Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Bedlam Detective has a very Victorian age London feel, even though it takes place in 1912. The suffragette movement is getting it’s legs and automobiles are beginning to replace horses, and moving pictures are the craze. This is were we meet up with Sebastian Becker, previously of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, currently employed to investigate for the Lord Chancellor’s Visitor in Lunacy. The Visitor in Lunacy decides whether or not the rich are sane enough to continue running their own affairs.

We catch up with Becker on a train to meet his next assignment. He arrives just in time to join a search for two missing girls. With the notes his predecessor left, he fears the worst. Turns out his fears are justified.

When I was reading The Bedlam Detective, references were made to Becker’s past in such a way that I assumed the book was in the middle of a series. It is not. Looking at Stephen Gallagher’s writing history, he has a rather eclectic taste in writing. I enjoyed the book and Gallagher’s writing experience shone through. However, his mystery while decent, wasn’t spectacular. He made a few blunders that stuck out to me as far as the plot was concerned but it was still a fun read and the story was very engaging.

Overall, if you are reading this just for the mystery, you might be disappointed; if you want a good story about the time period, it’s worth the read. My favorite part was the retelling of the trip through the Amazon and the anticipation of finally learning what happened.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

A review copy was provided free of any obligation by Crown. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.