The Edwin Drood Murders (Dickens Junction Mystery #2), Christopher Lord
Publisher: Harrison Thurman Books
Genre: Gay Fiction
Tags: Mystery/Suspense, Series, Contemporary Setting
Length: 304 Pages
Purchase At: amazon.com
Simon Alastair, a wealthy bookstore owner in Dickens Junction, is the co-chair for the latest convention honoring The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens’ final, uncompleted novel. The diehards of Charles Dickens, and those who share Simon’s theory of how The Mystery of Edwin Drood would have ended had Dickens completed it, are called Droodists and they take everything pertaining to Charles Dickens very seriously.
There is an interesting set of characters attending the convention. There is Quilby, a famous blogger who blogs some things people may not want made public. There are the twins, a brother and sister who do not get along in the best of times. There is a famous actress. There is Osma, a mother figure to Simon who wears a ring that is considered to be priceless. There is a hypnotist who has been brought in for entertainment. There is even a young man who identifies himself as Edwin Drood. There are other characters as well that play an integral part of the story as a whole.
Simon has been with Zach, a reporter, for four months. The beginning of the book starts with a slight disagreement between the two men and the reader is left wondering where that will lead. As I have not read the first book in this series, The Christmas Carol Murders I was not sure how the two had gotten together. In all honesty, I was a bit hesitant to read this book without having read that one first. I like knowing the back stories of all characters (and relationships) when I read a series. Thankfully, once I got over my initial hesitation I was able to understand that how Simon and Zach got together didn’t matter. What did was what unfolded later during the convention.
This is told in one day increments until the epilogue at the end. It starts with the first day and the introduction of characters and events that will take place and moves on to the activities of the convention with each following day. I enjoyed how that was done. A lot of characters are introduced early and I feared there would be confusion but it didn’t take long before everything started coming together. It is also told partially as blog entries by Quilby, the well-known blogger.
When a priceless artifact is stolen everyone, Simon included, are thrown into a mystery. Each person is a suspect. More items disappear and then it takes a deadly turn when a character is found murdered. I want to say I didn’t see this coming but I did unfortunately. To say more would be too telling.
So now three items have been stolen from guests and there is a murder of one of the attendees. Simon and the police know that the thief/murderer is in their midst but who could it be? The theories surrounding the last (unfinished) work of Charles Dickens is well-known and the arguments become heated between those who don’t share the same ones. The dead body is staged from a scene in one of Dickens’ stories so this also adds to the mystery.
As more clues come to light, there is another murder and it’s someone near and dear to Simon’s heart. He knows he must do everything in his power to bring the murderer to justice. With a lot of help from Zach and others, the murderer is revealed in a big way and life once again goes on in Dickens Junction.
There is much more that I could say about the story but I’m unable to. Even giving opinions of characters (which I am known to do in my reviews) would be saying much more than I should and would give something away.
I love stories that keep me guessing and The Edwin Drood Murders definitely did that. I had no idea who the murderer was until that person was revealed in a dramatic fashion. While I can’t really call this a love story, it does have a bit of romance in it with Simon and Zach and a couple of other couples as well. That, however, does not take center. The mystery does.
Overall, an excellent mystery. My only regret is that I did not read the first book before I started on this one. I am not one to ever read books in a series out of order so I feel like I missed quite a bit by not seeing what brought Simon and Zach together. I am a stickler for details and the back stories of characters so I hate I am unfamiliar with theirs. Otherwise, a very entertaining read.
Highly recommended for those who love a good mystery and for those who are into the classics. Most of us grew up hearing about Charles Dickens’ final, unfinished project so this is an interesting take on those who have strong opinions of what Dickens’ had planned for his final work.
This book was given to On Top Down Under Book Reviews in exchange for a fair and honest review.