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Jezebels Daughter: Classic Mystery Novel (FREE AUDIO BOOK DOWNLOAD & Annotated)

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How far is a mother prepared to go to secure her daughter's future? Madame Fontaine, widow of an eminent chemist, has both the determination and the cunning to bring young Minna's marriage plans to fruition, with dangerous consequences for anyone who dares to stand in her way. But has she met her match in Jack Straw, one-time inmate of Bedlam lunatic asylum? It will take a How far is a mother prepared to go to secure her daughter's future? Madame Fontaine, widow of an eminent chemist, has both the determination and the cunning to bring young Minna's marriage plans to fruition, with dangerous consequences for anyone who dares to stand in her way. But has she met her match in Jack Straw, one-time inmate of Bedlam lunatic asylum? It will take a visit to the morgue to find out who triumphs - and who comes out alive.


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How far is a mother prepared to go to secure her daughter's future? Madame Fontaine, widow of an eminent chemist, has both the determination and the cunning to bring young Minna's marriage plans to fruition, with dangerous consequences for anyone who dares to stand in her way. But has she met her match in Jack Straw, one-time inmate of Bedlam lunatic asylum? It will take a How far is a mother prepared to go to secure her daughter's future? Madame Fontaine, widow of an eminent chemist, has both the determination and the cunning to bring young Minna's marriage plans to fruition, with dangerous consequences for anyone who dares to stand in her way. But has she met her match in Jack Straw, one-time inmate of Bedlam lunatic asylum? It will take a visit to the morgue to find out who triumphs - and who comes out alive.

30 review for Jezebels Daughter: Classic Mystery Novel (FREE AUDIO BOOK DOWNLOAD & Annotated)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Issicratea

    Victorian “sensation fiction” is having something of a critical moment, and it’s not difficult to see why. In addition to the cheap thrills that attracted nineteenth-century readers (intricate plots, with liberal doses of sex, violence, mystery, and intrigue), sensation novels have much to recommend them. They are interesting in their genre eclecticism, mixing social realism with melodramatic and romance elements; and they seem often to use this literary no man’s land to explore aspects of Victo Victorian “sensation fiction” is having something of a critical moment, and it’s not difficult to see why. In addition to the cheap thrills that attracted nineteenth-century readers (intricate plots, with liberal doses of sex, violence, mystery, and intrigue), sensation novels have much to recommend them. They are interesting in their genre eclecticism, mixing social realism with melodramatic and romance elements; and they seem often to use this literary no man’s land to explore aspects of Victorian society that more mainstream nineteenth-century fiction was too squeamish to touch. Jezebel’s Daughter, available since 2016 in a critical edition for the first time, offers a good example of the hidden delights of sensation fiction—and also of Wilkie Collins’s voluminous back catalogue. The novel had an interesting genesis. Collins wrote it first as a play, The Red Vial, performed in 1858, and apparently an abysmal failure. This dispiriting experience must have lurked around unresolved in Collins’s psyche, as he reworked the narrative twenty-two years later in 1880, adapting it to novelistic form. You can see why when you read it. It’s a cracking story, and it’s thematically interesting and innovative for its time. As ever, with Collins, the female characters are outstanding: not so much the title character, the lovely Minna, who is slightly insipid, as the two wonderfully drawn and contrasted middle-aged widows who dominate the narrative. In the blue corner, we have the English Mrs Wagner, aunt of the narrator, David Glenney: an enormously attractive figure, I felt—a progressive, like her husband, championing the causes of women’s employment and the reform of the treatment of “lunatics,” and feisty enough to face up to the eye-rolling that greets her whenever she speaks of her plans. In the red corner, we have the sinuous and fascinating “Jezebel” herself, Madame Fontaine, wife and heir of a German-based French academic scientist with a side-interest in recreating the poisons used by the Borgias, while guiltily concocting antidotes to them as he goes along. Another interesting Collinesque feature of the novel is the presence of a disabled protagonist: after the physically disabled Miserrimus Dexter of The Law and the Lady, and the blind characters in The Dead Secret and Poor Miss Finch, we find here a mentally disturbed ex-Bedlam patient, known as Jack Straw, whom Mrs Wagner rescues and attempts to redeem through “care in the community,” as it is now called in modern Britain. I found Jack’s ’umble gratitude and devotion to his patroness rather grating, and I don’t think he works nearly as well as most of Collins’s “outsider” characters. This was one of the reasons why I'd judge this novel as three and a half stars, rather than four, if the Goodreads grading system permitted that nuance. Still, all in all, a worthwhile and interesting read, and narrated with Collins’s incomparable zest and zip.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Veronique

