Review: Death and the Harlot or where I try a series backward!

Hello lovely people! How are you? I can’t believe that January is gone but it seems like it! This month flew by and, to be honest, was quite a full month! I hope February would be a little slower! Anyway, I am not here to chat about the time, but I have a new review for you, so let’s dig in!

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Title: Death and the Harlot
Series: Lizzie Hardwicke #1
Author: Georgina Clarke
Pages count: 296

A gripping historical crime debut from an exciting new voice.
‘It’s strange, the way fortune deals her hand.’
The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive.
Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult. Desperate to be rid of him and prove her innocence Lizzie turns amateur detective, determined to find the true killer, whatever the cost.
Yet as the body count rises Lizzie realises that, just like her, everyone has a secret they will do almost anything to keep buried…

I came to this series backward, because I requested the second book on NetGalley without knowing it was a second in a series. But I am not an easily scared bookworm and I tried it anyway. And you know what? I loved it! And you can read it as a standalone (obviously I don’t recommend it because well, double the books double the fun! But it can be read as a standalone without problems) if you want, so that turned out great and I enjoyed the reading. A lot. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to take a step back and read the first one too but, me being me (non-existent attention span and easily distracted by all the books that I want to read… Because It is a truth universally acknowledged that we always have so many books and so little time) I have taken my sweet time with it. But I managed it and now I am here to tell you all that you just have to read this series! Go and read it, you can thank me later.

There are a ton of good points in this book, but the best thing is Lizzie. She’s an amazing character and an amazing young woman. She is strong-willed and determinate, she is a no-nonsense girl with a solid grip on her reality but she has not been made bitter by it. And she has such a big heart. She cares for the other, she really did and you can see it plain as day. She may not be your usual kick-ass heroine but she is a kick-ass woman in her own right. And she is witty and smart. I am feeling like I am not doing her justice but I assure you I am trying because she is the best!
And then we have Davenport. I like him too, even if sometimes I felt the need to scoff him on the head (just a little bit) because he can be so harsh with Lizzie. And how dare you??? To be fair, he has his reasons and he is not cruel or mean. At all. But sometimes a little scoff would do wonders (and he totally deserves it! Ah!). But I have to say that he has his merits too, even if he seems harder in some ways, and with a more cynical look on life, he cares too and he has a good heart. And he is smart. And secure in his own ways, because he let a harlot help him out with the investigations, and it’s not a common thing (yes, some can use harlots and beggars and others to obtains information but he let her help in a more complete way).
I think that those two together are fantastic! And yes, I am shipping them like crazy, but I am also speaking about their “working” relationship. They really are a great pair.

We have also some secondary characters that are well done. Every one of them has his own peculiarities and they aren’t just wallpaper or bi-dimensional figures, they are real to you. And this is a thing that I appreciate a lot.
But we have more because we have great characters, yes, but we have an interesting setting: the author is so good that makes London, the London of Lizzie and Davenport, come alive before your eyes. And there is the story too. We have a mystery to solve and some murders, so we follow the pair in their investigations, and every thing they discovered seems to add new questions and no answers at all. I was captivated by this reading and I couldn’t put the book down!

I have to say that I had some mixed feeling toward this book, before starting it, because I loved the second one and so I was really curious about the previous story (and yes, I was dying to meet again Lizzie!) but I didn’t want to keep great expectations because this was the debut of the author and, sometimes, debuts tend to be not so mature or so complete. But I was fearing for nothing because this book was way better than what I was expecting! I enjoyed every moment with it and I was so enthralled by the story that I simply couldn’t put it down.
Now all I have to do is sit here, waiting for the third book in this great series!

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What about you? Did you know this series? Or do you like this genre and have other titles to recommends to me while I wait for the next book? Let me know!

Happy reading!
S.

 

14 thoughts on “Review: Death and the Harlot or where I try a series backward!

  1. Pingback: January Wrap-up!

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