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Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders

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Limehouse, 1880: Dancing girls are going missing from 'Paradise' - the criminal manor with ruthless efficiency by the ferocious Lady Ginger. Seventeen-year-old music hall seamstress Kitty Peck finds herself reluctantly drawn into a web of blackmail, depravity and murder when The Lady devises a singular scheme to discover the truth. But as Kitty's scandalous and terrifying Limehouse, 1880: Dancing girls are going missing from 'Paradise' - the criminal manor with ruthless efficiency by the ferocious Lady Ginger. Seventeen-year-old music hall seamstress Kitty Peck finds herself reluctantly drawn into a web of blackmail, depravity and murder when The Lady devises a singular scheme to discover the truth. But as Kitty's scandalous and terrifying act becomes the talk of London, she finds herself facing someone even more deadly and horrifying than The Lady. Bold, impetuous and blessed with more brains than she cares to admit, it soon becomes apparent that it's up to the unlikely team of Kitty and her stagehand friend, Lucca, to unravel the truth and ensure that more girls do not meet with a similar fate. But are Kitty's courage and common sense and Lucca's book learning a match for the monster in the shadows? Their investigations take them from the gin-fuelled halls and doss houses of the East End to the champagne-fuelled galleries of the West End. Take nothing at face value: Kitty is about to step out on a path of discovery that changes everything . . .


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Limehouse, 1880: Dancing girls are going missing from 'Paradise' - the criminal manor with ruthless efficiency by the ferocious Lady Ginger. Seventeen-year-old music hall seamstress Kitty Peck finds herself reluctantly drawn into a web of blackmail, depravity and murder when The Lady devises a singular scheme to discover the truth. But as Kitty's scandalous and terrifying Limehouse, 1880: Dancing girls are going missing from 'Paradise' - the criminal manor with ruthless efficiency by the ferocious Lady Ginger. Seventeen-year-old music hall seamstress Kitty Peck finds herself reluctantly drawn into a web of blackmail, depravity and murder when The Lady devises a singular scheme to discover the truth. But as Kitty's scandalous and terrifying act becomes the talk of London, she finds herself facing someone even more deadly and horrifying than The Lady. Bold, impetuous and blessed with more brains than she cares to admit, it soon becomes apparent that it's up to the unlikely team of Kitty and her stagehand friend, Lucca, to unravel the truth and ensure that more girls do not meet with a similar fate. But are Kitty's courage and common sense and Lucca's book learning a match for the monster in the shadows? Their investigations take them from the gin-fuelled halls and doss houses of the East End to the champagne-fuelled galleries of the West End. Take nothing at face value: Kitty is about to step out on a path of discovery that changes everything . . .

30 review for Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders

  1. 5 out of 5

    F.R.

    Well, cor blimey – ain’t that a turn up! When I were a lad back in Bermondsey, I used to go up Limehouse n’ take a gander at Kitty Peck, the so-called ‘Limehouse Linnet’. She was hung high in a cage night after night in the old music halls, pirouetting on a swing all while wearing a little slip of an outfit. Right fancy piece she was, with a figure on display that would make yer ole ma blush. And she used to sing this song – well, that would make yer ole ma blush and send yer gran straight to ap Well, cor blimey – ain’t that a turn up! When I were a lad back in Bermondsey, I used to go up Limehouse n’ take a gander at Kitty Peck, the so-called ‘Limehouse Linnet’. She was hung high in a cage night after night in the old music halls, pirouetting on a swing all while wearing a little slip of an outfit. Right fancy piece she was, with a figure on display that would make yer ole ma blush. And she used to sing this song – well, that would make yer ole ma blush and send yer gran straight to apoplexy. She really were the talk of the town, with the proper newspapers and the fancy nobs all giving their time to her. But it turns out that when she was up there on that swing, showing her stuff, she was actually investigating the disappearance of a load of girls who’d vanished from around the halls. Blackmail it was for poor Kitty. The old cow who ran the halls blackmailed with threats of what happened to Kitty’s brother. Poor thing, I do ‘ate to see a girl taken advantage of, ‘specially when they’re as fancy as Kitty were! This here then is Kitty’s story, written by her, telling us just what it were like when she was the star of the stage and at the same time on a murderer’s trail – and right entertaining it is too! She and her scar-faced itie friend, Lucca, hunting down some dirty old fiend who were carving his way through these pretty young things – much like old Jack did a few years later, though with a bit more finesse than our Jack had, even down to the kind of notes he sent. It’s your proper tale of peril, with loadsa right dangerous situations that’d make even the most doddery old codger’s heart beat faster. If I’m honest, I guessed who bleedin’ did it way before Kitty did – which made me feel; like a smart ‘un actually. But then since I learned how to read, I’ve read a lot of this kinda penny dreadful type tale n' I can tell you that though this ain’t the best one you’ll ever pick up, it’s distinctive – to use a three guinea word – and properly gripping.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    3.5 An original slant on a Victorian crime mystery with a unique trapeze artist heroine. Victorian life around Limehouse is very well portrayed particularly through the music halls. I loved Lady Ginger as one of the villains and also her Chinese minions and the opium trade.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    I enjoyed this book very much. Excellent descriptions of old London, nicely paced action and an entertaining and strong heroine. Must admit to slight confusion from time to time when the author backtracked in time within the same chapter. I had to backtrack myself and reread a few paragraphs to sort things out. I also had to read the end twice to decide what had happened. But maybe that was just me. This is the author's first book and I look forward to more. I enjoyed this book very much. Excellent descriptions of old London, nicely paced action and an entertaining and strong heroine. Must admit to slight confusion from time to time when the author backtracked in time within the same chapter. I had to backtrack myself and reread a few paragraphs to sort things out. I also had to read the end twice to decide what had happened. But maybe that was just me. This is the author's first book and I look forward to more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    K.E. Coles