    I've been meaning to read more from Wilkie Collins, having loved his two most famous novels. Jezebel's Daughter only came to my notice when it was published by Oxford Press last year. Once more, we are offered a sensational tale featuring a fascinating 'baddie' in the character of Madame Fontaine, and as always the author portays her with redeeming features and with motivations that make sense. Opposing this mistress of poisons, we have the righteous Mrs. Wagner, fighting to carry on her late hu I've been meaning to read more from Wilkie Collins, having loved his two most famous novels. Jezebel's Daughter only came to my notice when it was published by Oxford Press last year. Once more, we are offered a sensational tale featuring a fascinating 'baddie' in the character of Madame Fontaine, and as always the author portays her with redeeming features and with motivations that make sense. Opposing this mistress of poisons, we have the righteous Mrs. Wagner, fighting to carry on her late husbands ideology, cutting a place in the workplace for women! Yes, the focus is on the plot, with all its thrilling moments, but I enjoyed it, especially the subversive vein of feminism Collins often adds.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tristram Shandy

    Coincidence … looms large in Wilkie Collins’s novel Jezebel’s Daughter (1880), making sure that chance discoveries of old and recent crimes will abound – but when you read Collins, or any of his other Victorian sensational-novel writing colleagues, you will simply have to accept that coincidences occur (as in fact they do in our daily lives), often when the writer is at a loss as to how to link two characters or how to prepare the ground for an important revelation. However, if Agatha Christie co Coincidence … looms large in Wilkie Collins’s novel Jezebel’s Daughter (1880), making sure that chance discoveries of old and recent crimes will abound – but when you read Collins, or any of his other Victorian sensational-novel writing colleagues, you will simply have to accept that coincidences occur (as in fact they do in our daily lives), often when the writer is at a loss as to how to link two characters or how to prepare the ground for an important revelation. However, if Agatha Christie could get away with her far-fetched and implausible plots, Wilkie Collins and the Victorians are definitely entitled to any claim of leniency since all of them together have probably not ridden as hard and ruthlessly on the Horse of Coincidence and endangered its backbone to such an extent as the “Queen of Crime”. In Jezebel’s Daughter Collins introduces us to Madame Fontaine, an ambitious, yet impoverished widow who would do anything to ensure her daughter’s happiness in life, which she sees in a marriage with the son of the rich Frankfort merchant Herr Keller. With Mrs. Wagner, the author also creates another widow, this time not of the deadly and malicious sort, but an apt businesswoman who also acts as a philanthropist and strives to pave the way into business life for other women as well by employing both men and women in equal positions in her business. As a philanthropist, Mrs. Wagner follows her late husband’s plan of showing that mentally disturbed people can be cured or at least improved by kindness rather than a system of constraints, which leads her to looking after a patient called Jack Straw, who – and here he have one of Collins’s coincidences – will later prove an old acquaintance of Madame Fontaine’s. Collins unfolds a story of crime, deception and retribution, which quickly hooks the readers – at least it did hook me, and I was very disappointed with Armadale, which I found plodding and rambling – and makes them want to read on. The story develops at a swift pace, which might be to the detriment of a more credible characterization of some of the minor characters. It was also strange to have the first-person narrator, Mrs. Wagner’s nephew David, suddenly withdraw from the story and see an omniscient narrator take over, but that was probably because Collins could see no way of keeping David around as a witness to the events that were going to unfold. In a nutshell: The story rests on some coincidences, but it is a good yarn; and there are some memorable characters like Jack Straw, the self-confident and clever Mrs. Wagner, or the scheming Madame Fontaine. Collins, unlike Dickens, managed to create interesting female protagonists, and he clearly wanted to attach a social message to his novel, which he manages to do without unduly slowing down the pace of his novel or directing the reader’s attention to lengthy side issues. All this makes Jezebel’s Daughter, probably not a literary masterpiece, but a very entertaining sensational novel.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Jezebel’s Daughter is definitely not one of Wilkie’s best works, but its is still thoroughly enjoyable. As a note to first time readers: if you want the plot to remain a mystery DO NOT look up the infamous serial killer they mention. I did, and it gave the whole thing away entirely. Regardless, I think you’ll be able to figure out the resolution a bit sooner than Wilkie intended. Jezebel may be one of his most overtly nefarious characters, and she was enjoyable, but erratic. I did fully enjoy the Jezebel’s Daughter is definitely not one of Wilkie’s best works, but its is still thoroughly enjoyable. As a note to first time readers: if you want the plot to remain a mystery DO NOT look up the infamous serial killer they mention. I did, and it gave the whole thing away entirely. Regardless, I think you’ll be able to figure out the resolution a bit sooner than Wilkie intended. Jezebel may be one of his most overtly nefarious characters, and she was enjoyable, but erratic. I did fully enjoy the cast of strong female characters, and I also enjoyed the creation of Jack Straw. Still there were times that it seemed to drag; the narrative and conversation both seemed a little forced. None of the characters were as fully flushed out as Wilkie usually does, and that was a bit disappointing to me. These things led to the three-star rating, though I hope that wouldn’t discourage any lovers of Victorian literature from indulging in a relatively quick read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mary Ronan Drew

