The Angel Makers

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

This is a Victorian murder mystery loosely based in part on the infamous baby farmer Amelia Dyer. It took me a few chapters to become accustomed to the style of writing, as the author writes in the present tense swapping between the voices of our heroine Constance Piper and the spirit of her former teacher Emily Tindall who comes to her aid at times of crisis. Not such an odd concept for the Victorians, a lot of whom were quite at ease with mediums and the spirit world. Although the book is perfectly enjoyable on its own, I personally would have much preferred to have read the previous book first as quite a lot of references are made to events which have happened previously and I think this...

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Jack the Ripper casts a gloom over this novel but it's not about him- it's about women and babies who were exploited.  The story is told in alternating chapters by Constance and her dead friend Emily.  There's a paranormal element to this (Constance is clairvoyant and Emily is, well, dead) but it's in keeping with the Victorian era where this was a big thing.  Good characters and atmospherics but this is less a mystery than it is about how the evil Mother Delany (she so doesn't deserve that title) is uncovered.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  This is the second in a series but can easily be read as a standalone.  For fans of historical fiction.
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Historical mysteries are my favorite genre, so I was really looking forward to reading The Angel Makers. The action takes place in London of 1889, about the same time and place as the Jack the Ripper murders. It involves the notorious baby farming industry, with portrayals of the evils of the poverty and class inequality of the era. For those who care, there’s no romance and it’s actually based on real events. The book’s descriptions of the setting as well as the speech patterns of the characters all seem to be authentic, which usually allows me to get lost in a different place and time. Unfortunately, the writing style stopped me from getting too involved. It is written in first person...

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London, 1888. In the middle of the hunt for Jack the Ripper, a new series of murders arises. A series of infants are being found choked to death and disposed of. At the same time, a woman is found dead with markings of string around her neck. The police is not so keen to investigate ; however, Constance Piper is not going to let her friend's murder go down unpunished.

Between searching for her friend's murderer and investigating for a mother whose baby was mysteriously lost after being put up for adoption in a strange family, Constance will find herself, guided by the spirit of a lost friend, in the middle of a dark baby farming scheme. Will she be able to uncover the truth on...

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Tessa Harris’s newest Constance Piper mystery will send you deep into the darkest corners of Victorian London.  Jack the Ripper is killing women, baby farmers are killing infants, and poverty and disease are killing everyone else.  The story is told by two characters, one alive, and one dead.  The clairvoyant aspect of this novel wasn’t as appealing to me as the atmospheric mystery, but I was intrigued and connected with Constance’s life and story.
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It's a well written story, with a great pace, good mix of paranormal and thriller. The atmosphere was great it gave the novel a gothic, eerie feeling.. It's not 5  star review because I knew who the murderer was early on.
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In this second book of the series, Jack the Ripper continues to terrorise London but the women still have other problems to contend with. Constance Piper, a clairboyant and flower seller, becomes suspicious via a friend of 'baby farmers'. Here we have the story told from Constance's point of view and also her dead friend, Emily Tindall. 
Unfortunately I didn't really get interested in the story or engaged with the characters.
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I got very emotionally invested in this story. I mean how can you not when you’re up against BABY FARMERS?! It’s also inspired by real life events, look up Amelia Dyer & her mug shots will give you the willies! 

I love how THarris layered the mystery, I thought the culprits were all revealed until that little twist in the end. A small one but it sure made a big difference in the story & on my impression on the author as a whole (this is my first book of hers that I read). And though I missed the first book in the series (I don’t recommend it), the absence of an overarching arc helped me acclimate to Constance Piper’s world without a hitch.
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"A woman is most dangerous to herself when she is desperate to be loved." (Vanessa P.A. Evelyn)

And desperate times visit London in December of 1888. This is especially true if you are female, alone, and with child. The innocence that you carry within, under those circumstances, will be prey for the soulless evil-doers who bear no thought to the babe or to the mother herself.

Mother Delaney stands on a darkened corner in the Poplar district near the East India Docks. She listens for the hurried footsteps of Louisa Fortune. Louisa's arms are wrapped around her infant son, Bertie, for the last time. Fate and a spineless man have necessitated this baby exchange in which Louisa...

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I received 'The Sixth Victim' for review before, and was quite thrilled to receive this book as well. I really like the setting of Victorian London, including the various ways in which this book tells about this society. There was Jack the Ripper off course, and this book points out the practices of baby farming and how desperate some poor mothers were. Then there were the paranormal parts again - being vastly popular in this era, it seems to belong in a book like this.
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Tessa Harris is skilled with the narrative that switches POV between Constance Piper and Emily Tindall. Constance is a a lowly flower girl in 1889 London. Jack the Ripper is stalking the street but he is not responsible for all the deaths that are being found. Most tragic is the infant deaths that are being discovered wrapped with twine in packages. Emily is the paranormal force that leads Constance to aid the police in solving these crimes. It would be best to read the first in this series "The Sixth Victim" to achieve all the necessary background. "A copy of this book was provided by Kennsington Books via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are...

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This is the second book in “A Constance Piper Mystery” series. It’s set in Victorian England (1888). Jack the Ripper continues to send fear throughout London. However, he’s not the only concern for the women of the city.

Constance Piper is a flower seller who happens to be clairvoyant. She suspects something is going on with the “baby farmers,” and she sets out to discover just what that is. With her late friend Emily as her spirit guide, Constance will work with Detective Constable Hawkins to uncover what horrors are taking place in the city.
The premise of the book intrigued me, but it didn’t quite live up to its potential. The pace was on the slow side, and it was hard to stay engaged...

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