    This was a real treat to read. Loved the seedy atmosphere, the shabby world of London music halls. The writing is fab, the story entertaining and absorbing, the characters real and well-rounded. Kitty Peck is immensely likeable, as is her friend, the lovely Lucca, but there are some truly dodgy characters here too - from Lady Ginger, opium-smoking recluse who runs the 'Paradise' empire from her lair, to Fitzy, the abusive manager of The Gaudy. All memorable, believable characters. Kitty's beloved This was a real treat to read. Loved the seedy atmosphere, the shabby world of London music halls. The writing is fab, the story entertaining and absorbing, the characters real and well-rounded. Kitty Peck is immensely likeable, as is her friend, the lovely Lucca, but there are some truly dodgy characters here too - from Lady Ginger, opium-smoking recluse who runs the 'Paradise' empire from her lair, to Fitzy, the abusive manager of The Gaudy. All memorable, believable characters. Kitty's beloved brother, Joey, has been missing for two years and is presumed dead, but Lady Ginger seems to know otherwise. All Kitty has to do to see him again, is to find out what has happened to four music halls girls who have mysteriously vanished. From that beginning, it's a non-stop adventure. Great fun. I know I give a lot of five star reviews, but that's because, if I'm not enjoying a book I simply stop reading it and move on - life's too short and all that. Will definitely be reading more about Kitty and her world :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marguerite Kaye

    I loved this so much, I just want to shout go and read it!!!! I so wish I could have written it. It's funny, original, gutsy. It twists and turns and takes you down some very sordid back alleys of London. It's a genuine old-fashioned whodunit with a genuinely unique (as far as my reading goes anyway) detective who is a trapeze artiste. It combines lots of Victorian pastiche such as opium smoking and mysterious Chinamen, with some truly fabulously atmospheric writing that brings the slums of Vict I loved this so much, I just want to shout go and read it!!!! I so wish I could have written it. It's funny, original, gutsy. It twists and turns and takes you down some very sordid back alleys of London. It's a genuine old-fashioned whodunit with a genuinely unique (as far as my reading goes anyway) detective who is a trapeze artiste. It combines lots of Victorian pastiche such as opium smoking and mysterious Chinamen, with some truly fabulously atmospheric writing that brings the slums of Victorian London alive in a way that makes them not Dickensianly menacing but intriguing. You know it's an awful place, but you want to go there and see for yourself. Okay, so there are elements of the plot that stretch the imagination a bit, but it's gothic, you expect that. Did I say I loved this book? Historical readers, crime readers, people who like shades of light and dark combined with the macabre of the music hall and the wit too, this is for you. And for everyone else. I'm gushing, but this book deserves it. Go and read it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chris Eley

    Gripping story, relentless, edge of the seat stuff, some great Gothic characters and the dark side of London in the 19th century.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Faichney

