happy to find a gifted writer Cannot wait to readbooks bloginstagramfacebooktwitter Jess Kidd shifts direction in her 3rd novel setting it in Victorian times with its inherent brutality and inhumanity, teeming with villains, murderers, the arrogance of killing medics, and ruthless amoral gentlemen anatomy collectors, hungry for what should not be alive There are Things in Jars, with their ability to disturb the natural order of things, life and death, ashes to ashes, time in supension, pickling yesterday, holding eternity in a jar Into this latest historical novel, Kidd bring Jess Kidd shifts direction in her 3rd novel setting it in Victorian times with its inherent brutality and inhumanity, teeming with villains, murderers, the arrogance of killing medics, and ruthless amoral gentlemen anatomy collectors, hungry for what should not be alive There are Things in Jars, with their ability to disturb the natural order of things, life and death, ashes to ashes, time in supension, pickling yesterday, holding eternity in a jar Into this latest historical novel, Kidd brings her trademark elements, Irish folklore, superstitions, ghosts, the eccentric, her stellar female characters, with her standout lyrical prose that enchants and enthralls It is 1863 and London is marked by crime, disease, grime, violence, stink and penury Addicted to smoking experimental concoctions by Prudhoe in her pipe, the red haired Bridie Devine is haunted by her inability to prevent the death of a child in her last case With her now battered reputation, it is a surprise when Sir Edmund Berwick hires her to find his kidnapped 6 year old daughter, Christobel Only Christobel is no ordinary child, with extraordinary abilities, playing with memories, eyes that see too much, and pike s teeth that can wreak serious damage This time Bridie is determined not to fail a child, aided by her magnificently gigantic maid, Cora, endowed with her thick and glossy facial hair, and the ghost of the love lorn illustrated Ruby, a prizefighter, claiming to know Bridie, although she is doubtful of this fact In a narrative that goes back and forth in time to reveal Bridie s childhood of coming over from Ireland, collecting corpses with Gan, and her time as laboratory assistant to Dr John Eames at Albery Hall, wearing the clothes of the dead Lydia, links poke their heads from Bridie s past to trouble her in her present investigations There are colourful characters galore, such as the predatory and sly Mrs Bibby, born for bad business, with the tooth and claws and the backbone for it, and the viciously dangerous and manipulative Gideon In a story that takes in walled in women and children and the Winter Mermaid , there are gruesome murders, double dealing and avarice, and Bridie s life is endangered as a deadly foe comes back from the dead In the meantime, Londoners cower with fear and horror as lost rivers are resurgent, battered by never ending biblical rains as the city floods.Once again, Jess Kidd beguiles and charms with her gifts as a storyteller, her shift to the Victorian era is a sublime decision, as the era positively drips with gothic elements that serve a veritable feast for Kidd s imagination This includes the ravens, experimental potions, the penchant for curiosities, a medical profession that is unhindered by anything remotely ethical, and the corrupt scientific anatomy collectors desperate to acquire living anomalies by any means necessary and preserve them in their jars However, it is in the mix of the fantastical, Irish folklore such as the merrow, with the everyday, and Kidd s remarkable talents in characterisation that make her novels a joy to read, and ensures that her readership will continue to grow This is compulsive and magical reading fare, such infernally dark matter, but shot through with light by Bridie, Cora, Ruby and Inspector Valentine Rose I cannot describe how keen I am to get my hands on the next book Kidd writes So, what is left to say Just the small matter of this book coming highly recommended Many thanks to Canongate for an ARC Here is time held in suspension Yesterday pickled Eternity in a jar In Things in Jars, A 7 foot tall bearded parlor maid, mythical sea monsters, a ghost, and a winter mermaid are all brought together by a female pipe smoking detective in Victorian London to solve the kidnapping of a mysterious childWhen a child with supposed supernatural powers is kidnapped, Detective Bridie Devine is commissioned to find her Bridie s sleuthing abilities lead her into the dark underbelly of nineteentHere is time held in suspension Yesterday pickled Eternity in a jar In Things in Jars, A 7 foot tall bearded parlor maid, mythical sea monsters, a ghost, and a winter mermaid are all brought together by a female pipe smoking detective in Victorian London to solve the kidnapping of a mysterious childWhen a child with supposed supernatural powers is kidnapped, Detective Bridie Devine is commissioned to find her Bridie s sleuthing abilities lead her into the dark underbelly of nineteenth century London where she encounters a criminal element obsessed with possessing the world s oddities Dead or alive, there is a price on the head of those who are different and don t fit societal norms.Part mystery, part social commentary, part fairy tale, Things in Jars had me completely enthralled Jess Kidd encompasses all of the strange eccentricities of the Victorians In Bridie, Ruby, a dead boxer, and Cora, a 7 foot tall parlor maid, she creates fascinating and multi dimensional characters I hope to see them again in a future novel Kidd seamlessly weaves together a story filled with magic, strong women, and those who long to possess those who are different I LOVED loved loved every minute of this book It is strange, eccentric, and wonderfully weird This is definitely one of the best books I have read in 2019 I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review