He chases crooks. She dusts off maps. With important men vanishing, can one key document prevent death? Vancouver, 1897.
Jack Winston refuses to let his bloodline decide his vocation. Keeping his family connections secret as he joins the Constabulary, the rising detective works hard to make a name for himself on his own merit.
But when he investigates a missing young lawyer, he's shocked to find his own journal connects him to a woman claiming to be from the future. Vancouver, 2017. Riley Finch adores history.
With life pulling friends and family further away, the archivist throws herself into her new position cataloging police files from the nineteenth century. And her excitement with her research bears thrilling results when she finds a way to contact a policeman from the past.
Despite his well-founded suspicions, Winston still struggles to wring answers out of his list of prime suspects. And as Riley risks her job to unearth useful information, she's inexplicably drawn to Jack's great-grandson but forced to keep both men in the dark. Can the pair forge a partnership across decades and solve an impenetrable crime?
The Dead of False Creek is the compelling first book in the Journal Through Time historical mystery series. If you like endearing duos, split narratives, and stunning twists and turns, then you'll love Sarah M Stephen's time-bending tale.
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Average rating from 27 members
Thank you NetGalley and the author for this eARC In 1897, Jack Winston, a new Detective, in Vancouver is stuck solving the disappearance of a young man from a prominent family. He keeps a journal with his thoughts about his work. In 2017, Riley, an archivist, is fascinated with his journal when she discovers it in a box of files. They soon realise the pair can communicate via the journal through time. Can Riley help Jack solve this crime? This book combines my two favourite genres, historical fiction and time travel/slip, and I wasn’t disappointed. I couldn’t put the book down and finished this off in one sitting. The underlying mystery is complex, intriguing with a perfect amount of red herrings. I haven’t read much historical crime fiction set in the 1800s and set in Vancouver. The world-building was fresh and unique especially the descriptions of how Vancouver before it became a city. I liked how the author portrayed the tensions between the various classes. I warmed to Jack and Riley. Their initial confusion about their connection through the journal felt real as did the development of their relationship. Riley’s increasing fascination with Jack’s life, career and descendants was understandable and well written- it could easily have come across as strange. Perfect for fans Historical crime fiction, time travel Summary I loved this book and almost found myself pre-ordering the next book ( not really possible with an eARC), The Hanging at Hollow Tree.
I don't read much historical fiction, but I was drawn to this book by the setting - 1800s Vancouver. I enjoyed the dual timeline, and particularly warmed to the character of Jack. Riley was not as fully formed or as convincing a character, which disappointed me. Overall, though, this is a book I would recommend, and I would certainly read the next one. Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for this honest review.
I really enjoyed this mystery! Actually, the book cover and the title is really what hooked me in. They both have pretty sinister vibes to them and honestly, the book was perfect for me and really hit the spot for my craving, I really enjoyed this! 5 out of 5 stars!
Riley and Jack an unlikely duo solving a crime that crosses centuries. The thing is their communication is connected by a seemingly inconspicuous journal. I loved the way the book jumped back and forth between modern day and the Victorian era throughout the chapters and it is cleverly written. Altogether a joy to read. Thank you for proof copy.
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This story would be great for a movie! This book flips between 1897 and 2017 Vancouver. In 1897, Jack Winston, detective, keeps a journal while trying to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a young man. In 2017, Riley, archivist, finds his journal after discovering it in a box of files. Then, they realize they can communicate through time. Will Riley be able to help Jack solve the mystery? Jack and Riley can communicate with each other through writing in the pages of his journal. I think that’s super unique and works perfectly in the story as the pair works to solve crimes. I also kind of like that they’re both newbies but it does make for a lot of slow judgement on their end. I preferred the character of Jack because I felt that Riley just wasn’t fleshed out as much as Jack was. I also found the book was a bit slow to start. There were also few contradictions throughout the book where something was said to happen in x place, but then the following scene, it would be moved, or they would be elsewhere. Not enough for it to be concerning, but just noticeable. Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot and would definitely read future mysteries in the series or by the author!
This was a compelling read with a dual narrative set in Canada in 1897, which appealed to me as I have not read many historical novels set in Canada and it all really worked, I was gripped and couldn't put it down before i saw how it played out, I am looking forward to reading more by this author.
Thank you Netgalley and WZE Press for early access to this fun little mystery! Set in a dual timeline, we meet a modern-day woman, Riley Finch, as she begins her new position as a museum archivist. While cataloguing early documents of the Vancouver, British Columbia police department, she comes across a 100-year-old journal written by one of the department’s earliest detectives, Jack Winston. She soon realizes however, that this is no ordinary diary, as entries, though written a century prior, begin to appear on the pages. Shocked at her own daring, Riley begins to write her own entries, and to her unbelievable delight, she realizes Jack can see her additions. As Riley and Jack begin to communicate thru the journal, they forge an unexpected friendship as they work together to solve an 1897 murder case. I really enjoyed reading this little story. I loved the dual timeline and Jack and Riley’s communication thru the shared diary. A bit of a history buff myself, I appreciated the heavier emphasis on Jack’s era as opposed to the present day. I specifically liked the 1897 look at what was then a brand-new police department, and the rudimentary resources available to the ‘Constables’ at that time. The mystery was intriguing, as were the supporting characters and the various possibilities of ‘who dun it’. I found myself snatching minutes here and there to read; sneaking pages in on my break, waiting for the stop light to change, or waiting for water to boil on the stove. Even though this is not a ‘bombshell’ or ‘most anticipated’ release, I still found it very enjoyable, and plan on picking up the second volume in this Journal Through Time mystery series when it releases in 2022.