    The four books in the series (so far) were 99p in ebook on Christmas Day so I bought them all. Falling asleep on the couch in the evening but unwilling to stop reading, I then purchased the audio version of the first two books. Will the other books be recorded? I do hope so as the narration, courtesy of Nicole Davis, gives the perfect voice to Kitty. Though I digress… Kate Griffin has created a superb series and a loveable heroine in Kitty Peck. The books are incredibly evocative of Victorian Lo The four books in the series (so far) were 99p in ebook on Christmas Day so I bought them all. Falling asleep on the couch in the evening but unwilling to stop reading, I then purchased the audio version of the first two books. Will the other books be recorded? I do hope so as the narration, courtesy of Nicole Davis, gives the perfect voice to Kitty. Though I digress… Kate Griffin has created a superb series and a loveable heroine in Kitty Peck. The books are incredibly evocative of Victorian London, music hall life and the seedy underworld within the city. This first book in the series was exactly what I needed and I'm delighted with my Christmas gifts to myself. Really looking forward to more Kitty Peck. 

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    And, if you are like: I kinda want Sally Lockhart but I would prefer a more interesting guy sidekick (maybe a gay Italian with a half-scarred face) and more cross-dressing and opium addiction then you will love Kitty Peck. I read The Music Hall Murders and the Child of Ill-Fortune back to back last week. I had trouble putting them down. [note: these books are super inexpensive on kindle] You guys all know I love Victoriana and surprising poems and the dark, creaky shadow-drenched streets of Londo And, if you are like: I kinda want Sally Lockhart but I would prefer a more interesting guy sidekick (maybe a gay Italian with a half-scarred face) and more cross-dressing and opium addiction then you will love Kitty Peck. I read The Music Hall Murders and the Child of Ill-Fortune back to back last week. I had trouble putting them down. [note: these books are super inexpensive on kindle] You guys all know I love Victoriana and surprising poems and the dark, creaky shadow-drenched streets of London illuminated with surprising prose. Kate Griffin pulled me in immediately. “She was dressed in a black embroidered gown that gaped wide at the neck revealing a throat that was strung like a broken violin.” Really vivid imagery, a perfect Cockney-vernacular which sets brilliantly well in the first person narrative. Kitty is at times infuriating and vulnerable, strong and sly. A different kind of lady detective in stories that defy genre. “Lady Ginger’s words were like something noxious coughed up by a pampered cat. One minute it’s purring and curled up neat on your lap, next it’s hawking out a half-digested rat head.” “he coated my name with a greasy slick of insolence” And as much as I love Kitty, I love Lucca! Smart, cultured Lucca who maintains pride and vanity despite the treacherous accident that marred half of his beautiful face. I love how a few Italian words and phrases erupt now and then. “I’d seen the truth of that picture, but Lucca, now , it was like he could feel it all—every lash, every cut, every chain.” It’s a very vivid and visceral and gritty world with dark motivations and the basest of human depravity.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Yuckamashe

    I just finished this book and I feel like I need to take a shower! I can smell the opium and feel the filth of old school London. It is a mystery which is dark and creepy as I like them. The lead is a young girl and she is surrounded by shady ass motherfuckers. I could really feel the despair and fear. The characters are well developed and the twists and turns are endless. It gets damn right nasty! Read it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eibhilin

