Ann Granger is an author i have only recently become acquainted with via the library. I spotted she was a crime author so i opted for one book from each of her series. The first one i read was from the Cambell and Carter series (Mud, Muck and Dead Things - reviewed here last month). From that novel i knew i liked her style enough to try another one to give the author a fair trial, but i wasn't about to go devouring her whole back catalogue. (Liked rather than loved. Would read more if nothing else appealed.)
The second book i chose was the one in this review, A Rare Interest in Corpses. This is a first novel in the Lizzie Martin Series. (I am now getting the idea she prefers writing in series rather than stand alones, which is fine if it works.)
This book did grab my attention more than her other work. The cover shows a sepia photograph with sinister shadows caused by an old fashioned gas lamp.
The novel has the main character Lizzie Martin moving to a Victorian london after her father unexpectedly dies leaving her without a home. She is the lady companion of a rich older lady, and finds her predecessor disappeared and was murdered in weird circumstances. Lizzie is a bright woman of 30 and is very interested in what happened, and quickly becomes involved in solving the case for an Inspector Ben Ross.
I love the setting of this book in Victorian london. I don't know a lot about the era but the scene setting rings true to me and is done well. It reminded me of Philip Pullman's Ruby in the Smoke series a little in its setting. Descriptions were vivid and really drew me in to wanting to read more.
I found that the crime itself was not told in an extremely graphic way, but for this setting it appeared to work very well. In the last book of hers i read i had found it too gentle for me in that setting (not enough blood and gore - i like a good forensic setting.) Here it felt right. Not too gory as they would not have had the modern forensic methods we are familiar with now and therefore almost expect in this category of novel.
The main female character of Lizzie is quite modern for those times, acting in ways that are a bit unexpected, but i really liked her, and this book has whetted my appetite and i do want to read more from the author now. It leads me to think she might be the sort of author who slowly grows on you and then you do look out for.
If you are new to Ann Granger, then this is one i heartily recommend to start you off. The cover gives a quote from Woman and Home saying 'You'll soon be addicted' and i have to say they are right. I read it late into the night until it was done.