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.