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I actually read books two, three and four in this series first, ( as they were available at my local library, and this one wasn’t), so I was reading this knowing what came next, and this filled in some of the gaps in the characters’ back stories, primarily Lucca’s, ( who was probably my favourite character in the series). It also made me want to re-read some of the other books as the back story for Lucca here makes some of the comments in Italian in later books make more sense. This is a great s I actually read books two, three and four in this series first, ( as they were available at my local library, and this one wasn’t), so I was reading this knowing what came next, and this filled in some of the gaps in the characters’ back stories, primarily Lucca’s, ( who was probably my favourite character in the series). It also made me want to re-read some of the other books as the back story for Lucca here makes some of the comments in Italian in later books make more sense. This is a great start to the series: Kitty Peck is a likeable, engaging and realistic narrator with both flaws and good qualities, and this book had the basis of her friendship with Lucca, which was really nice to read about. The part where they established the basis of their friendship as being one of trust and not keeping secrets was well done and realistic: you get the sense that Kitty knows that she needed someone to keep her on the straight and narrow, and to be her moral compass, and Lucca was that person. The change from her wondering about Lucca as a possible love interest to her realising that he’s interested in men was well done: she didn’t come across as too naïve, just young, and you also got the sense that Lucca maybe knew what she was wondering but just didn’t respond to it. The description of Lucca’s studio, and the art in it, especially the portraits of Giacommo, was beautiful: the setting of the novel is gritty and pretty dark, but the descriptions of the scenery and art really shine in contrast. It’s also interesting to see Kitty’s instinctive reaction to the art, as opposed to Lucca’s more knowledgeable but also very artistic reaction to the art. The description of the setting, the historical details and the way of speaking by the characters is very well done, and seems very well researched. It really draws you in, and it’s easy to imagine being there in the story. It’s also a series which would make an excellent TV series if well made, ( such as the Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell TV series), as the characters are very well written. The characters are established well, and the novel is well paced too. The third book was a little overlong in parts, but I would say that this book was just the right length, with a well executed finale and an ending which sets up book two. The plot about the murders, and the reveal as to who and why for that, was very well done. I’m interested in art, so it appealed to me, but the mysterious artist, the way that Lucca is both appalled at the cruelty while being dazzled by the artistic skill, and the painting with the missing girls in it were all very well done: creepy, with a slow sense of menace, and a genuinely satisfying ending when the murderer is brought to justice. I would say that this is one of the strongest books in the series, along with books two and four, and it’s an excellent start to the series. Ten out of ten!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Allie Riley

    Review to follow.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    See the locations and author inspiration here -Kitty Peck Dust off your feather boas and let's get dancing! I swear this is how this book makes you feel. It's set in a music hall theatre and it's a very clever, original novel - I just loved it. A detective who is a trapeze artist, a cast of characters who just dance off the page as well as the stage and as you open the book the music starts playing - it’s like one of those musical cards I swear and the applause, music and rowdy crowds only stop wh See the locations and author inspiration here -Kitty Peck Dust off your feather boas and let's get dancing! I swear this is how this book makes you feel. It's set in a music hall theatre and it's a very clever, original novel - I just loved it. A detective who is a trapeze artist, a cast of characters who just dance off the page as well as the stage and as you open the book the music starts playing - it’s like one of those musical cards I swear and the applause, music and rowdy crowds only stop when that cover is closed. But then they linger in your head for ages after. I love this period and have never read such a clever and original book before set in this period. It was warm, witty and clouded with opium smoke that I felt giddy at the end or was that just pure excitement! It more than brings Victorian London to life, it plays out on the stage of your imagination and is great fun whilst also being quite gutsy and insightful into what London and its theatre world might have been like then. It was inspired on the very real Wilton’s Music Hall and it just brings a unique angle on its place in history. Kitty Peck is such a good character - gutsy and one of the best female heroines I have had the pleasure of meeting. Read this and then visit Wilton’s Music Hall as it’s that evocative you’ll think you’ve been there before!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dallass

    This was a little grittier than I'd expected, and it contained some truly awful characters, but I sped through it and was intrigued enough that I'll be picking up the second book just to see what happens after the twist at the end of the Music Hall Murders. Kitty is a bright, talented young lady (17ish), and her determination to locate her brother is admirable, yet fraught with dangers - and not just from the suspects! Lady Ginger is amazingly cold-hearted, disgusting with her black teeth, lips, This was a little grittier than I'd expected, and it contained some truly awful characters, but I sped through it and was intrigued enough that I'll be picking up the second book just to see what happens after the twist at the end of the Music Hall Murders. Kitty is a bright, talented young lady (17ish), and her determination to locate her brother is admirable, yet fraught with dangers - and not just from the suspects! Lady Ginger is amazingly cold-hearted, disgusting with her black teeth, lips, gums, etc. God knows what she's smoking/chewing, but it is vile. Her revelations to Kitty at the end are worth the read if only to find out what she said. Secondary characters are interesting/nasty - whatever they need to be for the story to move forward - and I enjoyed most of them. 3½★

  14. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    A good read. I liked the characters and the setting. Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Cresswell

    Gripped from start to end. Loved the dark sticky description of old London and became completely immersed in the characters and their stories. Really enjoyed the feisty and strong willed female protagonist too. She lived so vividly in mind after finishing the book. Perhaps my only critique is that I was left wanting more and not sure if she will write more!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    It reads like an authors first book....but that doesn't stop it from being a great read. Sometimes there was too much detail I found myself rereading paragraphs but the plot was very different from other books set in the late 1800s and I really appreciated it! AND I just found out there is a second to this series! I'm excited! It reads like an authors first book....but that doesn't stop it from being a great read. Sometimes there was too much detail I found myself rereading paragraphs but the plot was very different from other books set in the late 1800s and I really appreciated it! AND I just found out there is a second to this series! I'm excited!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Boo

