By Kelly Bridgewater
About the Book
Book: The Thief of Blackfriars Lane
Author: Michelle Griep
Genre: Christian historical
There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint
Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.
I adore London. Even though I have never been there. I adore mysteries. I adore historical romance novels that allow me, as the reader, to be taken to a different place and time. I love learning about history through fiction novels. The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep includes all the elements of a historical mystery that I look forward to reading. I love the idea of a constantable, who is trying to find his detective legs, running around through the underbelly of London, trying to prove himself. As for the heroine, she was brave, resourceful, and a delight to read. The plot showed the side of London that is not glamorized, but I enjoyed it for that reason. Griep’s story twisted and turned, allowing me to keep my attention focused on the storyline. As an avid reader of mysteries, it was an entertaining way to pass the time. The story was well-written. My favorite part was the trek through the tunnels near the underground train stations. As the reader, it was fun to follow the characters through these disgusting tunnels filled with sewage. Overall, The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep was an engrossing tale of the underdog, and I loved spending time with these characters and the plot.
I received a complimentary copy of The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep from Barbour Publishing through Celebrate Lit tours, but the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase The Thief of Blackfriars Lane
About the Author
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest
More from Michelle
Zootopia in Victorian London
I admit it. I like kid’s movies. You know, the animated sort that entertain both young and old alike. One of my favorites is Zootopia, a rollicking adventure about a bunny whose dream it is to be a police officer and make the streets of the big city safe for all animals. In fact, I loved it so much that I thought why not set it in Victorian London?
So I did.
And that’s what The Thief of Blackfriars Lane is all about, but that meant I had to do a little digging into the history of police force of the late 1800’s. Here’s what I learned…
The Metropolitan Police (founded in 1829 by Robert Peel) was composed mostly of young men, many of whom were recruited from rural areas. Few were from London, the philosophy being that they would thus be free from local patronage and influence.
It is a bit of an anomaly that hero Jackson Forge and his friend, Officer Baggett, carry a sidearm. Some did, but most relied on truncheons. It was up to the officer. Revolvers were usually only supplied after the death of a police officer by an armed criminal, at the discretion of the Divisional Officer, or if a constable requested to use one during night duty. In 1884, after the deaths of several police officers, the Home Office ordered nearly a thousand revolvers from Webley & Scott to be issued to branches of the London police. . .which is where I got the idea of a shipment of guns for the villain to attempt to steal.
Police detectives were recruited from within the ranks of existing uniformed officers. There were actually women on the force at the time, employed as police matrons. But these were behind-the-scenes workers, tasked with guarding women and children. If my heroine, Kit, were to be out in public, serving as Jackson’s assistant, she’d have to keep her job secret. The first female police officer wasn’t seen on the streets until 1919.
And so, armed with that information, I wrote the adventures of not a police bunny and a con artist fox, but of Jackson Forge, a fresh-faced constable, and his thorn in the side, swindler Kit Turner. Snatch up your own copy and enjoy a visit to Victorian London!
The Avid Reader, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23
Inklings and notions, January 23
Bizwings Blog, January 23
Remembrancy, January 24
Connect in Fiction, January 24
deb’s Book Review, January 24
Blogging With Carol, January 24
She Lives To Read, January 25
Blessed & Bookish, January 25
Genesis 5020, January 25
Where Faith and Books Meet, January 25
Library Lady’s kid Lit, January 26
Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 26
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 26
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 26
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 27
Reflections From My Bookshelves, January 27
Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 27
CarpeDiem, January 27
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 28
For the Love of Literature, January 28
Sara Jane Jacobs, January 28
Connie’s History Classroom, January 29
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 29
Rachael’s Inkwell, January 29
Life of Literature, January 29
Betti Mace, January 30
Older & Smarter?, January 30
Texas Book-aholic, January 30
HookMeInABook, January 30
For Him and My Family, January 31
Tell Tale Book Reviews, January 31
Mia Reads, January 31
Godly Book Reviews, January 31
Through the Fire Blogs, February 1
KarenSueHadley, February 1
The Book Chic Blog, February 1
Melissa Wardwell’s Back Porch Reads, February 1
Artistic Nobody, February 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 2 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Mamma Loves Books, February 2
Blossoms and Blessings, February 2
Splashes of Joy, February 3
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 3
Vicky Sluiter, February 3
Pause for Tales, February 3
The Write Escape, February 4
Wishful Endings, February 4
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 4
Hallie Reads, February 4
Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, February 5
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, February 5
To Everything There Is A Season, February 5
Daysong Reflections, February 5
To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Thief of Blackfriars Lane!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.