by Michael Gallagher

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Gooseberry, the fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective, is having his fair share of problems. Not only must he juggle the task of being Mr Bruff’s newly-appointed chief investigator with the unwanted responsibility of managing London’s entire criminal underclass, he also has to decide whether a drunken wretch of a man—who turns up on his doorstep claiming to be his father—is who he says he is.
But when the leading actress dies in mysterious circumstances on stage during a performance of The Duchess of Malfi at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Gooseberry feels duty-bound to investigate. It is, after all, a great deal more exciting than the last case he was assigned to: the tracking down of a rich old lady’s errant cat!
Join Octavius (AKA Gooseberry, AKA Octopus) and his ragtag bunch of friends on their latest adventure, a revenge tragedy (of sorts) in (roughly - very roughly!) three acts.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940152011562
Publisher: Seventh Rainbow Publishing
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Series: Send for Octavius Guy , #2
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Michael Gallagher is the author of two series of novels set in Victorian times. “Send for Octavius Guy” chronicles the attempts of fourteen-year-old Gooseberry—reformed master pickpocket—to become a detective, aided and abetted by his ragtag bunch of friends. “The Involuntary Medium” follows the fortunes of young Lizzie Blaylock, a girl who can materialize the spirits of the dead, as she strives to come to terms with her unique gift. For twenty-five years Michael taught adults with learning disabilities at Bede, a London-based charity that works with the local community. He now writes full time. Follow Octavius Guy @sendforOctavius. Author photo courtesy of Elaine Jeffs.

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Octopus 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
WisReader More than 1 year ago
While you do not need to read Gooseberry before you read Octopus, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy of each. Clearly readers of Dickens and similar Victorian era themed mysteries must enjoy the talented prose of author Michael Gallagher. It is exceptionally well researched. The dialogue flows colorfully with amusing turns of phrase. Octopus is a scholarly murder mystery without being staid. I also believe those who enjoy television investigative series as varied as Leverage , Castle and Elementary will be delighted with this series and want to devour more. Those who appreciate an engrossing night of theatre, finding themselves lost in suspended disbelief, will find both Gooseberry and Octopus to be exciting pageturners. A well researched masterpiece. Do not hesitate. Trust me. Buy the books!
Connie57103 More than 1 year ago
Here is a sensational historical fiction who-dunnit that gives nothing away until the very end. To me, it reads like an old time radio show. It leaves you breathless. It begins with Octopus, a 14-year old who is London's " swiftness, slipperiest pickpocket" that also goes by his boss, Mr. Bruff's nickname : Gooseberry. He is Mr. Octavian Guy. His younger brother's name is Julius. Octopus is also a kingpin of the underground. Octavian gets to attend the theatre with Mr. Bruff and two of his colleagues. He finally gets to see his old friend, Miss Isabella Prynn, the actress who plays "The Duchess of Malfi" that evening. When three men are supposed to strangle her character in the play, she gets strangled to death for real. That is when Octopus gets promoted to Chief Investigator for "Mr. Matthew Bruff of Gray's Inn Square, one of London's foremost solicitors". It is his duty to find Miss Prynn's murderer. This is a truly inviting story of intrigue and mayhem. Octavian and his brother also have to deal with their dear ole da', who abandoned them when Julius was just a baby. You will have loads of fun reading this, and finding out what truly happened the night of Miss Prynn's demise. Thank you to Mr. Michael Gallagher, Seventh Rainbow Publishing and Library Thing for giving me a copy of this book to read and give my honest review.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
What fun! Just when I thought I was getting a handle on the layers of this story, it would take off in another direction, adding yet another layer to the intrigue. He's a clever young man who wants to leave behind his "sordid" past and make a place for himself in proper society. His past, however, has an inconvenient way of regularly showing up and pushing in to his life. He handles it all well and with great cleverness. The cast of characters is a wondrous mix of unlikely folks. Even a dog!