    Amazing book. Nice to have a book that deals with genuine problems with a good plot and great characters. Cannot wait for the next one to occur. FOR FANS OF: Victorian crime dramas with amazing female heroines. What Next: The Sally Lockhart Mysteries

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Morgan

    fantastic debut novel. Looking forward to the sequel already

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    This book was quite a weird one for me. I liked it but then again I didn’t. I’m usually all about historical fiction set in the late Victorian years and I love Music Hall and its history so I bought “Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders” on a whim because the blurb sounded really promising. The book did deliver but only just so. It left a lot to be desired in my opinion and I feel kind of unsure about it. I never understood people saying they really wanted to like a book but then didn’t but now This book was quite a weird one for me. I liked it but then again I didn’t. I’m usually all about historical fiction set in the late Victorian years and I love Music Hall and its history so I bought “Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders” on a whim because the blurb sounded really promising. The book did deliver but only just so. It left a lot to be desired in my opinion and I feel kind of unsure about it. I never understood people saying they really wanted to like a book but then didn’t but now I do. This book left me with exactly that kind of feeling. I wanted to love it because I should have loved it but I didn’t. THE LIMEHOUSE LINNET & A SOMEWHAT TAME UNDERWORLD Kitty Peck is a seventeen year old seamstress from London’s poor East End, working at the Paradise, one of the music halls owned by powerful Lady Ginger. Kitty’s beloved brother has disappeared and Lady Ginger offers Kitty to give him back to her if she manages to find out why Lady Ginger’s dancers keep disappearing from the music halls. Kitty was a great heroine and I really liked her first person narrative. There is a lot of Cockney which I really liked because Kitty is a poor girl from London’s East End so that’s how she talks. It is never over the top though. Griffin’s writing style gives you a nice idea of how Kitty talking would sound without losing its lilting, flowery Victorian quality. It felt authentic to me. The setting is easily the best thing about “Music Hall Murders”. I read somewhere that Griffin’s descriptions of London’s East End are based on stories about Victorian Limehouse she heard from her grandmother. Griffin’s 1880s London is really authentic and colourful filled to the brim with interesting characters. The late Victorian era is my favourite historical period and “Music Hall Murders” managed to take me there like not many novels have before. Kitty’s working at the music hall, first as a seamstress and later as an aerialist singing innuendo filled ditties just felt really authentic and made me feel like I was actually there to witness Kitty as the Limehouse Linnet, as her act is called, in action. Kate Griffin is a great historical author. She has a knack for authentic Victorian voices and settings, she transports you back in time and that’s seriously fun. But the plot itself is kind of lacklustre. Kitty wants her brother back so she sets out to find out who is taking Lady Ginger’s dancers. I found the conclusion to the mystery somewhat generic and I wasn’t sold. It felt very Dickensian to me but not in a good way. Everything about the conclusion was a bit over the top, a bit unlikely and too pompous. It did remind me of actual Victorian gothic mysteries but it didn’t fit the rest of the novel. I would have preferred a more subtle, clever conclusion so it left me quite disappointed even though the big showdown was a suspense-filled hell of a ride. Kate Griffin is a good writer but I felt like she wanted too much: An authentic look at 1880s Limehouse, a Victorian mystery, some horrifying gothic villain… the pieces didn’t fit together in the end. I found myself wishing the book was more daring a lot too. There are many references to sex and prostitution, orgies and vices but it was all very tame. This book is about the Victorian underworld and I wish Griffin would have actually shown what that means. It’s there but the novel never really goes into much depth to explain what this dark side of Victorian London actually is, why it exists and what happens there. The curtain never lifts fully and it felt like Kitty was only skimming along the surface and never really saw the true depravity of what was going on around her. Lady Ginger is evil and some girls Kitty knows sell their bodies and some things happen in the dark but it’s all very vague, like the author wanted to write about the underworld of Victorian London but then didn’t dare to really show all of it. TROPES, PROBLEMS & VICTORIAN VICES Apart from that I had some other problems with “Music Hall Murders” that left me feeling slightly sick to my stomach. For instance there is a date rape scene that was presented in a way I really didn’t like. The victim kind of blames herself for falling for the guy and then gets over the incident really quickly which I thought was trivialising coercion and date rape a lot. This is set in Victorian London and sentiments back then were different but the Victorians did not condone rape and this book was written by a modern author for a modern audience and I feel like brushing a scene like this off as some kind of small nuisance is careless. Kitty also kept judging the girls around the theatres for being promiscuous and prostitutes. One of the girls that go missing is last seen engaging in a sexual act with a patron in a theatre booth. Again: This is set in Victorian London and women staying pure and untouched until they were married was a big deal to the Victorians but this is a modern historical novel and slut shaming isn’t cool. It also felt weirdly out of character for Kitty who grew up in poverty and has worked in theatre for most of her life. I’m pretty sure a girl from the lowest class of English society wouldn’t judge other poor girls for selling their bodies to be able to eat. It made Kitty come off as holier than thou and a bit of a hypocrite since she isn’t above flirting with men to keep them entertained and paying either. There also was a typical tragic gay subplot I kind of detested. I’m not going to spoil the book for you so I’m going to be a bit vague about this, I hope I can explain what bothered me without going into too much detail. This book does was many historical novels do and equates Victorian homosexuality with eccentric orgies and tragedy. People die, people get hurt, gay people just can’t ever have happy endings. Whilst hedonistic gay orgies like the one described in the book were a big part of queer Victorian culture and I love seeing them included in historical fiction, I kind of hate when they’re the only thing about queer Victorian culture that’s mentioned. It has a bit of leering, sexualising vibe to it, I think, showing gay men having drunk group sex but never showing them be happy and wholesome. I’m pretty sure Griffin didn’t mean to play into these stereotypes since her gay character is actually quite decent and I liked him a lot but he is a miserable sap with a tragic backstory. I’m hoping book two will treat the poor boy better because I’m rooting for him and I do think I need to give Griffin credit for even including gay characters at all, which is really rare in historical fiction. It’s not like she does a horrible job of it either, nothing about “Music Hall Murders” is homophobic or anything. It just plays into the same old sad tropes that LGBTQ people don’t want to read about anymore. But there is a sequel and there’s a chance for the Kitty Peck series to rise above them still. In the end I did enjoy “Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders”. It’s a great addition to the Victorian mystery genre with a lovely heroine and some astonishing lively historical detail that will sweep you right back in time. But I found the plot lacking and there were some things I think could have been done better and should have been handled a bit more carefully. Overall “Music Hall Murders” is a neat historical mystery but it isn’t as daring as I wished it would be and its conclusion is loud but somehow hollow. I liked it but then again I didn’t. I’m on the fence about this book and the more I think about it the less I’m sure what to think about “Music Hall Murders”. I’m still looking forward to the sequel “Kitty Peck and the Child of Ill Fortune” because I’m hoping it will fix the drawbacks “Music Hall Murders” had.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Astrid

