Cover Image: The Pickwick Murders

The Pickwick Murders

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Member Reviews

Can they overcome this deadly trap …

Being French Dickens was not part of my upbringing reads, school fed me with Hugo, Balzac, Zola… mostly saddening tales with a dash of romanticism in, but the romantic view of love in French point of view seems to be such a tragic tale.
I discovered Dickens with a tv show retelling his Christmas Carols novel, I have read it since but my knowledge of his work stops there.
When I read the previous book, I googled a bit to learn more about Dickens himself, what a life he had, and as the story focus of his relationship with his bride-to-be, knowing how they ended,
 I decided to view them as representative of their namesake from a parallel reality with a much happier ending.

This book offers this time two points of view, Charles and for the first time, Kate’s, and I much loved it, as she is this time as much a leading character in this tale as Charles.
Kate is the main character in this tale and by putting her into the limelight, it enhances her wit and cleverness but also the shackles her condition as a woman of good birth wears.
And while the inquest is an exhausting wild chase for Kate and a close to death sentence for Charles, it progresses slowly, as she restrained by the status of her sex and the limitations of move during this era. And as the case thickens, the clues do not pile up but Kate is running ragged while Charles’ safety is threatened more and more all the while they seem to walk backward at time instead of progressing.

I enjoyed this book even more than the previous one with Kate being entirely part of the investigation, reading her thoughts, having to deal with her fears, the impediments of her being a woman and the challenges she has to face to undo the layered trap set for Charles.
She of course does not work alone, and with William, Julie and Fred, they all band together to rescue Charles.
4.5 stars 

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 none

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher Kensington Books, here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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This is a nice story, I’ve read other ones, but this and this wasn’t  my favourite to be honest.

I did struggle a lot to keep my attention  on it, and it did feel rather sexist and annoying by the end, the ladies just running around getting nowhere (I know that was the time, but I’ve seen plenty of strong female characters in this era).

It was ok…

As ever, my thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review
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I thought this book was interesting from the description, but unfortunately it did not hold my interest.
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I've been a fan of this series so far but this one was a tough go.  Charles Dickens is in prison, accused of murdering Samuel Pickwick, and his fiance Kate Hogarth is racing around trying to solve riddles that will get him freed.  Nice idea (know that this didn't happen) but the execution felt off this time,  I'm not sure why because all the elements are here.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  I know I'm going to read the next one but would recommend those who haven't been following along to go back and start with the first.
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The Pickwick Murders is the 4th Book in the Dickens of a Crime Series by Heather Redmond.
I LOVE historical mysteries and I have read the first three books in this series, though that is not remotely necessary to understand the story or characters in this wonderful story. 

The Pickwick Murders is a retelling/reimagining of Charles Dickens tale "The Pickwick Papers".
This mystery is set in the Victorian time period. 

I absolutely love the characters in this story. Ahhh poor Charles is imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit and his love struck fiancé Kate is working hard to clear his name before he is hung, literally.

The setting is London during the year 1836.  I loved how well the time period and setting was described. The writer does such a fantastic job with this.

The characters are well written and consistent with the time period. 

A fantastic mystery that kept me guessing until the very end. 

I highly recommend this book and the first 3 books in the series as well.
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I received a free review copy from NetGalley and Kensington Books in exchange for my honest, unedited feedback.
Charles Dickens is an up and coming journalist and writer in 1836 when he receives an intriguing invitation to join the exclusive Lightning Club. But his initiation takes a sinister turn when he stumbles across a dead body and is accused of murder. Dickens finds himself in Newgate prison fighting for survival and dependent on his friends and loved ones to prove his innocence. Kate Hogarth, his fiancé, finds herself targeted by a mysterious letter writer who demands she solves increasingly twisted puzzles to keep Charles safe but she soon realised the cost of failure isn’t just Charles’s safety but also her family’s.

I watched a documentary on the amazing Catherine Dickens born Hogarth who was incredibly talented herself as a writer, wife and mother but found herself subject to a painful divorce when Dicken’s found someone else. So, I was interested to read this book which features a young Kate deeply in love trying to solve a murder.
I haven’t read the previous books in the series but it was easy to jump into the story without having read the older books in the series.
I found Kate a refreshing heroine and her descriptions of her taking on the role of the main investigator with hesitance rang true. She is unable to investigate freely given the restrictions on women in the 19th Century for example not being able to follow a lead as her Father forbids her to do so as it could be too dangerous in the fog. I felt sorry for Dickens as he found himself trapped In Newgate prison, a place he had written about because of its appalling environment.
The mystery around the murder and the Lightening society was satisfyingly interesting and I could not guess who the eventual murderer was at the final reveal. The puzzles that poor Kate had to solve were appropriately literary and led to women writers from that time that I am ashamed to say I hadn't heard of. 
The atmosphere is well described and the descriptions of the grubbiness of Newgate and the smells and sounds of the streets really brings 19th Century London to life especially when the author describes the food Kate frequently buys from the street vendors.

There are a number of secondary characters both real and fictional but I loved reading about Julie Aga, the actress who won't let pregnancy and society help her friends and the gruff Mr Hogarth.
Content warning
Possible sexual assault ( off-page)
Perfect for Fans
Historical crime featuring real-life people
Summary
I will definitely be adding the backlist of the Dicken of a Crime series to my reading list
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Enjoyable story of Charles Dickens getting set up for a murder and it's up to his fiancé to help get him out of trouble.
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I have mixed opinions about Heather Redmond's The Pickwick Murders. I really liked the concept of Charles Dickens as an amateur sleuth. We also have his fiancé Kate accompanying him on his sleuthing adventures. Since Charles spends most of his time behind bars in this book, we have only Kate doing her best to save her fiancé from being wrongfully accused and hanged to death. But yes,  there are mentions of their previous adventures - and we also have a spot of 'blast from the past' in the second half of the story.

