Things in Jars (Hardback)Jess Kidd (author)
With her first novels, Himself and The Hoarder, Jess Kidd established a distinctive and playful gothic tone that won over a host of Waterstones’ booksellers. There’s equal enjoyment to be found in her latest offering. A Victorian mystery, generously laced with uncanny twists and sideways glances, Things in Jars follows pleasingly forthright, cross-dressing, pipe-smoking detective, Bridie Devine, on the trail of a stolen child. Moving at a lick and with surprises and vaudeville treats aplenty, it’s a treat.
London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist. As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.
Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.
Publisher: Canongate Books
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 554 g
Dimensions: 220 x 144 x 37 mm
'I loved Himself and The Hoarder but this book takes things to another level - thrilling, mysterious, twisted but more than anything, beautifully written and filled to bursting point with heart.' - Graham Norton
'Jess Kidd's stories are so magical, she should be a genre all to herself . . . Things in Jars is exquisite. Perfect storytelling.' - Joanna Cannon, author of The Trouble With Goats and Sheep
'The murky grotesqueries of Victorian London. The misfits, miscreants and monsters. The tenderness found in the most unexpected of places. I savoured every page of Things in Jars.' - Claire McGlasson
'Things in Jars drew me in from the first sentence and held me, transfixed. Utterly beguiling and original, Jess Kidd writes so beautifully that every sentence was a delight. This novel deserves to soar.' - Holly Cave, author of The Memory Chamber
'Propelled by Kidd's trademark, gleefully tongue-twisting lyrical prose, this is a high-spirited, freewheeling tale of eccentric goodies versus villainous rum 'uns.' - Daily Mail
'Kidd's writing is distinctive, her characterisation sublime and her plot - with ghostly elements - positively gripping. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.' - Sunday Post
'Kidd's effervescent novels overflow with sharp imagery. Here, she heads to London in 1863, where female detective Bridie Devine faces her most difficult case.' - iNews
'An imaginative, atmospheric and wonderfully rendered Victorian mystery . . . Bridie Devine is arguably one of Jess Kidd's best creations and that's saying a lot when you consider the casts of characters that populate her earlier works . . . Things in Jars is a beautifully written gothic tale of the unknown and the unknowable . . . Simply marvellous.' - NB
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I must say that 2019 will be the year of gothic literature. I’ve read so many wonderful books since January and this one particularly stands out.
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I don’t know why it took me so long to discover this author, but I’m so glad that I did. There is much to admire.
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“Gothically delicious novel set in 1800s London”
I love this book! There, a review in four words. But I am compelled to say so much more. You can’t help gushing when a book comes out that you love can you? I miss Bridie already.
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