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I bought this book in 2015, shortly after we had moved to England, but I only read to page 90 and then put it aside because it annoyed me so much. The book gets exciting around page 120, so I didn't have far to go. I also bought it in the hope of a lesbian love story, but there isn't one, which is also one of the reasons why I stopped reading it in 2015. First of all, the book really is quite annoying sometimes, mostly when it comes to describing one of its characters, Lucca. He was in an acciden I bought this book in 2015, shortly after we had moved to England, but I only read to page 90 and then put it aside because it annoyed me so much. The book gets exciting around page 120, so I didn't have far to go. I also bought it in the hope of a lesbian love story, but there isn't one, which is also one of the reasons why I stopped reading it in 2015. First of all, the book really is quite annoying sometimes, mostly when it comes to describing one of its characters, Lucca. He was in an accident where half his face was badly burned and the book never tires of mentioning that he must have been handsome once, but now he's disfigured and ugly. This gets boring after a while and is also really mean towards Lucca because he's one of the good guys. The book is set in 1880 in a music hall (but I kept calling it the "Musical Murders"). I think it tries to show a gritty version of late 19th century London, far away from the world of Sherlock Holmes, for example. However, the book is overdoing it, especially when it comes to how women are treated. Women are beaten, raped, drugged and then raped, tortured, and killed every couple of pages, which makes the story unbearable to read sometimes. At the centre of the story is a painting, which shows six tortured, abused, and raped dead girls and there is a mystery surrounding the question of who painted it. Kitty, the heroine, tries to solve this mystery to get her brother back, and her journey is suspenseful and thrilling some of the time, if it weren't for the constant violence against women. She is even drugged and raped by an admirer once and then shamed for it. However, the book isn't all bad. Lucca, who should be the real hero, is a gay man and Kitty also learns that her brother is gay in the course of the story. She is shocked at first, but mostly because no one told her about it. She has no trouble accepting Lucca's sexual orientation, but she's never reunited with her brother, so we don't know how she would react to him. All in all, the book tells a mystery crime story which is quite exciting, but I would only recommend reading it if you aren't bothered too much by violence against women. Having finished reading it now, I probably wouldn't read it again or recommend it to anyone, and I also won't bother with the second or third part.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    Set in London in 1880, Kitty Peck is a seamstress making garments for the entertainers working in Paradise, Lady Ginger’s empire of music halls. Something isn’t right, several of the lady’s dancing girls have gone missing without trace, and when yet another girl vanishes without an explanation, Lady Ginger forms a plan. Kitty is going to perform, high up in a birdcage suspended from the ceiling, and her daring act will make people flock to the music halls to see. Whilst she is up in her birdcage Set in London in 1880, Kitty Peck is a seamstress making garments for the entertainers working in Paradise, Lady Ginger’s empire of music halls. Something isn’t right, several of the lady’s dancing girls have gone missing without trace, and when yet another girl vanishes without an explanation, Lady Ginger forms a plan. Kitty is going to perform, high up in a birdcage suspended from the ceiling, and her daring act will make people flock to the music halls to see. Whilst she is up in her birdcage, she’s instructed to lookout for suspicious persons and activities. Having said she won’t do it because of the danger, Lady Ginger informs her that her supposedly dead brother Joey is actually alive, and if Kitty wants to see him again she must cooperate with the Lady’s wishes. Not only is Kitty the lookout, but she’s the bait too. On their day off, Kitty and her Italian friend Luca head over to one of London’s art galleries to see a anonymously painted new piece of astounding art. When they get there, the piece shows young women in compromising positions, having been tortured and killed. Kitty very quickly notices that the girls in the painting are familiar. They are the missing girls from Paradise. She and Luca must find out who the artist is if she is ever to see her brother again, or to find out what has happened to her missing friends. Kitty is such a strong leading lady, and so so likeable. Her friend and sidekick Luca is an extremely likeable character too. Lady Ginger is very odd, and actually quite sinister. She employs an enforcer to manage her halls, Fitzy, and he is a violent brute. The cast of characters is good, they’re all fully formed people. The story kept me guessing. I kept thinking I knew who the kidnapper was, then changing my mind. And I’d never have guessed how it would end. I really did enjoy this book, and hope to read more of Kate Griffin’s work.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ebookowl

