Friday, September 3, 2010

What Alice Knew

By:  Paula Marantz Cohen

From Goodreads:  Henry James is suffering through boring drunken dinner parties in London, but when his brother William-renowned for his groundbreaking work in the new science of psychology-is summoned from America by Scotland Yard to help investigate an East End serial killer who calls himself Jack the Ripper, things are suddenly much more interesting.

Their bedridden sister Alice James takes on the role of lead detective, as the three precocious siblings attempt to unravel the true identity of the killer. Searching London high and low, encountering characters both suspicious and ridiculous, they inch closer to a killer neither they, nor readers, would suspect.

I rather liked this book.  The writer has a very clever and witty style of writing that I found to be very enjoyable.  She also used "SAT words".  I'm a reader, I have a fairly decent vocabulary and some even had me grabbing a dictionary.  I like when authors use big words, interesting, exotic words.  This author did that and I appreciated it!  No dumbing down in this book.

The characters were a lot of fun.  Alice was a nut.  Her brother is a famous psychologist and he's got this crazy bedridden-by-choice sister.  Henry and William were clever and interesting without being too know it all.  There were cameos by other famous people of the time like Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain. 

I think if you liked The Alienist by Caleb Carr, you'd probably like this book.  It had the same feel.  Admittedly, that book was not based on a well know case like Jack the Ripper.  I don't know enough about the Jack the Ripper case to know if the conclusion drawn in this book is a common conclusion.  I think not, but it was interesting all the same.

This book will be published on September 7th.  Check it out!  Don't you like the cover of this book?  I think it really captures the spirit of the book very well.

**I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review which I have provided.  I was in no other way compensated.**


Unknown said...

Sounds like a very interesting book.

Nat said...

I enjoy SAT words too! :)

Audra said...

I'm a total James family fangirl, so I am soooo excited for this one! I haven't read The Alienist but I think I'm going to grab this one sooner than later!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This one sounds really good. Is it one of the books especially made for SAT studying? Or did she just want to use SAT words :)

LibraryGirl said...

Thanks for bringing this one to my attention. It sounds really interesting and I'll be adding it to my TBR pile :-)

LM Preston said...

Love the cover. Stop by my blog, I ask Are You a Picky Reader.

Tales of Whimsy said...

This sounds SO good.

Violet said...

This book sounds excellent! Love the idea of the cameos from folks like Mark Twain & Oscar Wilde. Thanks for sharing your review. :)