The Streets of Babylon: A London Mystery
Renowned Swedish mystery author Euthanasia Bondeson and her companion, Agnes, travel to England to spend a season enjoying the Great Exhibition of 1851 and surrounding London. Euthanasia is not your ordinary 19th-century lady; refusing to be confined to a woman’s role in her society, she sometimes wanders the evening streets wearing men’s clothing and smoking the best of Cuban cigars. In contrast, her companion, Agnes, is rather unassuming yet beautiful with a penchant for getting lost.
At first her second disappearance within one week of their London tour is mildly troubling to Euthanasia, who diligently searches for her friend but at the same time continues to carry out her social obligations and touring schedule with some fascinating people in her new social and detective world. They include the debonair Indian swooner, Professor Devindra, who with each successive meeting has more than casual conversation in mind with Euthanasia. You’ll also meet the painter Sir Edmund, whose constant lectures on art and culture repulse our heroine and whose secrets seem to frighten his timid wife. However, it is the indomitable Inspector Evans who captures our heroine’s mind and heart as they explore the mystery of seven other rapidly disappearing, attractive, young women from the London scene and the murder of other unfortunate young ladies.
Simple but elegant jewelry, outrageously fierce statues of Eastern and Greek gods and goddesses, the terrifying streets of the more sordid sections of London, the secret behind some supposedly innocent paintings, and much more combine to mold this cleverly plotted, always thrilling mystery which remains impossible to solve until the very last pages (no sneak peeks, please)! While certain elements within the tale seem rather contrived, these parts admittedly fit well into what is a light-hearted yet captivating and enjoyable read.