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The Penny Dreadful Curse

333 pages5 hours


Book 3 in a series of chronological stand-alone plots.

England 1899. Dr Watson and Countess Volodymyrovna travel to the city of York. Someone is killing-off the authors who write cheap but popular penny dreadfuls, and Inspector Bird, a fervent admirer of Dr Watson, needs help.

The murder victims are all connected to Panglossian Publishing and it is imperative to match noms de plume to actual authors before the killer strikes again, but it appears that almost everyone in York is a ‘dreadful’ writer.

When a penniless guttersnipe is found hanging from a meat hook in the Shambles, Dr Watson and Countess V have their first real clue. In the dead boy’s clenched hand is a torn scrap of paper with the letters BB.

After the death of yet another writer during a farcical highway robbery gone wrong, pseudonymous authors finally start outing themselves. But it is not until Countess V discovers the identity of the mysterious Roman Acle that the penny drops.

This Victorian murder mystery parallels the changes being witnessed today regarding the demise of traditional bookshops, the reinvention of publishing, popular versus proper literature, the secret lives of authors, and the inevitable result of endless rejection.

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