    Ah, Wilkie Collins, a writer who can be counted on to put the sensation in sensational fiction. Nefarious doings including lying, cheating, and stealing. The theft of money from a locked desk, mysterious illnesses, deaths, and recoveries. The return of a body to life while in the Death House, poisons, a cypher, lovers kept apart by their families, a mad man, and at the end a wedding, the bride and groom in which the reader is invited to guess. Too much.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Fantastic sensationalism! It's got the lot! Lunatics, poison, murder, Bedlam, a Deadhouse. A really well paced ride of a read. Fantastic sensationalism! It's got the lot! Lunatics, poison, murder, Bedlam, a Deadhouse. A really well paced ride of a read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Viv JM

    DNF @ 82 pages. I just couldn't get into this. Maybe I'll come back to it at a later date... DNF @ 82 pages. I just couldn't get into this. Maybe I'll come back to it at a later date...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Definitely not Collins's best. Definitely not Collins's best.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Breanna

    I really enjoyed this! This is by far my favorite by Collins, although The Woman in White is a close second!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Interesting, fun, and dramatic. Liked the focus on women and their roles/power, will to get what they want. Classic Wilkie to have so much poison and madness !!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ceri

    I was slightly disappointed by this book as the premise was so intriguing, but I felt like its best bits were showcased on the blurb. It was lacklustre and fairly monotonous. Although, I did enjoy the character development of Jack Straw in contrast to Madame Fontaine's increasingly desperate antics. It was refreshing to read a novel set against the backdrop of 1820s Frankfurt, which housed an array of fascinating characters. Not a favourite of mine, but worth the read. I was slightly disappointed by this book as the premise was so intriguing, but I felt like its best bits were showcased on the blurb. It was lacklustre and fairly monotonous. Although, I did enjoy the character development of Jack Straw in contrast to Madame Fontaine's increasingly desperate antics. It was refreshing to read a novel set against the backdrop of 1820s Frankfurt, which housed an array of fascinating characters. Not a favourite of mine, but worth the read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Agnieszka

