She Be Damned

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

Thank you to netgalley I received this as an ARC. I enjoyed it very much was good solid read. Solid 3.5 Stars for me!
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This novel really did not thrill me. While the mystery was compelling, I was surprised by how graphic, violent, and disturbing this novel was.  I really did not like the protagonist. She was very self-absorbed and only cared about her looks. Therefore, this mystery was not my cup of tea.
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Heloise Chancey, the heroine in this missive, puts herself in danger to investigate the murders of prostitutes in London. Being herself a member of this group who has risen to the “kept woman" status, she spends her spare time doing small investigative jobs for Sir Thomas Avery, a noted private investigator. When he brings this case to her she wants to refuse because this part of her past is long gone and best forgotten but she decides she needs to investigate. She find her past is still very close and she must decide who to trust and who to suspect. Nearly losing her life except for the quick wits of her mother/maid Amah and her coach driver Taff, the murderer is discovered. This book has the pace of a thriller. You can’t wait to get to the next page. I recommend this good read.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for an honest review.
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Unique. Bizarre. Sexual Mutilations. Killer(s) are on the loose attacking innocent women.
Well that's just some of what is included in She Be Damned as the plot thickens more than pea soup.
This one by MJ Tjia is a love or hate situation for reviewers.
We are all across the board and for good reason.
How do you rate something that is so hard to wrap your mind around?
How would you feel about someone murdering prostitutes? 
How would you feel if the killer is also mutilating these young women and leaving them without organs threatening the very landscape of those nearby?
Well Heloise doesn't know who she can trust nor does she know if she can bring in the killer before it's too late .
She's our leading female detective so the stress is weighing all up on her shoulders?
Time is not kind in these types of situations...
Thank you to MJ, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review
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I did enjoy this novel. I am getting into a lot of Victorian or historical novels so this was a good one. I enjoyed this gripping novel from beginning to end. Thank you so much!
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What a happy surprise! The book really evoked Victorian London, both the tangible elements and the attitudes toward women. The protagonist was smart and sassy but far from perfect (no Mary Sue here), the writing engaging, the pacing zippy but not too fast. I'll be looking for other books in this series!
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Victorian thriller!

A grim Victorian murder mystery with a rather different woman sleuth--the courtesan Heloise Chancey
It seems a serial killer is hiding in plain sight in the Waterloo area. The targets--pregnant prostitutes who are being horribly mutilated.
Concurrently Heloise is asked to help locate a respectable young woman, who has become pregnant and is being forced into a convent by her father. En route she escaped from that life of tedium into the merciless Waterloo area. But what might the poor girl have exchanged the tedium for?
Unfortunately Heloise's Chinese maid, Amah Li Leen becomes embroiled in the case and things take a grim turn.
Secrets of Heloise's past are revealed along the way, unraveled like some exotic Oriental dancer's costume. Interspersed between the diabolical happenings that are escalating, the interludes about the past provided by Amah Li Leen's and Heloise's reminiscences give more context to the life and mystery of Heloise.
I was struck by the unusualness of Heloise, a courtesan who courts danger and the challenge of investigation. A courtesan who seems very aware of the tightrope existence she leads.
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I love historical novels especially written in the Victoria era. 

M.J. TJia went a little further than I would have liked with the amount of romance and fluff this book has, but overall, the story kept me intrigued! 

It's a quick afternoon read for those looking to pass the time.
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Very good Victorian mystery. I received a copy from NetGalley and this is my honest review. I really enjoyed this Victorian mystery, A courtesan/professional detective is not your usual occupation and the places Ms. Chancey has entrance to only serve to enliven the story. The characters are well-written and the plot flows. There is a bit of back story given and I know another book is due out soon.I can't wait to read more about Ms. Chancey.
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This opened on a rape scene which is an instant "Did Not Finish" marker for me, which is unfortunate as the synopsis for this book sounded up my alley.
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The mystery was fantastic, gruesome, but good. I didn't know who the suspect was at all.

I was reminded of Phryne from Miss Fisher's Murder Mystery with this book. Not that I have read the books so I don't know if they are similar to the show but Phryne from the show is similar to Heloise.
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3.5/5. This was between a “pick” and a “so-so” for me, but I’ll round up to a “pick”. The first of a mystery series (next one is out in September), set in 1860s London featuring a courtesan/actress who also occasionally helps a detective agency when a woman is needed. Here she is tasked with finding a young, pregnant, unmarried aristocrat who is missing while a madman is preying upon pregnant prostitutes in gruesome ways. Very dark with a strong, independent heroine. Not highly engrossing but a decent read. I would probably be willing to give the second one a try. 

