The Newgate Jig, By Ann Featherstone

Nice Victorian London backdrop; shame about the foreground
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The Independent Culture

A murder mystery set in the mean streets, cheap theatres and travelling shows of Victorian London, and narrated by Bob Chapman, a trainer of performing dogs, this novel has promising raw materials but doesn't make quite enough of them.

Featherstone clearly knows a lot about the period, but the cod-Victorianisms and overuse of slang soon pall, and sometimes the language is just wrong ("enervated" for "energised", for example). On p201 there is a revelation about Chapman but it is wholly implausible that he should not mention it earlier. I wasn't able to believe in The Newgate Jig. It's more like a painted stage set of Victorian London than the real thing.

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