    I’m not an expert on Wilkie Collins but I believe Jezebel’s daughter is his rather lesser known novel. And probably not the best either but enjoyed it a lot. It follows fates of two widowed women, one in Germany, the other one in England. As many Victorian novels from the era we have mystery here, a criminal intrigue and love story. The author accentuates some social aspects as well, to mention only rights to work for women policy or treatment of mentally disabled persons and state of public ins I’m not an expert on Wilkie Collins but I believe Jezebel’s daughter is his rather lesser known novel. And probably not the best either but enjoyed it a lot. It follows fates of two widowed women, one in Germany, the other one in England. As many Victorian novels from the era we have mystery here, a criminal intrigue and love story. The author accentuates some social aspects as well, to mention only rights to work for women policy or treatment of mentally disabled persons and state of public institutions where they were cured. Jezebel’s daughter clashes attitudes of two main protagonists and though both were fueled by deep love and compassion however they acted with different means and to the opposite effects. All in all, a very enjoyable reading. But I guess I’m yet to meet Collins' best works. 3,5/5

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer deBie

    I'm pretty sure this was my first Wilkie Collins, and I've got to say it was pretty fun. Collins was a friend of Dickens and Dickens has a tendency to stick in my craw (too wordy, waaaay too wordy), so I was a little worried this would be the same, but nope. The story moved along at a pretty rapid pace, the female characters were the true powerhouses behind the narrative, the inclusion of waiting mortuaries in the final third of the novel added a fun dimension for a medical/death history nerd li I'm pretty sure this was my first Wilkie Collins, and I've got to say it was pretty fun. Collins was a friend of Dickens and Dickens has a tendency to stick in my craw (too wordy, waaaay too wordy), so I was a little worried this would be the same, but nope. The story moved along at a pretty rapid pace, the female characters were the true powerhouses behind the narrative, the inclusion of waiting mortuaries in the final third of the novel added a fun dimension for a medical/death history nerd like myself. The antagonist was interesting, the protagonist reads like a feminist without being preachy or pathetic, the inclusion of letters and other "documents" across the novel made for an intriguing change in the narrative pace. All in all, this is one that I'm very glad to have spent a few days reading.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Another great novel from Wilkie Collins. I loved the narrator, David Glenney, who just couldn't see the evil in front of his eyes, and was sorry when he went back to England, and the novel reverted to traditional story telling. So many great characters - Mrs Fontaine, Mrs Wagner, Mr Keller and Mr Engelman and of course Jack Straw. Lots of issues of the days are discussed such as role of women, and caring for people with mental health problems. It was so easy to identify with the characters despi Another great novel from Wilkie Collins. I loved the narrator, David Glenney, who just couldn't see the evil in front of his eyes, and was sorry when he went back to England, and the novel reverted to traditional story telling. So many great characters - Mrs Fontaine, Mrs Wagner, Mr Keller and Mr Engelman and of course Jack Straw. Lots of issues of the days are discussed such as role of women, and caring for people with mental health problems. It was so easy to identify with the characters despite the novel being written nearly 240 years ago.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nellie