    Kitty Peck is a 17-year-old seamstress from London's East End, working at the Paradise, one of the music halls owned by the powerful Lady Ginger. Kitty's brother, Joseph, has disappeared and Lady Ginger offers to help reunite the siblings if Kitty agrees to investigate the disappearance of several of Lady Ginger's dancers. If Kitty can come up with the goods, Joseph will be returned to her. Kitty makes for a good heroine. She's thrown into the limelight as a singing aerialist known as the Limehou Kitty Peck is a 17-year-old seamstress from London's East End, working at the Paradise, one of the music halls owned by the powerful Lady Ginger. Kitty's brother, Joseph, has disappeared and Lady Ginger offers to help reunite the siblings if Kitty agrees to investigate the disappearance of several of Lady Ginger's dancers. If Kitty can come up with the goods, Joseph will be returned to her. Kitty makes for a good heroine. She's thrown into the limelight as a singing aerialist known as the Limehouse Linnet to act as bait, but when people close to her go missing and attempts are made to end Kitty's life, she realises the crimes are much more sinister than she first thought. Kitty's a down-to-earth, likeable character that's easy to relate to and I enjoyed her Cockney-filled first-person narrative. The setting - a series of Victorian music halls - becomes a character in this title, too. Griffin's descriptions of London's East End are based on stories her grandmother told her about Victorian Limehouse and Griffin does a marvellous job of bringing 1880s London to life. Whilst I enjoyed this title, the conclusion to the mystery didn't seem convincing. At times I wished the author had been more bold, too. There are a number of references to the prostitution that was part-and-parcel of Victorian London but Griffin wrote of it in such a tame manner that Kitty seemed largely oblivious to the underworld taking place all around her. Overall I did enjoy Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders, though, and am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Hazlett