silencenomore More than 1 year ago
London, Thursday July 1, 1852, 9:30 pm. The story begins with the play, The Duchess of Malfi. Miss Prynn, leading actress dies mysteriously during the performance. This is the case for the investigator and his partner. Gooseberry (aka Octopus) is a 14 year old detective to the lower class. His partner, the man he works for Mr. Tuttle. Gooseberry noticed 4 executioners in the play, but only 3 present to be questioned by police. This suggests foul play! Someone disguised himself in order to strangle Miss Prynn! The police dismiss Gooseberry as a menace. So he goes searching for clues. Prior to the murder, we are introduced to the tricksters, pickpockets and people who once were someone else. I was getting excited reading a good old fashioned detective mystery. The descriptive time generation setting is like living in that era through the characters in the book! Gooseberry and Mr. Tuttle soon discover a whole array of clues. Miss Prynn was involved in a huge scam, and also had a will which indicated she was married. Up until now the book has your belief on other characters being guilty. A jump forward to locate Miss Prynn’s sister and her house lead the storyline to an unexpected direction. A grand scheme and series of planned events by the murderer. Had the villain been so clever perhaps the ending would have him getting away with the perfect crime? Alas, the ill fated ending. He left us with three suspects. Even worse, the man appearing upon Gooseberry’s doorstep claiming to be his father. He must prove this to not be true! The rest is for you to read and figure out along the way. Part of the fun, I say. A great story, loads of characters with charisma and depth. Setting is magnificently throughout and described. I felt included in the scenarios. The plot twists were my favorite. I gave the book four stars out of 5. Great job! I received this book in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. Kris
Ameise1 More than 1 year ago
The second book of this series I liked very much. I like the main character Octopus/Gooseberry and his friends/family. This time he must solve the puzzle of the 'murder' of an actress and her husband. Although all the major characters are present from the outset, it needs its time until you feel who the 'real' killer is. In another the 'supposedly' biological father makes contact with him and his brother. This is another mystery which Octopus has to solve, because he does not trust this running up. In addition, he has the image of a 'crime boss' finally get rid of, because he otherwise is no more trusted as 'chief investigator'. But he finds an optimal solution for all related to him. I hope that this series is continued. (4 1/2 stars)
LongDogMomSS More than 1 year ago
I received this book in return for my honest review, and I have to say that I absolutely loved it! I really enjoyed the first book Gooseberry, that introduced us to young Octavius Guy, former pickpocket on the streets of 19th century London, now Chief-Investigator for a reputable solicitor, but this sequel was even better!! Octavius, also known as Gooseberry for his bulging eyes, or Octopus (by the criminal set) due to his skills as a pickpocket, finds himself thrust into the investigation of an unusual murder that happens in front of an audience of rapt theatre-goers. When Octavius attends a play with his employer and some of his clients, he realizes that the lead actress is someone he knows, a confidence trickster from years ago. She had helped Gooseberry with his baby brother, after his mother's death, and he was thrilled to see that she had found a way, like him, out of "the Life" and had a new name and a successful career. He saw the fear in her eyes when they were introduced prior to the play, but she had nothing to fear from Gooseberry, who was happy for her, and would never reveal her criminal past, playing along as if they were meeting for the first time. During the play, however, there is a scene in which the actress, Miss Prynn, is strangled by Monks wearing costumes that hide their faces. She is supposed to rise from the dead to speak a few more lines, but instead the actress lies still. A co-actor screams for a doctor, and one rushes up to the stage and after examining her announces that she is, in fact, dead! This set into motion a thrilling investigation with all kinds of twists and turns, as Gooseberry is determined to get to the bottom of what happened and who is responsible! In addition to his investigating, Gooseberry also has the burden of now being head of the criminal underworld by the odd rules employed in that world and uses this to his advantage as much as possible in his investigating. The additional burden of such demands, however, prove difficult to manage and he realizes that he has to find some solutions for this double life he's living, which he manages to do in spectacular fashion to the benefit of many. While at first glance, a 14 year old sleuth and leader of street crime in London's underworld might seem far-fetched by today's perspective, the children growing up on the streets of Victorian London had to grow up quickly and learn to be tough just to survive. They were hardened by life at such a young age that they really weren't children, especially by the time they were Gooseberry's age. The instinct to read people and find ways to get what they needed were often required to survive on the streets, where the weak were easily picked off and taken advantage of. Gooseberry is young, but he is very smart, intuitive and tough when he needs to be, as the choices he makes at the end of the book with regards to justice and the death sentence clearly show. Octavius is such an interesting character, and the book is set in such a fascinating time in London's history. I enjoyed learning more about the less respectable London and the people who lived there, and the slang was fun! I loved that some of it was simply the word spelled and pronounced backwards! Gooseberry has a foot in both worlds, which gives the reader an very interesting perspective on how the social classes worked at the time and how viewed one another. A good mystery that kept me guessing.