Things in Jars book beside a candle

A Victorian Era Mystery Novel That Will Leave You Hopelessly Enchanted

November 6 2020

With its beautiful embellished cover swirling with promises of mystical sea creatures and magic, Things in Jars by Jess Kidd reeled me in right from the get-go. But beyond its dazzling cover, this gem of a story certainly lived up to—and quite frankly, exceeded—my expectations as a literary escape.

Bridie Devine, female detective and no-nonsense badass, has been tasked with solving the mystery of all mysteries: Dr. Berwick’s secret daughter has been kidnapped. But why hasn’t he gone to the police? And why had no one heard of this mysterious daughter until her disappearance? These complicated questions can only be solved with one explanation—magic. Christabel Berwick, the peculiar daughter, has inexplicable supernatural powers that readers can only understand after they sink into the charming, sharp, and witty writing of Jess Kidd.

Amidst her enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid and a tattoo-ridden ghost, Jess Kidd unfolds a brilliant and creative story about a dedicated and ingenious detective with a wild and eerie past. Part mystery and part fairy tale, this literary adventure seamlessly weaves magical realism and Irish folklore together, complete with a powerful female lead—Bridie Devine. Hell-bent on finding Christabel, she won’t stop until she turns over every sooty cobblestone in Victorian London.

I was extraordinarily engrossed in the exceptionally detailed plotline Jess Kidd imagined. Even if you’re not one to suspend any disbelief for a surrealistic story, the atmospheric energy emanating from the pages as Bridie and her tag team trudge through 1860s London is enough to captivate any historical-fiction lover. The writing is gorgeous, the characters are bursting with personality, and the story takes readers through a rollercoaster of emotions. From Bridie’s dark and sinister past to the relationship with her ghost companion (who seems all too familiar to Bridie), my entire heart felt for the hardened detective.

I love every page of this now-treasured piece of literature. I urge readers to pay attention to Jess Kidd’s vivid imagination and quirky way with words. While the immersive plot, gothic setting, and creative characters all managed to catch my eye, what truly made this book special was the author’s knack for storytelling. I will always recommend Jess Kidd’s writing to book-loving friends, and you can bet Things in Jars takes the cake for my favorite.

Prepare to be dazzled with historical charm and deeply fascinated by this book’s folkloric nature. With an author as brilliant and impressive as Jess Kidd, you can expect nothing less.

Things in Jars
by Jess Kidd

Bridie Devine—flame-haired, pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors in this age of discovery. Winding her way through the sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing secrets about her past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where nothing is quite what it seems. Blending darkness and light, THINGS IN JARS is a stunning, “richly woven tapestry of fantasy, folklore, and history” (Booklist, starred review) that explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
Things in Jars
Jess Kidd

In this “miraculous and thrilling” (Diane Setterfield, #1 New York Times bestselling author) mystery for fans of The Essex Serpent and The Book of Speculation, Victorian London comes to life as an intrepid female sleuth wades through a murky world of collectors and criminals to recover a remarkable child.

Bridie Devine—flame-haired, pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing secrets about her past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, Things in Jars is a stunning, “richly woven tapestry of fantasy, folklore, and history” (Booklist, starred review) that explores what it means to be human in inhumane times.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

Readers’ Choice: Your Favorite Reads of 2020 (and What to Read Next)

By Off the Shelf Staff | January 19, 2021

Readers’ Choice: Our Top 25 Most Popular Books of the Year!

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 30, 2020

The Best of 2020: The Top 10 Reviews of the Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2020

The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 30, 2020

20 Life-Changing Books We’re Gifting to Everyone We Love This Year

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 23, 2020

A Victorian Era Mystery Novel That Will Leave You Hopelessly Enchanted

By Holly Claytor | November 6, 2020

Close

Photo credit: Atria Books

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.