Meanwhile, Hyacinth Clout, a young woman of some beauty but few prospects, decides to end the servitude of her life looking after her dictatorial sister by seeking love instead. She is not alone: love is in the air for several young women in 1861 London, but will their search lead to romance or ruin?
Honour & Obey is the long awaited sequel to the much acclaimed Diamonds & Dust, once again featuring
Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his assistant
Detective Sergeant Jack Cully of the recently formed Detective Division of the Metropolitan Police.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love, friendship, and murder in Victorian London. I loved DIAMONDS & DUST and now Carol Hedges gives us another sooty tour-de-force full of superb historical detail and intricate subplots. D.I. Leo Stride, assisted by the normally unflappable D.S. Jack Cully, has a serious problem on his hands. There's a serial killer loose in London. Young women, most with some link to what in Manhattan would be called "the garment district", are found with their throats cut and other, more telling, mutilations. Stride's investigation is hampered on several fronts. The killer leaves little evidence behind. Possible witnesses are reluctant to talk. And the gutter press, in their longstanding mission to insult and humiliate the police force, pull pranks that lead to floods of useless "tips" and false confessions. Though the murder provides the book's main plot, several complex subplots add romance, humor, and drama. There's the growing attraction between D.S. Cully and one of his witnesses--Emily Benet. And the darkly comedic situation of Hyacinth Clout, a young woman from a well-off family whose entire young life has been clouded by tragedy that took place when she was only six years old. These characters and many others go about their daily business largely unaware of their connections to one another and to the ongoing murder case. Hedges has a knack for creating complicated characters with mixed motives. Somehow she's fixed it so that their names and occupations and temperaments pay homage to that quintessential Victorian storyteller Charles Dickens without turning them into "stock" characters. Instead, each is unique and engaging. Their situations plunge us into the world of contradictions that is late 19th-century London, where sparkling privilege and gnawing poverty co-exist, often within steps of each other. There are only two points where the author and I part company. First, I'm on the fence about the "disappearance" of Emily Benet. Yes, it give D.S. Cully a kick in the pants and increases the sense of urgency as the strands of the murder mystery come together. But dragging such a strong character offstage at a pivotal point in the narrative seems a waste. When we learn who carried her off, it's something of a let down...a non-event. My second quibble has to do with the resolution of the murder itself. I won't go into too much detail, but it left me feeling annoyed on D.I. Stride's behalf. He deserved more personal and professional satisfaction than he got. On the whole, though, this is a truly gorgeous novel. If you enjoy meaty narratives driven by fascinating characters, you will love HONOUR & OBEY.