Do you want to find yourself walking the streets of Victorian London on a night of “relentless rain” seeing people hurrying back to their semi-detached villas and tiny hovels, a place where evil and kindness stand side by side? Then this is the book for you.
“Honour and Obey” is packed with richly drawn characters with fascinating names. Who could not wish to make the acquaintance of Lobelia and Hyacinth Clout, as they make their way to the church hall of Rev. Ezra Bittersplit, where they will listen to a talk about the Overseas Missionary Society for the Conversion of African Heathens, given by Eustacia Mullygrub?
Throughout the book, Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his assistant Detective Sergeant Jack Cully are in pursuit of a dastardly killer who seeks out innocent young women as his prey. So often they miss the murderer by seconds without realising it and they are hampered by the lurid exaggeration of the crimes in the popular press.
Parallel to the investigation, three young women seek happiness. Hyacinth, after a life of drudgery with her mother now seeks independence from her demanding sister Lobelia, while Portia Mullygrub also wishes to leave the family home where she works tirelessly as her mother’s secretary, in order to begin married life with her fiancé. Meanwhile, penniless Emily Benet just wants to survive in a cruel world.
This witty novel is a delicious feast of Victorian delights; the gruesome murders, foundlings and workhouse families, do-gooders and honest hard working individuals. The streets, houses, shops and hospital dissection room are all described in vivid detail and the complex plot interwoven seamlessly. I can highly recommend “Honour and Obey” as a Christmas treat, but you will find it very hard to put down!