The Montgomery Murder (Victorian London Murder Mysteries)

Written by Cora Harrison
Review by Ilysa Magnus

In this first in a new series targeting young adult readers, Harrison, who is very prolific, sets her story in 1858. Alfie, an orphan, and his “family” of children similarly situated, need to find money to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs in a Victorian London not at all concerned with the welfare of young urchins. Alfie, his brother Sammy (who is deaf), cousins Jack and Tom and their remarkable and faithful dog, Mutsy, rely on Alfie and his ability to “find” money to survive.

When a prominent businessman is murdered close to their digs, Alfie, always on the prowl for money-making propositions, makes a deal with the local police chief to find the murderer. He is, after all, a child of the streets and knows his way around. But when Sammy is brought to the Monmouth Street house to act as a servant and observe, things start to go wrong and it seems clear that the gang is at risk.

This should be an exciting and fun thriller for the young reader (I had fun reading it!) and Harrison knows how to tailor the events and the characters to suit her audience. Alfie and his cohorts are savvy, terrific kids with a lot more brains than their adult counterparts, and Mutsy is a great dog!