Series: Her Majesty's Psychic Service #1
Published by Tor Books on May 19, 2015
Genres: Adult SFF, Alternate History, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
On a freezing Christmas Eve in 1879, a forensic psychic reader is summoned from her Baker Street lodgings to the scene of a questionable death. Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the current Queen of England) is adamant that the death in question is a magically compromised murder and not a suicide, as the police had assumed, after the shocking revelation contained by the body in question, Alex must put her personal loss aside to uncover the deeper issues at stake, before more bodies turn up.
Turning to some choice allies—the handsome, prescient Lieutenant Brooks, the brilliant, enigmatic Lord Desmond, and her rapscallion cousin James—Alex will have to marshal all of her magical and mental acumen to save Queen and Country from a shadowy threat. Our singular heroine is caught up in this rousing gaslamp adventure of cloaked assassins, meddlesome family, and dark magic.
"Murder, mayhem and tea—a well-bred Victorian urban fantasy thriller. Prepare, o reader, to be enthralled."—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author of the Mercy Thompson series on P.N. Elrod's The Hanged Man
THE HANGED MAN was such a fabulous read. A Victorian London setting, double murder mysteries, an exclusive club with shady dealings, a Physic Service that works alongside the police, unexpected supernatural elements and a strong female protagonist. Alex (short for Alexandrina) Pendlebury works for the service as a Reader of emotions and is called upon to read a murder scene on Christmas Eve and from there all sorts of mayhem ensues.
Things I enjoyed
– The psychic service. I always seem to enjoy books when there is a paranormal type of law enforcement or investigative service such as this involved. I hope we get to learn even more about it in future books.
– The family ties. We learn about Alex’s family history and see her interact with her uncle’s family (Pendlebury side)that took her in when her Father sent her away at a young age. I absolutely loved her cousin James Fonteyn on her mother’s dude. He is an eye doctor and what Alex considers a silly person who can never be serious but there is definitely more to him then she thinks. He had my favorite dialogue in the book!
– urban fantasy / supernatural elements! These completely took me by surprise because I was expecting a light paranormal mystery but there were also supernatural elements included that I won’t share here and spoil for you.
– a fantastic mad seer by the name of Sybil. She is another one of those characters I loved and hope we get to see more of her.
– Alex was a well crafted character. She wasn’t so string that she didn’t need help but neither was she helpless. She was very strong willed and stubborn and a touch petty or cold when it came to her relatives but it ask swerved to make her a well rounded protagonist.
– There is a very light romance that is budding between Alex and one of the newest members of the psychic service, Lt. Brooks. After all you can’t have a good Victorian mystery without a bit of amorous tension.
I am really enjoying period mysteries that have a paranormal or supernatural edge to them. They have that extra something that pulls me in where modern day contemporary mysteries simply don’t. I think it had everything to do with the setting and atmosphere as well as having that touch of the unreal. It was an absolutely charming read and I hope there will be more books featuring Alex Pendlebury.