This book is an easy to read murder mystery. Riley is an archivist in modern Vancouver, Jack is a detective in 1897 Vancouver. When they realize that they're able to communicate, they start investigating a murder. Jack and Riley are realistic and sympathetic characters, the mystery is complex and intriguing and the split narrative of the book is well done, it was interesting seeing the differences between 1897 Vancouver and present day Vancouver. The way Jack and Riley solve crimes and communicate with each other is super unique. The beggining was a bit slow and I noticed that there were a few contradictions throughout the book (something is said to happen in a place but in the next scene it's in a different place). Overall I totally recommend this book, it's a good and gripping mystery. Thank you NetGalley for this eARC.
Can time and distance add a different insight to the case … I do believe this is my first dual time read. Until now, none had caught my attention enough to want to read it. It is sure the mystery and paranormal sides helped to tip the scales. Jack has turned his back to his legacy, needing to make his own mark in the world, a different one. His older brother’s disappearance turned his world upside down, then opened him to a different life. So he has his doubt about his abilities to solve crimes, still he is one to look at a case from every side, never overlooking a clue. He is kind to his colleague and his breeding allows him to navigate more easily among the wealthy. Riley has finally landed her dream job, but she never expected during her research to find an intriguing diary. What she thought to be a prank is turning into the adventure of her life. One which connect her with a man from an other time, an other life, an other job. But she is torn between what she can write or not, plus she has her own job to accomplish, how to combine both. It was so much fun to see them tiptoeing around the diary, each making its own experiences before accepting the impossible was probable. The case’s culprit is soon obvious, but his reasoning and methods surprised me. I loved following those two, Jack doing his best but limited by his era’s lack of true forensic services. He mostly has his brain and deductive skills, while Riley is struggling between what she can divulge and the amounts of documents left for her to dig into. So I wonder how their relationship will turn in the future, will they continue hold to back as they are both locked in their own time or is there way for them to interact more outside the diary… I decided to overlook some details as I hope they will be corrected for release day, like the woman Huntington is in love with mentioning early what new career he wanted to pursue, it took Jack quite some time to learn/acknowledge it, then Chase last being seen at his club on the evening then it is said to be in the afternoon instead of later. In all, this first book intrigued me, how the characters processed in their researches, the dual time narrative, it left me eager to read the next one. 4.5 stars 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 none I have been granted an advance copy by the author, here is my true and unbiased opinion.
The Dead of False Creek hooked me by chapter 3. As soon as I was introduced to Jack Winston and Riley Finch, I wanted more. Jack is a detective from the late 19th century and Riley is an archivist in the early 21st century, and their story begins with a journal that defies all logic. While Riley is working on a museum exhibit, she stumbles across the journal and finds herself drawn to write in it. After realizing her mistake, she keeps a close eye on the journal and realizes that it is updating, in real time, with the thoughts of Detective Winston. Detective Winston uses the journal to keep track of his missing person case: a young man has disappeared and it is a race against time to find him. Detective Winston also realizes that the journal is connected to Riley, and he accepts her help as an archivist to help him find the missing man. This book is a very fun read. Each chapter shifts focus between Jack in the 19th century and Riley in modern times. Jack’s chapters are interesting and fast paced, following him through the city as he interviews suspects. These sections helped me to put myself into the story, getting into his head and becoming emotionally involved in the case. The amount of detail and description was well done and at no point did I find myself lost. I appreciate when I can read a novel about a place I have never been, but it still feels familiar. I enjoyed reading about Jack’s interactions with both the fellow officers at the constabulary as well as the suspects in the case. The dialog was interesting and flowed naturally. Riley’s chapters in the novel took a backseat for me and I found myself looking forward to Jack’s sections more and more. While critical to the plot, Riley’s interactions didn’t hold the suspense or gravity the way that Jack’s story did. This is not to say that these sections were boring, they just didn’t hold the suspense the way the 19th century sections did. When I first read the synopsis for the book, I was slightly concerned about the journal that transcends time. It was something that could very easily go wrong, with the journal turning into a Deus Ex Machina plot device, but I am delighted to say that story mechanic was incredibly well written. I was worried that it would feel forced, but it felt natural to the flow of the story. I may not have particularly cared about Riley, the story wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without her. The mystery itself was my favorite part. I loved being kept on my toes and guessing until the very end. I thought I had it all figured out several times, but I am happy to say I was wrong because what actually happened was much more interesting. I enjoyed the fact that even though I guessed some parts of how everything would play out, I never could figure out everything. This made me even more excited about the reveal and kept me on my toes until the very end. As a final thought, I have been obsessing about this book since I finished, and that is always the sign of a good book. I found out that there will be a second book coming out next year and I am already upset it isn’t coming out sooner. I can’t wait to see where this story goes and how some of my lingering questions will be answered. 4.5/5 ⭐️ I received this book from NetGalley and the author in exchange for my honest review.
