Slow to start, this new series is the culmination of Ms. Armstrong's time travel stories. I have read A Stitch in Time series and that one is more "gothic" romance with a twist. This series is more on mystery rather than romance which I greatly appreciate. In a bizarre incident, detective Mallory is sent back into time. Unlike the other series, Mallory also switches into someone else's body! The horrors of going back in time show up in this story in so many applicable ways.
People think I'm crazy when I answer my favourite thing about 1st world countries is indoor plumbing. Think about it. I like having a private and relatively clean bathroom where I can do my business and flush it away. I like having hot water whenever I want. I like having to shower or take a hot bath whenever I want without having to pump and haul in water. Using and cleaning chamber pots is abhorrent. Having to heat rooms solely through wood fireplaces is a nightmare. Living is hard without my modern conveniences which Mallory learns first hand. Not only does she not have these conveniences, but she is also the maid who has to either do the cleaning, hauling, or maintenance.
This book for the first few chapters dragged for me and I thought at first maybe I made a mistake. There is a lot about how life is different in the Victorian era. Looking back, this is needed in some sense to give a good baseline. Plus it is a disorienting time for Mallory. Once the mystery starts to happen, then I'm so much more interested. This is more than just a mystery. It is also a cultural comparison of how things have changed yet others are still the same. I won't spoil it by sharing the differences.
The human aspects of this story are captivating for me. Not only is this a mystery with time travel, but Mallory takes on a role where it is much less than her life's. In addition, the person she is taking over is a horrible person, the opposite of so many of Mallory's ethics. I cannot fathom being stuck in someone else's drama and bullshit. Then having to own it and clean it up. Mallory is a survivor, that is for sure. By the end of this book, I admire her greatly and I look forward to the next book in this series.
*provided by NetGalley