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Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T. A. Willberg

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I was sent a copy of this novel by the publishers to review, however this has no bearing on my rating or review.

Cover image of Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T. A. Willberg.

They were a band of mysterious private detectives who lived beneath the streets of London in a labyrinth of twisted tunnels and ancient hallways, the entrance to which no one had ever found…

London, 1958:
Elaborately disguised and hidden deep beneath the city’s streets lies the world of Miss Brickett’s, a secret detective agency. From traversing deceptive escape rooms full of baited traps and hidden dangers, to engineering almost magical mechanical gadgets, apprentice detectives at Miss Brickett’s undergo rigorous training to equip them with the skills and knowledge they will need to solve the mysteries that confound London’s police force.

But nothing can prepare 23-year-old apprentice Marion Lane for what happens after the arrest of her friend and mentor, Frank, on suspicion of murder: he tasks Marion with clearing his name and saving his life. Her investigation will place Marion and her friends in great peril as they venture into the forbidden maze of uncharted tunnels that surround Miss Brickett’s. Being discovered out of bounds means immediate dismissal, but that is the least of Marion’s problems when she discovered that the tunnels contain more than just secrets…

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Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is a very imaginative and genre-defying novel, with elements of both historical fiction and fantasy, it’s a detective story like no other. The opening chapter definitely dug it’s hooks into me and from then on I could not put the book down, I was enthralled by this mesmerising new world below the streets of London and the mystery that was unfolding on the page. I loved that the agency was hidden underground with the front of a bookshop, and deeply imbedded in the historical setting of post war London.

The main character Marion is likeable from her very first mention, she’s inexperienced but strong and ambitious. She also has a wonderful affinity for mechanics which allows readers to become from familiar with the abundance of gadgets and inventions within the story. The novel focuses on Marion and her friends as they attempt to unravel the mystery of a murdered colleague. Through this adventure we discover more about the underground detective agency, the fantastical inventions and gadgets available to the inquirers and the rare creatures hiding in the tunnels of the agency.

T. A. Willberg has created a stunning debut novel that will immerse readers in a brilliant new world, it is definitely a novel to be proud of. The writing style is beautifully fluid and engaging with plenty of twists to keep readers guessing. I look forward to discovering what adventure the author writes next for Marion Lane.

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