Thanks to #NetGalley and #LegendPress for the ARC. The opinion is all my own.
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I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. DNF at 3%, This isn't even worth a proper review for me since I got so far in, but far enough to rate it and have an opinion about it. Sounds interesting, but it's basically Victorian smut/romance with a mystery. I don't want to hear about Heloise being all pretty and her pubic hair and the clothes she's wearing and the sex she's going to have. If I wanted to read a romance, I would have read a romance
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This book was awesome. The writing was good the story kept me wanting to read more.. and the ending I really didn’t see it coming.. 5 stars
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A very enjoyable and fun to read historical mystery. The somewhat unusual heroine is well written and the plot keep you hooked since the beginning.
Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC
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1863 and courtesan and private investigator Heloise Chancey is employed to trace a young lady in Waterloo, London. During her search she discovers that prostitutes are being horrendously killed and decides to discover the guilty party.
A very readable book, a good mystery. Though I do like to become attached to the characters in any book I am reading this didn't really happen here, which maybe because of her occupation. It may take more books for that to happen.
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Heloise Chancey‘s life is an interesting one.  She has risen from ill-disposed circumstances (some of which we learn about in the book) to be an expensive courtesan to the rich and almost famous, while presenting herself to those in need of her services as a competent and intelligent “professional detective.”  That is the premise behind “She Be Damned,” the first book in a series written by M. J. Tija.  

There is not much kind, or gentle, in this book.  The language is, shall we say, less than genteel; this is not your staid Victorian sitting room, where a quiet maid offers tea and conversation is decorous.  London’s dark streets and grubby citizens are front and center alongside its upper classes and their mansions, as readers go along with Heloise to track down a missing daughter for a father who is not much concerned with the outcome.  Next to this investigation is the growing horror of a series of gruesome prostitute murders, gruesome being the operating word here; one can easily say much of what was described was somewhat over the top as historical mysteries go.  Heloise soon finds herself involved in both investigations.  Eventually, all seems well and good, and then tragedy strikes, and someone very close to Heloise is threatened.  She soon brings her considerable talents to bear, to uncover a murderer and bring peace to her world.  At least for a time.

I didn’t much care for her relationship with her policeman “friend.”  There was much about that that seemed forced and superficial to me, as did her relationship with Amah Li Leen, although more comes into play there.  Issues of the time are explored -- female subjugation, poverty, hypocrisy – but we have heard all this before.  Luckily, Heloise has enough money -- and enough secrets she could use -- to see her way through.  

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the copy of this book, in exchange for this review.
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I enjoyed this book. It was well written and interesting. The characters and storyline were fun and entertains. I highly recommend!
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Terrific suspense book with a fascinating heroine (actually two fascinating heroines) at its core.  These books are definitely on my series list henceforth!

Thanks so much to Netgalley for providing me with an ARC ebook in exchange for a review.
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London, 1863: Sir Thomas Avery owns a private detective agency & is at loss with a missing person case, Eleanor Carter, the daughter of one of his clients. Around this time, mutilated bodies of prostitutes with their sexual organs removed, start turning up in Waterloo and police are baffled by these gruesome murders.  Fearing the worst, Sir Thomas seeks the help of Mrs. Heloise Chancey, a courtesan and detective, to look for Eleanor. Heloise uses her connections and wit to investigate. As more bodies start turning up, so does the pressure on Heloise to find the girl before she becomes the latest victim of a gruesome murder. 

What I enjoy:
	1. Plot - A Victorian mystery with a good and focused plot albeit there are subplots. But they all weaved together seamlessly in the end. 
	
	2. Oriental component - Heloise's maid, Amah Li Leen, is a Chinese from the Eastern Asia. So there were some Chinese culture mentioned and I enjoy this aspect of the story. It is refreshing as I rarely come across a book that combines Victorian/Oriental elements.
	
	3. Storytelling - Good storytelling although there were some parts I felt disconnected. 

What I least enjoy:
	1. Characters - I find none of the characters are endearing. I do not like Heloise although she is the sassy, witty protagonist. I find her to be manipulative, attention-seeking (especially from her lovers) and without humility. She was forced into the insalubrious trade of harlotry but she chose to continue to be a courtesan. Most likely due to her unwillingness to forgo the attention and opulence lifestyle.
	
	2. Sexual content - Due to the setting of the story, there were some explicit sexual scenes which I did not appreciate and find them to be unnecessary. It'd be better if these scenes were described subtlety as I am sure readers would be able to guess what happen in those scenes.
	
	3. Language - There were profane words used. I think it is just to reflect how society conversed in that trade and also to express the feelings and emotions of the characters.
	
	4. Plot holes - There were 2 plot holes which involved 2 side characters which were left unexplained. It did not affect the story as whole but would feel that there's a complete closure of the story.
	
	
In conclusion:

This is a Victorian mystery with an intrigue plot. I enjoy the unique Victorian/Oriental components of this story. Although a quick read, it has a pretty suspenseful story build up that will keep you engaged throughout the book. However, the explicit sexual content of the story is not to my liking and I do not think I would read the next book in this series. 

	 
***I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from Trafalgar Square Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed in this review are my own and was not influenced by the author, publisher or any third party.***
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