    Not as good as the woman in white

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rich Ivett

    Wilkie Collins is as good as, if not better, writer than Dickens not least because his character development, especially of women is far superior. Unlike Dickens, Collins clearly admired and respected women and saw them the equals of men intellectually. His novels also have the ability to focus on the important social issues of his day. Having said that "Jezebel's Daughter", while being an enjoyable read is perhaps not one of his best. Madame Fontaine, the story's Jezebel, draws some comparisons Wilkie Collins is as good as, if not better, writer than Dickens not least because his character development, especially of women is far superior. Unlike Dickens, Collins clearly admired and respected women and saw them the equals of men intellectually. His novels also have the ability to focus on the important social issues of his day. Having said that "Jezebel's Daughter", while being an enjoyable read is perhaps not one of his best. Madame Fontaine, the story's Jezebel, draws some comparisons with Lydia Gwilt from Collins' "Armadale " which I understand was written around the same time. Both are women who are utterly devious, manipulative and dangerous who will do anything to achieve their ends. However, Lydia Gwilt is a much better drawn character whose complexities help the reader understand her actions and also why men fell for her; including this reader!! Madame Fontaine appears much more shallow, and maybe that is what Collins intended, ostensibly motivated by her desire to secure her daughter's favourable marriage but in reality is only concerned with herself and her own status. At the end Collins makes only a token effort to say to us "well she wasn't all bad", but it would have been better if he had stuck to his guns and left her utterly unredeemable. Plot develpoment in many of Collins' novels depends on coincidence to move the story forward or to make it work. Here he starts with the death of two people, one in England and the other in Germany, on the same day. Suffice to say this was needless and is not germain to the story. The greater coincidence of Jack Straw, who ends up in Bedlam and meets philanthropist Mrs Wagner, is relevant but also pushing credibility. Mrs Wagner is somewhat a force of nature as she enters the world of business following the death of her husband. She is a typically strong Collins woman, although he does slightly let himself down when she says "whatever my husband thought I think!" Through Mrs Wagner Collins advocates promoting the rights of women to work in offices {unheard of in the early nineteenth century} and a more compassionate treatment for the mentally ill; having seen the recent Chanel 4 documentary on St Andrews Hospital in Northampton I reflected that Collins' concerns are as relevant to today as they were in the nineteenth century. Another interesting aspect of the novel for me was the Deadhouse. This apparently existed in Germany in the early nineteenth century, as a place where dead bodies were taken for three days prior to burial as a means of trying to ensure that the person wasn't buried alive. This novel doesn't have the dramatic tension of many of Collins' books, and how the story plays out contains no real surprises. However, I'm judging this by Collins own high standards and it remains a very good read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

    certainly not one of Collins' best novels. characters are even flatter than usual, plot even more contrived than usual. Just not his best work. certainly not one of Collins' best novels. characters are even flatter than usual, plot even more contrived than usual. Just not his best work.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hermien

    Exactly the kind of book that was popular at the time and should be read with that in mind. The portrayal of Jews would be very politically incorrect these days.

  19. 5 out of 5

    James Uscroft

    On the plus side, this book 'ISN'T' dragged out to the point at which you're screaming "Get On With It!" and actually qualifies as a novel; not merely a short story that's been padded out as much as humanly possibly in order to be passed off as one. But while it doesn't try my patience anywhere near as much as a great deal of Wilkie Collins' other work, it is still full of many of the same annoyances that make me roll my eyes and exhale through my nose. Including: a) Plot contrivances so utterly On the plus side, this book 'ISN'T' dragged out to the point at which you're screaming "Get On With It!" and actually qualifies as a novel; not merely a short story that's been padded out as much as humanly possibly in order to be passed off as one. But while it doesn't try my patience anywhere near as much as a great deal of Wilkie Collins' other work, it is still full of many of the same annoyances that make me roll my eyes and exhale through my nose. Including: a) Plot contrivances so utterly ridiculous that they take you out of the story. b) A raging bigotry against Jesuits, and in this one instance, Jews as well. c) The definite suspicion that like "The Moonstone" et al, Collins wrote this story for the sole purpose of showing off some new knowledge that he thought was interesting. In this case, the study of poisons and antidotes, the German practice of keeping watch over the recently deceased and attaching bells to their bodies in case they were still alive and the 'Rehabilitation' of the mentally ill. And speaking of which... d) The fact that although he was 'Progressive' by the standards of the time, his ideas of what the 'Liberation' of women and 'Rehabilitation' of the mentally ill and people with learning difficulties would look like is deeply patronising and problematic. Because in both this book and "The Law & The Lady," he portrays characters with learning difficulties and/or mental illness as being either dangerous maniacs or, when 'Rehabilitated,' the devoted slaves of their 'Saviours;' literally equating them with dogs who are given names like pets, are happy to live like animals and are incapable of living without their Master/Mistress. And while, in this book, Jack's dog-like devotion to his 'Mistress' and compulsive need to watch the bell in case she rings for him actually serves a vital role in the story, (unlike in the "Law & The Lady" in which the 'Slave' is literally nothing but an object of pity and abuse and has no reason to exist,) it is still deeply uncomfortable to read. So although, in the grand scheme of things, Collins first novel after "The Fallen Leaves" is nowhere near as bad as some of his other work, "The Fallen Leaves" is still, in my humble opinion, the only genuinely good book by that author which I have read to date.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Slack

