Friday, 26 February 2010

Review:- Ann GRANGER – “A Rare Interest in Corpses”

Year Published: - 2006
Where the book was from:- Pensby Library
ISBN: - 0 7553 2042 5
Pages: - 310pp
Genre: - Historical Crime
Location:- Victorian London
How I came across it: - Serendipity
Rating: - ***** *****
One sentence summary:- A Rare Interest in Corpses is the first in a series of Victorian crime novels by established author Ann. Granger.

Also published as ‘The Companion’

Describe the plot without giving anything away:-
It is 1864 when Lizzie Martin from Derbyshire takes up the post of companion to a wealthy London woman – the widow of her godfather. Lizzie is intrigued to learn that her predecessor as companion disappeared, supposedly having run off with an unknown man. But the girl's body is found in the rubble of one of the recently demolished slums around the prestigious new railway station at St Pancras. Lizzie has re-made the acquaintance of a childhood friend, now Inspector Benjamin Ross. The pair of them go their largely separate ways to track down the person responsible.

General comments:- The atmosphere of Victorian London is brilliantly evoked on the first few pages and continues throughout the book. The plot is gripping and the various candidates for villain are paraded before the reader who would be hard pressed to identify them before the end. All in all an excellent book and i’m looking forward to the next ones in the series - 2. A Mortal Curiosity (2008) and 3. A Better Quality of Murder (2010)

“I am an old-fashioned fellow who believes that woman is the greatest ornament to her sex when she realises the boundaries nature has set for her. Perhaps your hero Darwin should have given some thought to that when he was drawing up his ideas on natural selection.” (Which just goes to show there can be villains of various sorts in a book!)

AUTHOR Notes:- Ann Granger, born 1939, held various jobs in the diplomatic service and now lives near Oxford.


  1. Great review! I'm going to try and find this one. Didn't she also write another series? Wait! I'll go look it up... yes! The Mitchell and Markby series. I think I read four in a row, and then stopped. I should pick them up again. There are lots more. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I found this at the library serendipitously myself. I love English mysteries, and this was a wonderful one. Interesting setting, engaging characters,and a good plot, although I never worry about the puzzle very much. I enjoy visiting your blog, especially when I can find the books here in the US.


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