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Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective Paperback – April 16, 2010
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About the Author
Richard Behrens is a contributor to The Hatchet: A Journal of Lizzie Borden and Victorian Studies and a founding editor of The Trenton Review. His writings on literature and science fiction have been published in The Journal of Advancing Technology and on TheModernWord.com. A native New Yorker, now living in New England, Richard is working on several more Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective mysteries.
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But then, with each successive story, Behrens sneaks in more and more astonishing tropes and ideas into his finely crafted prose that cause the book to kick at the limits of its supposed era. For instance, a professor is certain that he is going to be murdered by an alternate version of himself traveling on what is in effect a different epicycle of time that happens to be running backward. There are also spiritual mediums, retro-future gadgets and industrial settings and all of a sudden you find yourself in a very strange version of the Victorian era that only Richard Behrens could have dreamt up and pulled off so successfully. Because the initial stories are relatively tame it's only about midway that you realize you are in effect lost in some old Victorian funhouse (if such existed) that, though initially slightly worrying, you find yourself enjoying getting lost in quite a bit.
The stories are rapidly gaining a lot of fans in the odd world of the Lizzie Borden historical society circles, but without a doubt their popularity will burst out of there like Lizzie Borden barging out of the door of her famous house on one fateful morning. I gave this book 4 stars because, apparently, others are in the works and I suspect they will be even further "out", so I'm leaving room. I should also point out that this book appears safe for the 'YA' crowd, though obviously it is not directed at the YA audience per se.
I found this novel to be his best tale yet and previously enjoyed his other short stories, which use the Lizzie Borden character as well. I highly recommend this to any reader, young adult or more mature, who enjoys quality writing and original concepts.