    I had read the second in the series prior to this opening one so thought I'd be at a disadvantage knowing some spoilers, however Griffin is such a good writer and I'm glad I've discovered her. Although she hints at this previous book there's a lot I learnt and yet you could still pick up the second book and not be lost. Very good writing. It's gritty, down to earth and again I love the use of cockney slang to empathaise Kittys location yet it'snot over-done as it was in earlier novels in Edwardi I had read the second in the series prior to this opening one so thought I'd be at a disadvantage knowing some spoilers, however Griffin is such a good writer and I'm glad I've discovered her. Although she hints at this previous book there's a lot I learnt and yet you could still pick up the second book and not be lost. Very good writing. It's gritty, down to earth and again I love the use of cockney slang to empathaise Kittys location yet it'snot over-done as it was in earlier novels in Edwardian times. I was so entranced by the mystery in the book I'd forgotten a key plot twist I'd learnt in the child of ill fortune so it was a nice suprise. Not as good as the second book but really good idea of Victorian theatre, Art and Culture in 1880. Also the class distinction is well done (unlike a Dickens novel were he drones on about a door-knob for four pages). Well worth a read and great start to the series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    London 1880 in Limehouse Street, Lady Ginger and the rest of the Barons rule the entertainment industry. Kitty Peck is the new darling of the Lady's 3 enterprises and she is desperately trying to solve several disappearances so that she can get her brother back from the clutches of the Lady and her evil henchman. A great read and I am looking forward to reading the other 3 books in the series. One plucky young lady triumphs over the ultimate evil to save her brother and several missing young wom London 1880 in Limehouse Street, Lady Ginger and the rest of the Barons rule the entertainment industry. Kitty Peck is the new darling of the Lady's 3 enterprises and she is desperately trying to solve several disappearances so that she can get her brother back from the clutches of the Lady and her evil henchman. A great read and I am looking forward to reading the other 3 books in the series. One plucky young lady triumphs over the ultimate evil to save her brother and several missing young women.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shiva Patel

    Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders is by Kate Griffin. I attended her author talk and after hearing a piece from the book was intrigued to read her first novel. It is a historical mystery set in Victorian London 1880. Kitty Peck has been persuaded to play a part in the investigation of the disappearing music girls and her boss, Lady Ginger wants information. An interesting read to the end!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Julie Goetz

    This historical fiction book set in a music hall was ok. It felt as if the author was trying for a female dark spin off from the world of Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed parts of it but the underlying theme of women being beaten, raped, drugged and then raped, tortured, and killed for art seemed over the top for me as the main theme of the story.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Kitty Peck is elevated from stagehand to center stage when Lady Ginger - the cruel mistress of Victorian London't Paradise district - requires her to solve the mystery of what is happening to the girls disappearing from her dance halls. Can Kitty save her brother - and the missing girls - before her time runs out? Kitty Peck is elevated from stagehand to center stage when Lady Ginger - the cruel mistress of Victorian London't Paradise district - requires her to solve the mystery of what is happening to the girls disappearing from her dance halls. Can Kitty save her brother - and the missing girls - before her time runs out?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I’m a big fan of victorian murder mysteries at the moment and I have binged several different series of these recently. This one however is less detective story and more orientated around Kitty herself. This was a good start however as a series it has a lot more potential, hoping the next one will be a bit better. Other than that its a nice easy read, though the ending is a little obvious.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gail Barrington

    There is only one word for this book. It's a "corker!" Lots of Victorian and Limehouse tropes but so well handled and Kitty, both fresh and delightful, made it a fun read. A surprise ending added to the entertainment. I look forward to more. There is only one word for this book. It's a "corker!" Lots of Victorian and Limehouse tropes but so well handled and Kitty, both fresh and delightful, made it a fun read. A surprise ending added to the entertainment. I look forward to more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    A different kind of book. I really liked it when I started reading but it got a bit bogged down as it "read" on. I will probably read another one. Victorian mystery....where the women are the strong ones and hold the power. Surprise ending. HOWEVER it just sort of stops. Didn't like that. A different kind of book. I really liked it when I started reading but it got a bit bogged down as it "read" on. I will probably read another one. Victorian mystery....where the women are the strong ones and hold the power. Surprise ending. HOWEVER it just sort of stops. Didn't like that.

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