A Most Dangerous Woman

Written by L.M. Jackson
Review by S Garside-Neville

London, 1852. Mrs Sarah Tanner, a woman with a dubious past, opens her Dining and Coffee Rooms in Leather Lane. On witnessing the brutal murder of an old friend by a policeman, she decides to find out why it happened and what she can do about it. On the way, she acquires two helpers: aged Ralph Grundy, and young Norah Smallwood, who meets the murderous copper and has to be rescued by Sarah. Between them, with Sarah very much the brains of the operation, they solve the mystery, but not before encountering London low life and much danger.

Jackson has a meticulous knowledge of Victorian life, which pervades the story seamlessly. Slowly, details about Sarah’s previous life leak out, which all helps keep the reader intrigued. This is the first in the Victorian Lady Detective series, so doubtless more aspects of Sarah’s story will be revealed. The story has everything: a rich heiress, dastardly criminals, a mysterious lead character and deep, dark action. An absorbing read.