A Twist of Murder by Heather Redmond
“Please, sir, I want some more.” — Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist
The fifth installment in the Dickens of a Crime series, A Twist of Murder by Heather Redmond once again sees Charles Dickens acting as an amateur sleuth. This time, he’s in pursuit of missing orphans, legendary treasure, and a cold-blooded killer….
Having Charles Dickens solve crime is an entertaining and creative concept. Each of the novels in this series relates to an actual Charles Dickens book and this one was built around the story of Oliver Twist. I had fun catching all the references to the original story and it was amusing to imagine the real Dickens finding his story inspiration in a similar manner.
I also really enjoyed the historical setting. It’s clear that the author is very familiar with that world as the time period felt authentically grungy and Dickensian.
As for the plot itself, the murder, the treasure hunt, and the missing boys do all tie together at the end. However, there is a lot happening in this book, and I didn’t think it was all necessary. The plot leaned much more towards meandering treasure hunt than murder mystery — and this is where it fell short for me. The scenes and dialogue could have been tighter to keep up the pacing and intrigue.
And while A Twist of Murder works perfectly fine as a standalone, I do wish I would have started this series with book one. As someone who had never spent time with these characters before, I struggled to feel the depth of emotion towards them that I wanted. I think the reading experience for this story would have been very different had I spent the previous four books getting to know and love the characters first. After all, that’s really what this series is all about!
Overall though, this was an entertaining and cozy read with an excellent setting. I think fans of this series will definitely enjoy seeing what Dickens is up to in this newest installment!
Fans of the Dickens of a Crime series, or those looking for a cozy, treasure hunt story.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. ARC provided courtesy of the publisher, Kensington Books. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(From the publisher): Harrow-on-the-Hill, March 1836: In a sense, orphans Ollie, John, and Arthur have always been treasure hunters. The mudlarks have gone from a hardscrabble life scavenging the banks of the Thames for bits and bobs to becoming students at a boarding school outside of London, thanks to the kind and generous intercession of Charles Dickens. But now they’re missing—as is, apparently, a treasure map.
When Charles arrives at the school, he’s hit with another twist—the servant girl who was allegedly in possession of the map has been strangled in the icehouse. Unbeknownst to them on their spirited adventure, his young friends may be in mortal danger. Now Charles and his fiancée Kate Hogarth, who has come to join him in the search for the runaways, must artfully dodge false leads and red herrings to find the boys and the map—before X marks the spot of their graves….