time-travel, archivist, detective, law-enforcement, paranormal, urban-fantasy, missing-persons, murder, murder-investigation, family, friendship, Canada***** Interesting premise involving two-way written communication between a police detective in the late 1890s and an archivist in present times. First, each of them has to get over the weirdness, then she tries to help him with his current investigation without changing the continuum. Very good tale and I'm thrilled that it is only first in series! The characters are engaging and the world building is superb! I requested and received a free ebook copy from BooksGoSocial via NetGalley. Thank you!
I really loved this book. It was well-written with great characters. The story is a dual timeline with one in the late 1800s and the other present time. Riley finds a journal and after thinking she had made some marks on it, she realizes that someone is writing in it...from a different time. She ends up communicating with Jack, a police officer on the other end of the journal, and they set out to figure out a murder mystery. The characters of Riley and Jack are wonderful. I really loved the relationship they forged. The mystery was good, I kinda had an idea who did it but I still really enjoyed the work put into it. I can't wait to read what happens next.
Riley Finch is working as an archivist in a museum in Vancouver in 2017, when she finds a journal written by Jack Winston, a detective in the Vancouver police force in 1897. She is alarmed to see notations appear that weren't there before but cannot remember writing them herself, she then reads a completely new entry from Jack & comes to the conclusion that the journal is somehow connecting them through time. Riley writes a message to Jack & after his initial shock, they decide to work together to solve a case involving two missing men. This book was a pleasant surprise. The main characters, Jack & Riley, work well together & the connections across time angle gives it an edge, although I enjoyed the chapters set in 1897 more than the modern ones. I did think the plot was a little thin & certain aspects of it weren't explained fully enough for me, but as the first book in a series, it was intriguing. I would definitely be interested in reading the next book to see how things develop. The cover is rather nice too. Thanks to NetGalley & publishers, BooksGoSocial, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
In 1897, Detective jack Winston investigates a missing man in Vancouver. He keeps the facts and his thoughts straight in his private journal that no one else touches, so he is dumbfounded when someone writes back to him. In 2017, Riley Finch works as a museum archivist and is puzzled when the journal she founds keeps getting new entries when no one has touched it. Connected across time, can these two find a killer? I don't often read books with a basis in time travel, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The idea of two people able to communicate across time with a journal was an intriguing one. The way it was presented here was...interesting. There were more instances of the supernatural than I was really comfortable with, but maybe I should have expected that with an unexplained time traveling journal? While both characters were interesting, I didn't believe their reactions. They both accepted the unusual faster than I think anyone would, and began confiding personal information. Riley's point of view didn't add much to the actual mystery. She constantly worries that she will change history with what she says, but she gives the detective the information she finds. And it changes nothing and there are no consequences. Since the majority of the story stays with the detective, I did end up liking him more. In some ways, he reminded me of Detective Murdoch from the tv show. However, as much as I like him, I was let down by the ending. So, I would actually rate this somewhere around 3.5 stars, but rounding up to be generous. I don't know if I would continue in the series, but I might. Readers who enjoy time travel might enjoy this more than I did.
This story threads the strands of time together to create a paradox around a seemingly ordinary journal that links the lives for Detective Jack from the late 1800's to historical archivist, Riley in 2017. These two, seemingly singular lives soon find that fate or destiny has a way of reaching across the span of time to alter their plans life. Instead they find themselves pouring their thoughts to one another through the journey as Riley tries to help Jack in the present find a killer in the past before its too late. In this story, as always time runs short. In some stories, the dual time-lines can cause confusion for the reader and often frustration if the story of kept in one reference for too long. The author does a wonderful job of circumventing this dilemma by the use of the journal to tie both eras. Just writing what one does can remind the reader what happened and also acts as a good segue into the next era's scene. The characters were delightful and full of great depth that grew as the story progressed. There were only a few things that bothered me. Early on Riley found that Jack died young, drowned, but later he was old and married when he died. Obviously time changed, but nothing was noted in the story. It would seem like something important to me if I changed something in the past. Another thing is that there is almost this romantic air between the two, but with the space of time it seems illogical admitting can happen. What is the author planning? And last, the ending was very abrupt, though there is hope for another book but where can it go from here? Overall it was a very satisfying read and I look forward to the next book ** Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to leave an honest review in exchange of a copy of this book **