    This book was just a little lacklustre. The premise is certainly exciting: poison falls into the hands of someone who can use it to their, or in this case her daughter's, advantage. It would have made for a brilliant whodunit kind of plot, with the characters trying to ascertain the silent killer who is within the household. Yet we know right from the get-go who has the poison, so when it is utilised we already know who did it. The book almost needs to be in reverse. From the Collins that I have This book was just a little lacklustre. The premise is certainly exciting: poison falls into the hands of someone who can use it to their, or in this case her daughter's, advantage. It would have made for a brilliant whodunit kind of plot, with the characters trying to ascertain the silent killer who is within the household. Yet we know right from the get-go who has the poison, so when it is utilised we already know who did it. The book almost needs to be in reverse. From the Collins that I have read so far it is the characters and settings which really bring his books to life, and this one is certainly no different. Each is unique - from the headstrong Mrs Wagner to the 'mad' Jack Straw (whose development is probably the best in the novel) - and brings something. Equally there are comedic moments, alongside a few which do entice you into reading on. It is the plot, I feel, which disadvantages the book. Ultimately, as a testament to the time in which it was written Jezebel's Daughter holds value and speaks volumes to Victorian attitudes. The idea of readily available poisons is quite terrifying. However, as a novel within the 'sensation' genre it just felt a little flat.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Herman Gigglethorpe

    Jezebel's Daughter is late Wilkie Collins, and that should have been a warning sign. Don't expect No Name or The Moonstone quality here. Much of the book is narrated by David, a boring character compared to Gabriel Betteredge or Mrs. Catherick. The storyline is based around Madame Fontaine's (the Jezebel of the title) various attempts to poison people and pawn jewelry so her daughter can marry David's friend Fritz. Another character, Jack Straw, was a mental patient at Bedlam, and he saves the da Jezebel's Daughter is late Wilkie Collins, and that should have been a warning sign. Don't expect No Name or The Moonstone quality here. Much of the book is narrated by David, a boring character compared to Gabriel Betteredge or Mrs. Catherick. The storyline is based around Madame Fontaine's (the Jezebel of the title) various attempts to poison people and pawn jewelry so her daughter can marry David's friend Fritz. Another character, Jack Straw, was a mental patient at Bedlam, and he saves the day through silly coincidences. This one is only for diehard Wilkie Collins fans. If you want to try out his novels, start with his 1860s classics.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

    Solidly entertaining book. Certainly not on the same level as No Name, but he does get points for maintaining suspense in a book where you know exactly what is going to happen the whole way through. There are no real surprises (the plot is obvious), but you stay interested nonetheless. Jack Straw is a truly delightful character who more than made up for the gag worthy Mina. She is hands down the flattest of Collins' female characters that I've read. Mina is almost frail enough to be worthy of a Solidly entertaining book. Certainly not on the same level as No Name, but he does get points for maintaining suspense in a book where you know exactly what is going to happen the whole way through. There are no real surprises (the plot is obvious), but you stay interested nonetheless. Jack Straw is a truly delightful character who more than made up for the gag worthy Mina. She is hands down the flattest of Collins' female characters that I've read. Mina is almost frail enough to be worthy of a Dickens novel, although she gets points for not fainting all the time or having constant headaches, and would thus still come across as out of place in Dickens' world.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Neil

