Nellie Bly goes in search of Jack the Ripper in Paris, falls in love with Jules Verne, weasels her way into Louis Pasteur’s lab, and finds a fast friend in Oscar Wilde. The Eiffel Tower is newly erected for the 1889 World’s Fair, which is in full swing, and a maniacal slasher, transplanted from London, has more destruction on his depraved mind than cutting up prostitutes: nothing less than the utter desolation of Paris by plague. Well over the top in believability, often awkwardly phrased (“What did that mad Russian anarchist leader have in mind?”), and often broken up with clumsy authorial interjections of footnotes and historical explanations, McCleary’s debut historical suspense novel still has one big thing going for it: it showcases an appealingly flesh-and-blood Nellie Bly, one of the first women to break into a man’s world as an adventurous and plucky investigative journalist. Fans of Arruda’s Jade Cameron and Bowen’s Mollie Murphy mysteries will enjoy Bly, another unflappable female sleuth. Let’s hope McCleary works out the rough spots by the next episode. --Jen Baker
"This is just the kind of book I like--atmospheric, intriguing, rife with drama. What a fabulous debut!"
--New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak
“Doing for the City of Light what Ann Perry has done for Victorian London and what The Alienist did for 19th century New York, Carol McCleary has written a gripping, atmospheric, electrifying masterwork!”
--Barbara Woods, international bestselling writer, and author of The Blessing Stone
“Feisty, funny, opinionated, persistent, Nellie Bly’s as tough as any male she meets. A tale of peril and pursuit that is sure to keep you turning pages long after you should have been asleep. Dazzling entertainment, so well constructed you'll re-read it after you’re done!”
--William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Constitution