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Things in Jars

av Jess Kidd

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
9814421,558 (3.82)71
Bridie Devine--female 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 trading curiosities in this age of discovery. Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won't rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a 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 spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.… (mer)
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» Se även 71 omnämnanden

engelska (43)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (44)
Visa 1-5 av 44 (nästa | visa alla)
We follow Detective Bridie Devine as she searches for a missing child. but finds so much more than she bargained for. Bridie is no stranger to the seedy underworld of Victorian London. As an accomplished detective with medical training, she sometimes helps the police by examining bodies to determine the cause of death. Bridie recently had failed to find a lost child, so when she’s approached about another missing child, this one not just ANY lost child but the daughter of Sir Edmund Berwick. She isn’t really enthusiastic about taking on the case. However, Christabel Berwick is no ordinary child. Sir Edmund has hidden Christabel away her whole life but yet wants Bridie to believe that this is just an ordinary kidnapping. Bridie starts asking questions and learns that Christabel isn’t so much Sir Edmund's daughter but much more like his "prized procession". He fully believes that Christabel is a “merrow,” which is a darker version of a mermaid. Bridie of course, is skeptical, but there are reports that Christabel has some strange characteristics like sharp teeth, color-changing eyes, and the ability to drown people on dry land. Bridie is without some "strange" herself as newest companion is a ghost who refuses to tell her why he’s following her around. There’s a lot going on in this story and it's NOT PRETTY! London in Birdies time is soaked with mud and blood, and her own past is a nightmare at best. The author, Jess Kidd is an expert at giving us a supernatural mood that any ghost or merrow would be happy to call home... and her human villains would not be the exception. The story has so much detail and so many clever characters. I think Bridie deserves her own series of oh maybe a hundred or so books. This one is creepy, dark, and sometimes violent...but what an adventure! ( )
  Carol420 | May 8, 2024 |
What an amazing, cool, well-written book that fits so many different genres. It was loaned to me by a friend who read it quickly; I had to take it in batches because the panoramas that the language paints are so very rich and full. This story has an Irish waif grown to adulthood on the streets of London; well-to-do families of physicians; Victorian carnivals and their creatures; and an undercurrent of both malice and wonder.

The book opens with Bridie (Brigit) Devine in her widow's cap approached by a well-muscled ghost with tattoos who encounters her in a church graveyard. Bridie is not enamored of Ruby, though she is curious about him, especially because she is investigating the skeletons/corpses of a woman and her child, both with very sharp teeth and other strange anomalies, walled up in the church basement.

Who Bridie is becomes part of the story in chapters that start 20 years before, where she is an orphan from 1840's pre-Famine Ireland taken in by her Gan while he introduces her to anatomy and studies of the human form. The adult Bridie walks the streets of London with her pipe and her mind and her memories, and assisting in the recovery of a very strange, missing child that seems to be more myth than real.

The missing child is the daughter of Sir Edmund and the playfellow of Dr. Harbin, who was sent to hire her for the search. But things are not as they seem, and her new-found friend (and ghost) Ruby is assisting her in her efforts even if no one else can see him. Or his various tattoos that shift and move and communicate his thoughts without words.

There are some cautions in this tale: death is very prevalent, and there is an incident of animal cruelty as well as Victorian operating procedures pre-anesthesia. Most of them take place in the household were Bridie is raised, that of prominent physician Dr. Eames and his psychopathic (also well-described) wife and son, during the Before passages.

How this tale is woven, how language is used, and Bridie herself are quite memorable and it is definitely a book I am glad I read. ( )
  threadnsong | Apr 28, 2024 |
I am not really sure what genre this strange and wonderful book belongs to. Part crime thriller, part fairy tale set in the Victorian era, but hardly historical fiction. The plot is dark and light, gritty and tender, fantastic and familiar, unfolding in prose that is excellent, textured, and lush. The characters — and they are characters: thieves, circus freaks, riff raff, and royalty — are layered, strange, and wondrous. A gem of a book. ( )
1 rösta bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
I LOVE this book! Second read. ( )
  dmurfgal | Jan 10, 2024 |
3.5

‘Things in Jars’ by Jess Kidd was an atmospheric blend of a grimy Victorian London setting and a dark fairytale in the form of a mystery.

Bridie Divine, our strong-willed female detective, is an interesting and layered main character. Bouncing back and forth in time was fascinating in dissolving the mystery but also understanding Bridie, her motives and experiences. A young girl, who is rumored to have supernatural powers, is kidnapped. Bridie is hired to handle the abduction with discretion and the deeper into the mystery she goes the more elaborate the connection to her past, it becomes.

Additionally, Bridie’s companions are wonderful. Cora and Ruby really added an extra sprinkling of charm.

I picked this up because I wanted some historical fiction to usher in Autumn (a bit ahead of schedule). This definitely delivered. It’s rainy, chilly and has a real sense of the macabre. It was a good one to get lost in, and I settled in, indulging in hundred page chunks, till it was finished. Very enjoyable. I even shed a few tears in the end. ( )
1 rösta jo_lafaith | Aug 20, 2023 |
Visa 1-5 av 44 (nästa | visa alla)
This pacy piece of Victorian crime fiction delivers chills galore: pickled babies, wicked surgeons, a head in a hatbox and other unsettling discoveries. “The baby isn’t suckling the mother’s finger, it’s gnawing it,”...It’s a lovely idea, wittily done, and its warmth is a welcome respite from the grisly Victorian police procedural..... it is well worth the price of admission.
 
If there was an Oscar ceremony for books, then Jess Kidd’s Victorian mystery Things in Jars would surely sweep the board. The book’s heroine, Bridie Devine, is a shoo-in for Best Female Character in a Leading Role. A detective with a talent for reading corpses in a London “awash with the freshly murdered....Kidd is a writer who’s not afraid of having fun, as the passage above suggests, but that’s not to say that Things in Jars is a frivolous book. For all its humour and colour, and there’s plenty of both, this is a story of serious evil....Macabre dealings may be the subject matter of Things in Jars, but tenderness is at the heart of it.....For this wonderful portrait of London, for her beautiful writing and even better storytelling, Jess Kidd richly deserves the award of Best Director. And the Oscar for Best Book? Things in Jars, for all the reasons listed above.
 
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For my mother
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As pale as a grave grub she's an eyeful.
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Bridie Devine--female 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 trading curiosities in this age of discovery. Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won't rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a 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 spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

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