Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fall Reading 2017 The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief


After reading the second book in this series (The Witch at Wayside Cross), I had to go back and find the first one. I enjoyed the explanation of where Di Lane had come from, which was lacking in the second book, since she had already been introduced. The details of her job interview with Jasper Jesperson, the details of the household's arrangement, and other questions I had were all satisfied. 

And then there was the mystery - a case of a sleepwalker who has no recollection of his nighttime wanderings, a rash of disappearances among the mediums in London, and the appearance of two new psychics on the scene. Could they all be related? Everything from midnight stakeouts to seances appear in the course of the narrative and Lane's experience with the SPR (Society for Psychic Research) and Jesperson's familiarity with Eastern philosophies and snake charmers all play a part in unraveling the plot. 

The characters of Jesperson and Lane are entertaining and remind me of those in the Jackaby novels. There is the slightly eccentric Jasper Jesperson, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of many subjects including poisons and occult practices. And Miss Lane with her background in the world of psychics and her logical good sense. There is also a similarity to the household of Lockwood and Co. with the partners sharing a London home that also serves as their base of operations. I like the way Jesperson sees Lane as a partner, and not an assistant or underling. He realizes that she has her own strengths and abilities, but he also wants to protect her - as we all wish to protect our friends. 

Anyone who enjoys a blend of historical fiction and urban fantasy will enjoy this kickoff to the series.

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