    This is certainly not Collins's best, but it is better than some of his other later fiction that I have read. The characters of Mme. Fontaine and Jack Straw are the most unique and interesting in this novel, though they aren't as endearing as the other outcasts and outsiders from Collins's earlier fiction, such as Rosanna Spearman or Ezra Jennings. Jack Straw, at times, seem like a cliché. Still, _Jezebel's Daughter_ is uniquely short and could, giving the increasing difficulties in assigning lo This is certainly not Collins's best, but it is better than some of his other later fiction that I have read. The characters of Mme. Fontaine and Jack Straw are the most unique and interesting in this novel, though they aren't as endearing as the other outcasts and outsiders from Collins's earlier fiction, such as Rosanna Spearman or Ezra Jennings. Jack Straw, at times, seem like a cliché. Still, _Jezebel's Daughter_ is uniquely short and could, giving the increasing difficulties in assigning long texts, be a valuable work to teach if there wasn't time for a longer Collins novel. Otherwise, I'm not sure many people will find this interesting outside of very devoted Collins fans.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sobriquet

    This is a shorter Collins novel, I would have preferred it to have been longer, with more time to develop the characters to a richer detail and to build up the suspense to a higher pitch. He touches on the employment of women clerks, the treatment of the mentally ill and dead houses and I would have liked these themes to have been explored further. However, the serialisation format of the novel shows in its short chapters and fast pace. The last few chapters finished the story too abruptly. That This is a shorter Collins novel, I would have preferred it to have been longer, with more time to develop the characters to a richer detail and to build up the suspense to a higher pitch. He touches on the employment of women clerks, the treatment of the mentally ill and dead houses and I would have liked these themes to have been explored further. However, the serialisation format of the novel shows in its short chapters and fast pace. The last few chapters finished the story too abruptly. That said, I enjoyed the book the plot of which I will not spoil by writing further.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Symon Hill

    Wilkie Collins' books are always absorbing. Each time I read one, I remember why I like them. Engaging plot and interesting characters. At times it's easy to forget how long ago they were written. That said, "Jezebel's Daughter" is defintely not one of his best, but it contains some interesting features not present in most of his books. At some points, it was more predictable than most of Collins' writing, but he still surprised me at times. Wilkie Collins' books are always absorbing. Each time I read one, I remember why I like them. Engaging plot and interesting characters. At times it's easy to forget how long ago they were written. That said, "Jezebel's Daughter" is defintely not one of his best, but it contains some interesting features not present in most of his books. At some points, it was more predictable than most of Collins' writing, but he still surprised me at times.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Scribbles

    I didnt care for this classic. The characters are shown ridiculously naive and never see any red flags. They never object or stand their ground. This in necessary so that one “evil” character can control and fool them all. One of my least favorite plots. I have not read other titles by Collins. I will try one of the better know classics by him.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Weronine

    It wasn't my favourite from all of the Collins' books, but I couldn't stop reading that one so I think it deserves at least three stars. The first part from David's perspective was better than the second one. It wasn't my favourite from all of the Collins' books, but I couldn't stop reading that one so I think it deserves at least three stars. The first part from David's perspective was better than the second one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Wilkie Collins at his best! Forget The Woman in White; and especially forget The Moonstone. This is the one to read! There’s so much tension, you can’t put it down. Love, death, betrayal, poison--throw in a crazy man, and what’s not to like? Add some romance, wind it up quickly, and you've got it all! Wilkie Collins at his best! Forget The Woman in White; and especially forget The Moonstone. This is the one to read! There’s so much tension, you can’t put it down. Love, death, betrayal, poison--throw in a crazy man, and what’s not to like? Add some romance, wind it up quickly, and you've got it all!

  29. 4 out of 5

    asleep

    predicatable yet unpredictable at the same time?!? how he do that dramatic (but lightly and comically), fun and snappy, flows hilarious, dramatic, even spooky!! this is good fuggin writing, man -- books like this oh and THE ENDING! yas

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Lively and enjoyable. Collins always keeps you reading, and his female characters are active and intriguing. The book has a good combination of suspense, humor, and gender commentary.

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