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Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders Paperback – 4 Jul 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571302696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571302697
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 241,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I've always loved getting lost in a good book. It's why I studied English Literature at university. What a luxury to read novels for three years!
After a few false starts, I was taken on as a trainee reporter by a local newspaper where I worked very happily for several years.
I love old buildings and the stories they tell. I'm very lucky that my current work as press officer for a heritage charity allows me to visit and explore some amazing, inspiring places, including the wonderful Wiltons Music Hall in the East End.
Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders (published by Faber and Faber) is partly based on that building. 'Kitty' is my first book - the first 6000 words won a writing competition run by Faber and Faber and Stylist magazine. Later this year Templar will publish my first first book for children The Jade Boy, written under my maiden name Cate Cain.
As I hope you can tell, I am passionate about history and about London in particular.
I was born in the City, at St Bartholomew's Hospital 'Barts', within the sound of Bow Bells - so I really am a true-born cockney.
One of my earliest memories is being taken to the top of The Monument by my father when I was about four years old. Clearly, the story of the Great Fire made an impact on me as that's what The Jade Boy is all about...

Product Description

Review

Terrific debut novel ... Victorian London has never been better illustrated ... if this standard keeps up, we have a major new talent on our hands. (Virginia Blackburn Sunday Express)

Occasionally a new writer bursts onto the scene with almost explosive force ... if [Griffin] maintains this superbly high standard we have a major new talent on our hands. Her hugely entertaining debut, set in the squalor, filth and depravity of Victorian Limehouse is all things to all readers - almost gothic in its intensity, but full of shades of dark and light, combining the macabre and wit of the music halls with a rattling action yarn which will appeal to historical readers, crime readers and people who just like a really well written adventure story ... the book is an absolutely first class read and I shall be surprised if there's a better debut this year. (Crime Review)

Kitty's narrative voice ... is sharply memorable and deserves to be heard in a further adventure. (Nick Rennison Sunday Times)

A top whodunnit. (Essentials magazine)

Book Description

Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders, by Kate Griffin, is a deliciously atmospheric and exciting Victorian mystery.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By CodexGal on 8 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Possibly the best thing about Kitty Peck & The Music Hall Murders is the incredibly vivid evocation of the sights, sensations and smells of an imagined Victorian London. From Kitty's delicate-on-the-outside, brutal-on-the-inside theatrical costumes to the terrifying, vile-smelling darkness of the Limehouse docks, I could 'see' every scene in my mind as I read. Love that the central figure is a sharp-witted, physically brave, working-class teen girl (really original and fresh) but the feel is adult, with some frightening scenes. Stayed up until the small hours to read this in one gulp. Can't give away the twists of the plot, but if, like me, you love history and whodunnits, and are in the mood for a page-turner of a black-hearted romp, this will definitely fit the bill. (My first review. Hope it helps)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin Macdonald on 5 July 2013
Format: Paperback
Kitty Peck is an eighteen year old music hall employee who is pushed into a world of intrigue and danger when music hall girls start to go missing and her employer, an opium addicted old woman who is a nasty piece of work, forces her to investigate.

Thankfully the above is not just some random plot device of 'ooh, let's put a young girl in a dangerous situation which she has no experience of and watch her flail'. There is a very real reason that Kitty is in the frame, which is gradually revealed.

The filth and stench of mid-Victorian East London is palpable and the characters feel real. It's a first person narration but thankfully the author resist the urge to have Kitty talk (or indeed have her inner monologue) in faux Cockney. Kate Griffin has a nicely vivid turn of phrase and this page turner moves along smartly - no saggy middles here. While some of the side plot does seem a little silly/melodramatic it all ties in quite nicely with the overall theatricality of the work.

I'm knocking off a star as the cliffhanger (the author is contracted to write two more books in the series, apparently) wasn't quite "cliffhangery" enough!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I must admit that I am slightly bewildered by what age group this book is for. I picked it up at a local bookshop amongst the adult books, but after reading it I wonder if this should have been in the young adult section. The story, set in the 19th Century is definitely fast paced and action packed, a couple of scenes reminded me of 'The Phantom of the Opera', and I also thought this was quite reminiscent of pulp thrillers put out by Sax Rohmer and others. There is mystery and action here as well as some derring-do, but this does lack the sophistication of more modern thrillers.

Because this moves along at a grand old pace there isn't an atmosphere of menace that such a story could build up, which stops this from being really good. The heroine of the story, Kitty Peck is quite believable in places, but you do have to wonder how naive she must be when she hasn't already worked out what her friend Lucca, and her brother, Joey, are.

For some entertaining reading, and nothing too strenuous, then this is an ideal read, however if you are looking for something with more atmosphere and generally much more sophisticated, then I am afraid that this could very well disappoint you. I believe that this is going to be the first in a series, and it will be interesting to see how it develops. I must admit that whilst reading this I did wonder if it was in the same vein as Philip Pullman's 'Sally Lockhart' stories, but for a slightly older audience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lesley2cats on 19 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well-written, enjoyable book with an interesting description of music halls of that time. I will look out for more books by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A_McC on 11 July 2013
Format: Paperback
I should confess at the outset, I wish I had a friend like Kitty! She has street-smarts and an excellent turn of phrase but she never becomes a parody of the Victorian East-End girl. Kitty is kind and brave and daring - a really refreshing protagonist. This is a first rate whodunit but it is Kitty's relationships with those around her that really bring this book to life.

Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders is a joy to read but still leaves the reader feeling unsettled. Limehouse's seedy underbelly, the opium addicted Lady Ginger and the vile 'gentlemen' Kitty encounters are all deliciously portrayed. You can almost smell the grimy back streets and gin soaked music halls.

I can't give away the plot twists but I can promise you won't want to put this book down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate A. Best on 27 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
Kitty Peck is a typical working class girl in Victorian London who works as a seamstress by day and keeps her head down and tries to get by without drawing attention to herself; that is until her late brother's employer seeks her out to investigate a series of disappearances. Kitty is then thrown into the limelight as a showgirl to bait out the culprit behind the crimes, but when people closer to her go missing and attempts are made to end Kitty's life, she realises that these crimes are much more sinister and interwoven with her own life than she thought.

I found Kitty Peck, the protagonist, a down-to-earth, likeable character who was easy to relate to. The story was written in such a way that you could picture yourself in Victorian London vividly.

I really enjoyed this book. I don't usually go for mysteries because I find it easy, in most cases, to predict the outcome of the story. In this case, however, I found the novel gripping yet still a nice light read that I could dip in and out of without losing any plot details. There was an unexpected twist at he end which I didn't foresee and that made it quite a satisfying conclusion.
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