While you do not need to read Gooseberry before you read Octopus, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of each. Clearly readers of Dickens and similar Victorian era themed mysteries must enjoy the talented prose of author Michael Gallagher. It is exceptionally well researched. The dialogue flows colorfully with amusing turns of phrase. Octopus is a scholarly murder mystery without being staid.
I believe those who enjoy television investigative series as varied as Leverage , Castle and Elementary will be delighted with this series and want to devour more. Those who appreciate an engrossing night of theatre, finding themselves lost in suspended disbelief, will find both Gooseberry and Octopus to be exciting pageturners.
This is not a simple mystery. It is a masterpiece of misdirection and layers of creative storytelling. There is depth to the characters and plot. DON"T HESITATE! Trust me. Buy the books!