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Reviewed by Andy Hutchings for Readers' Favorite
I enjoyed Isabella Duke’s historical whodunnit A Skeleton in Every House (Catriona Winters Book 1), an engaging and exciting murder mystery set in Victorian-era London in which would-be journalist Catriona Winters goes on the hunt for a killer. After a man's body is found drifting in the Thames, Catriona sees an opportunity to impress her father and escape from her prescribed social role. Catriona is a lead character who immediately draws the reader in. She is relatable due both to her ambition and frustration with what life has decreed for her. More importantly, she evolves throughout the story as her characterization gets richer and deeper with every twist in the tale.
There are developments aplenty in the tale, as A Skeleton in Every House spins a gripping web of intrigue and mystery for the reader to be absorbed in as they follow Catriona. With each lead followed or question answered, the plot deftly builds with more anomalies and even higher stakes. The excellent prose that Isabella Duke brings to the table paints a beautiful yet bleak portrait of the London that once was, and ensures that the sense of threat that Catriona and her reluctant ally Inspector Thomas Marlowe face is never far from the reader’s mind. With dynamic characters leading the narrative, and a shocking and engaging mystery at its heart, the writing elevates the setting from a dry description of historic London to a living and breathing world that feels as if the reader could walk into it. This is a work that I recommend to all fans of the genre and I’m excited to see where the series goes next.