What didn't work for me is the mystery - it failed to keep me hooked on to the story till the end. We have Kate sent on a wild goose chase while the actual case (the missing girl and her link to Charles' wrongful accusation) takes a backseat. 

Overall, this was an okay read.
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Everything I felt was lacking in the previous book was lacking even more this time around. It felt drawn out, had too much back-and-forth and too little action. The mystery was not captivating.
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1836 Charles Dickens is in Newgate prison accused of the murder of Samuel Pickwick, president of The Lightning Club. His fiancee Kate Hogarth is sent riddles which must solve quickly or Dickens will die.
Can she solve them and discover who is the guilty party, while Dickens attempts to stay alive.
Unfortunately although well-written I did not find this story as engaging as the previous books in the series.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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This is the first book by this author that I have read and as much as I enjoyed the beginning I found it was taking too long to get anywhere.  There was just too much mystery that I couldn’t use to work out who had done it.  Sadly I didn’t get it finished but I am sure there will be others who will love the drawn-out storyline.  I received this as an ARC from NetGalley and freely give my review.
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This had so much promise but unfortunately it did not deliver. I struggled immediately with the way the Charles Dickens character was portrayed, although his fiancee, Kate Hogarth, had great promise. But then the story became too unrealistic for me and it was an effort to read though to the end.

I suppose representing a well known person in a fiction book is always going to be a risk. Readers will all have their own views on how they should act and sound and what kind of lives they really led. My mental version of Mr. Dickens was totally different to that of this author so this book was never going to work for me.

There is still a good story in there though and I am sure many people will enjoy it very much.
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If at first I was a bit put off by the style that I initially found slightly overwritten, it then became less overbearing. But I still could not get into the story. I think I might have had a better appreciation if I had read the Dickens book it was inspired from.
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A fun book to read, a reimagined tale, an easy to read historical mystery.

This is an entertaining book but not a full on mystery/thriller as such but one that keeps you reading for the most part although I did feel it was a bit slow in places.  There did seem to be more than one story going on so became a little confusing and I did have to refer back over pages I had read so I could get my head around it all.  I did love the historical aspect of it all and thought Kate was a pretty good character in the book.

All in all it was a good book to read.
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This is the fourth book of the series, but the first I’ve read. It was interesting to dive into Dickens world in which he and his fiancée solve mysteries. And I was genuinely surprised when the murderer was revealed. But there was something about the Dickens character that rubbed me the wrong way. Was the real Dickens such an egotistical prick? Or was he just a haughty 23 year old man of some acclaim? Too much name dropping and “I know many important people” for me.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Okay, so this was a very boring read. There is not much of a plot or a story except Kate Hogarth having to go on a wild goose chase that bored me to sleep (multiple times). By the time I struggled through 70% of the book, I was so freaking dead on the inside. I didn't give a damn about the characters or the story, it just ceased to hold my interest. On top of that, some sentences sounded kinda homophobic to me.
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Set in 1836 London, twenty-four-year-old Charles Dickens is on the brink of becoming a published author.  His is one of the quickest minds in London and as such receives a prestigious invitation to join the elite Lightning Club.  But obtaining membership is a wee bit trickier than that.  He must first gain physical entry but encounters trouble.  His devoted fiance, Kate, is on the case.  I like that the story is from her point of view so we are privy to her thoughts (though not enough for my taste).  In order to aid her fiance she is tasked with riddles and introduced to quite the character.  The story follows these timed tasks and their outcomes.  

My favourite aspects of this book, the fourth in the series, are the historical details, atmosphere and vernacular.  The author mentions her favourite book by Dickens is The Pickwick Papers, as is mine.  When reading fiction about favourite authors gives me reason to pause but is quite well done in this series.  Sneaking in literary figures is fun.  The story is somewhat predictable but a delightful read nonetheless, though the short stories interspersed feel like filler.  

If you are seeking a light and fun historical fiction with a mysterious element, do try this series.  You may even learn more about Dickens!  I'm curious about subsequent storylines and plots.

My sincere thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this charmer.
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This was a bit strange. It was trying to be like Charles Dickens but I don't think it was successful. I do not enjoy short stories either.
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"The Pickwick Murders" is a mystery set in 1836 in London. It's the fourth in a series. You don't need to read the previous book to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil the previous mysteries. However, minor characters from the previous mysteries do show up in this one.

Vivid historical and setting details were woven into the story, creating a distinct sense of the time and place. The author tried to stay true to what is known about Charles Dickens' career and lifestyle in his early twenties (minus the being thrown in prison part, which didn't really happen). The main characters were interesting and acted realistically. I cared about what happened to them.

However, there were a couple of tales that were thrown in that had nothing to do with the main story. Kate also had to solve a series of riddles rather than work on solving the main whodunit mystery, which was frustrating for her and soon felt like filler to me. Once Charles friends got down to investigating, they solved the mystery pretty quickly. Though a realistic ending, it wasn't a very satisfying one. The people behind the evil weren't really punished.

There was one use of British bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'll probably keep on reading the series because of the wonderful, accurate historical detail, so I guess I'd recommend this book to fans of historicals.
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This book was lacking the tension that I seek from mysteries/thrillers.   It was an interesting premise for a story but it just didn't deliver.
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