Review: Dance with Death

I just finished reading “Dance with Death” by Will Thomas. An interesting book that received 4 Sparklers from me.

Thoughts: I haven’t read any of the other books in this series, but I will be looking for them. The story takes place in 1893 London and reminds me—vaguely—of a Sherlock Holmesian type story with two detectives (enquirers). Llewelyn is Watson to Barker’s Sherlock with Llewelyn being the note taker and Barker the enigmatic genius. Though this is not the first book in the series, it is not hard to get to know all the characters and where they fit in the story/series. Though a fictional story, the historical facts about Nicholas were mostly correct. He was related to a lot of European royalty; he did travel to London in this time period; he did marry Alexandra; there was a lot of unrest concerning the Russians, anarchists, socialists, communists, etc. I will note that I found the story slow, and yet I couldn’t put it down because it was fascinating at the same time.

What I liked: the characters of Llewelyn and Barker are fascinating, especially Llewelyn—who is telling the story. The supporting characters are well-done and interesting—especially Hercules, a Black man guarding Nicholas who is forced to wear bizarre clothing ala “genie”. It is noted at the end of the book that this character is actually based on a real person.

What I didn’t like: This was an ARC so I expected some minor editorial gaffs, but there were more than a few which put me off. I assume they’ll be corrected in the final proofread. Also, as noted above, the story was a bit slow to read, but at the same time, I couldn’t put it down.

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a decent historical mystery in the style of Sherlock, I’d definitely pick this one up. Or even start at the beginning of the series so you don’t miss anything and go from there.

I received this from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press and thank them for allowing me to read this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Vicky

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