The Bellingham Bloodbath by Gregory Harris

Genre: Mystery

Year of publication: 2014

Rating: ♥♥♥

Summary: Set in Victorian London, one might argue that this book is simply well-written Watson/Holmes slash fiction with minor differences; yet they are different enough, and no one’s trying to deny the similarities, so it works quite well. The main characters are Colin Pendragon, the detective, and his partner in every sense, Ethan Pruitt. The live together in a London flat with their Holmesian house-keeper, Mrs. Behmath. They’re in their thirties, good looking, and clever.

In this story, a member of the Queen’s guard and his wife are brutally murdered, and Colin and Ethan are asked to investigate. In a separate case, a woman’s beloved dog is kidnapped. Colin & Ethan must solve both cases within a very short time — three days — or risk their reputations, as well as any chance of bringing the perpetrators to justice.

Thoughts: It was a fun, light read. At times it felt a bit rushed, but it did take place in the space of only three days, so that might be a symptom of the plot. The characters were well fleshed out, although the mains could have used a bit more thorough treatment, especially regarding their relationship. I didn’t realize this book was the second in the series until after I finished it, so perhaps their relationship is given more prominence in the first story.

I also thought it was strange that the two mysteries didn’t tie together at all. Of course, that’s probably more realistic, and I can’t figure out how a dognapping would be connected to the murder in this case, anyway.

I found the writing competent and promising. It’s possible there are some minor anachronisms — I can’t remember what — but if there were, I think they’re forgivable because of the fun nature of the story. All in all, I enjoyed it. It left me looking forward the to the next installment.