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BKLYN BookMatch: Mystery, Romance and Adventure in Foggy London, Old New York, and Other Dark Corners

This list was created by a librarian with Brooklyn Public Library for a reader. The books on this list feature mystery, romance, Victorian era and Edwardian era, foggy London, old New York, and historical fiction. Would you like your own personalized list of reading suggestions? Visit Bklyn BookMatch, here:www.bklynlibrary.org/bookmatch

8 items

The gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

Lee, Mackenzi. |

England, 1700s. Eighteen-year-old white viscount Henry “Monty” Montague is as known for his dashing looks as his penchant for booze—and boys. Before his abusive father grooms him to run the estate, he and his mixed-race best friend, Percy, orphan son of a British colonist and a Barbadian woman, are sent on a yearlong Grand Tour—after which he and Percy will likely be separated forever. Adding insult, their Tour begins under the proviso that, after Monty’s sister is delivered to school in Marseille, Monty will remain on the sober straight and narrow or else risk loss of title and fortune. Monty wastes no time in demolishing this agreement in Paris when he gets hammered, offends Percy, insults a duke, ends up naked at Versailles, and steals an objet from the palace in a fit of childish rage. The theft ignites an adventure that illuminates a side of life the trio wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Issues of same-sex romance walk in stride with those of race as Monty and Percy find their footing amorously, sexually, and socially. Their realized attraction could mean imprisonment or death, and their relationship is often misconstrued as lord and valet due to Percy’s brown skin. The book’s exquisite, bygone meter and vernacular sit comfortably on a contemporary shelf. And the friction of racism, tyrannical entitled politicians, and misguided disapproval of homosexuality also have a relevance rooted in current culture’s xeno- and homophobia. Austen, Wilde, and Indiana Jones converge in this deliciously anachronistic bonbon. — Kirkus Starred Review

The gods of Gotham

Lyndsay Faye. |

1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever. Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force." And he is less than thrilled that his new beat is the notoriously down-and-out Sixth Ward-at the border of Five Points, the world's most notorious slum. One night while making his rounds, Wilde literally runs into a little slip of a girl-a girl not more than ten years old-dashing through the dark in her nightshift . . . covered head to toe in blood. Timothy knows he should take the girl to the House of Refuge, yet he can't bring himself to abandon her. Instead, he takes her home, where she spins wild stories, claiming that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of 23rd Street. Timothy isn't sure whether to believe her or not, but, as the truth unfolds, the reluctant copper star finds himself engaged in a battle for justice that nearly costs him his brother, his romantic obsession, and his own life.

A murder in time

Julie McElwain. |

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates. While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

The prestige

Priest, Christopher, 1943- author. |

In 1878, two young stage magicians clash in the dark during the course of a fraudulent séance. From this moment on, their lives become webs of deceit and revelation as they vie to outwit and expose one another. Their rivalry will take them to the peaks of their careers, but with terrible consequences. In the course of pursuing each other's ruin, they will deploy all the deception their magicians' craft can command--the highest misdirection and the darkest science. Blood will be spilled, but it will not be enough. In the end, their legacy will pass on for generations...to descendants who must, for their sanity's sake, untangle the puzzle left to them.

The quick

Lauren Owen. |

1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Alarmed, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine London that greets her, she uncovers a hidden, supernatural city populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling "Doctor Knife." But the answer to her brother's disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of the exclusive, secretive Aegolius Club, whose predatory members include the most ambitious, and most bloodthirsty, men in England.

The shadow of the wind

Carlos Ruiz Zafâon ; translated by Lucia Graves. |

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

The solitary house

Lynn Shepherd. |

London, 1850. A shadowy and feared attorney offers Charles Maddox—once an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career—a handsome price to investigate a case of threatening letters. What starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As Charles cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, he can only be aided so far by his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come, who is showing signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named. Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.

Wildthorn

by Jane Eagland. |

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove has never enjoyed the life of the pampered, protected life girls of wealth were expected to follow in nineteenth century England. It was too confining. She would have much rather been like her older brother, allowed to play marbles, go to school, become a doctor. But little does she know how far her family would go to kill her dreams and desires. Until one day she finds herself locked away in an insane asylum and everyone--the doctors and nurses--insist on calling her Lucy Childs, not Louisa Cosgrove.