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4.6 out of 5 stars19
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2009
This is the second book in a new series by Ann Granger. A young Scotland Yard Detective and a Ladies Companion become aquainted in the first book. At the start of this book, the Detective (Ben Ross)wants to declare his noble intentions, but Lizzie is a bit too independent for this, and feels obliged to take a post in a house where a young married woman has recently lost her baby. Added to this, are two maiden aunts, a businessman and a Ladies Maid who are determined to protect the family honour at all costs, and a ruthless ratcatcher. And what's happened to the husband?

Lizzie also has to deal with the grieving mother who is convinced her baby is not dead, and a 'mental doctor' who has been persuaded to come to the house and observe ---who?

I found this an absorbing read, with some light touches from the Detective's character, and some interesting glimpses of the attitudes and social values within Victorian society. There is a shocking secret at the heart of this novel, which I found quite heartbreaking. It draws attention to a very unsavoury solution to the problem of 'the poor' in Victorian times.
I hope that Ms Granger will write another book and develop the characters she has started in the first two books.
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on 1 April 2010
Lizzie Martin and Inspector Ben Ross,two engaging characters, share the first person narration of this well-plotted tale. The story moves at a cracking pace. I did make some good guesses, thanks to well-placed clues, but there were still surprises.

Ann Granger combines the ability to fast forward her plot while never hurrying the background details which vividly evoke the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian London and Hampshire, and that powerful and suffocating virtue: Respectability.
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on 31 January 2011
Very well written. Characterisation very good - you are really interested in what happens to the characters. Hard to put it down - a real page-turner. Highly recommended, as are all the other books by this author
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on 22 October 2012
Intrepid lady's companion Lizzie Martin is called away from her Victorian London dwelling at the request of her employer to act as companion and much-needed friend to a bereaved young wife who has just lost her baby. Unfortunately, she is refusing to accept that fact and her uncle, worried that at present with her husband away in China working for the family business, she is alone in the depths of the Hampshire countryside with no-one but two spinsterly and rather unworldly aunts to care for her, implores Lizzie to take up the task of helping her through the difficult grieving process.
Lizzie's current love, Scotland Yard Inspector, Ben Ross, is immediately suspicious and urges her to consider carefully before taking the job. But Lizzie, fondly hoping that this stems more from his objections to her going away from London - and from him - for the foreseeable future, believes she has no choice but to go.

Ben is soon proved right. A strange meeting and journey from London to Hampshire with the secretive yet oddly reassuring Doctor Marius LeFebre is quickly followed by an even more bizarre household, including two women who seem to have lived their lives in each other's shadows, even dressing in the same gowns each day, and the young wife, Mrs Lucy Craven, whom all believe to be delusional and a possible danger to others. When it is revealed that LeFebre is actually a doctor of pyschology, with his own "madhouse", Lizzie begins to sense a danger to her young charge. But things take a turn for the worse when a local loathed rat-catcher is found murdered in the gardens, with Lucy - bewildered and bloodied - beside him.
To Lizzie's intense relief, LeFebre uses his influence with Lucy's uncle to request the presence of Inspector Ben Ross and his sergeant to investigate the case. And before long, Ben and Lizzie are spending time together once again on another strange murder case, this one destined to place Lizzie's odd charge and herself in mortal danger...

'A Mortal Curiosity' is another compelling case for the duo of Lizzie Martin and Ben Ross, with the same prose design as in other books from this series, which lets us hear both of their voices at different times and gives the story an interesting depth. Though I didn't enjoy it quite as much as the next in the series, and did guess at one of the big twists quite early on, I would still recommend it for a read, particularly if you like this sort of Victorian mystery.
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on 9 January 2014
Having read the first in the Victorian crime series involving Lizzie Martin and Ben Rose, I was looking forward to reading this one. What I liked about it besides their search for the murderer was the change of scene from city to countryside and the way Ann Granger describes the period background. I always like to learn some new historical fact. Lizzie and Ben are suitable substitutes for her Mitchell and Markby from her Cotswold series. Although I guessed from the beginning the way the plot might develop that did not spoil it for me and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
I'd recommend readers like myself who enjoy Jacqueline Winspear and Frances Brody to give Ann Granger's Lizzie and Ben a try.
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on 8 December 2014
Never mind the weak title, this is good reading and an intriguing murder mystery. Set in rural England, and concluding in London, it entails fascinating insights into the people and circumstances of Victorian times.
Amateur sleuth Lizzie Martin and Scotland Yard’s Ben Ross alternate in narrating the puzzle. Their romantic link is kept to a minimum yet spices the telling of an entertaining story. Apart from the unfolding murder clues, the plot embraces detailed research into rat-catching, baby-farming, insanity and the attitudes of the ‘respectable’ upperclass.
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on 16 March 2014
It is quite an unpretentious book with engaging characters and although not literary in style it is nonetheless pleasant to read. Unfortunately there isn't much plot in it and the story is way too straightforward with no twists and turns . It fails as a detective novel because it doesn't present any misleading clues or false trails and readers have nothing to engage their intellect with. It's agreeable to spend a few hours reading the tale but there is no challenge whatsoever and the story is therefore very soon forgotten.
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on 25 February 2014
I found all three of the Lizzie Martin books well written and very enjoyable, but then I like Cosy Crime. The writing is good, the historical detail fascinating, and the puzzles interesting. All of them are a good read.
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on 16 December 2012
An interesting story set in the 19th century. A pleasing and different approach. Twists and turns in plot keep the reader guessing.
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on 13 February 2014
I really enjoyed this book, slow moving but good detail on interesting period. Again best to read in order published
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