1896: A missing daughter. Three dead children. A sinister connection between a farm and an asylum.
Arrowood must catch the killer before he strikes again—and before Sherlock Holmes or the police take the credit…
About the Author
Mick Finlay was born in Glasgow but left as a young boy, living
in Canada and then England. Before becoming an academic, he ran a
market stall on Portobello Road, and also worked as a tent-hand
in a traveling circus, a butcher’s boy, a hotel porter, and various
jobs in the NHS and Social Services. He teaches in a psychology
department, and has published research on political violence and
persuasion, verbal and nonverbal communication, and disability. He
lives in Brighton wit
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A rival for Sherlock Holmes? Arrowood is a contemporary of Sherlock Holmes but his clients are considerably less newsworthy or rich. Instead of Doctor Watson, William Arrowood has Norman Barnett as his assistant and the narrator of this story. Arrowood is also certain that he is the better detective . . . .In this case, parents request him to discover just what has happened to their daughter, Birdie. However, this supposedly simple investigation turns into a murder investigation with the intrepid duo placed in danger as they uncover a money making scheme and conspirators with murderous intentions. This is a journey into the back streets and villages of Victorian Britain, visiting some of the less salubrious establishments and giving an insight into the care and treatment (or lack of it) of those less mentally astute in those times. It is a story filled with secrets to be revealed, perils to be avoided and conspiracies to be terminated. It is an intriguing mystery with great characters and Arrowood's rivalry with Sherlock Holmes adds humour to the events. If you enjoy mysteries set in the Victorian era, with danger, detectives and daring, I recommend you take a look at this book and series! I hadn't read anything by this author previously but I'll certainly be looking out for more by him in future. I requested and was given a copy of this book, via NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
The Murder Pit is a witty take on Victorian London with frequent humorous potshots at the Holmes canon that also contains an intriguing mystery. If you ever wanted more humor in, say, the Hounds of the Baskervilles, this book is for you! Arrowood is a consulting detective for the poorer residents of London. Perennially jealous of the money and fame of his contemporary, Sherlock Holmes, Arrowood insists his method of studying people—rather than footprints—is more effective. He just needs one big case to make him as well known as that other consulting detective. The Barclays engage Arrowood’s services complaining that their daughter’s husband won’t let them see or talk with her. They are concerned that Birdie has been harmed or is being held against her will on the husband’s rural farm. Birdie is slow and her husband, Walter, has served time for blinding a man in a fit of rage. Despite Arrowood’s concern with the Barclay’s authenticity, Arrowood and Barnett, his scrappy Watson, investigate and find an unusual case indeed. The Murder Pit is the second entry in the series but can be read as a standalone. It is an enjoyable and humorous dive into lower class London and the Holmes canon. Arrowood’s appetite and marital problems seem genuine. Barnett doesn’t always agree with Arrowood but continues to protect him from physical harm. Overall, the unusual setting, superb characterizations and witty banter make the Murder Pit an excellent mystery choice. 4 stars! Thanks to Mira and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
William Arrowood (the guvnor) and Norman Barnett his sidekick, and the narrator of the book are the poor people’s private detectives in the late 1800s. They take on the cases that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson wouldn’t even think about investigating. In The Murder Pit, Arrowood has been asked by a Mr. and Mrs. Barclay to track down their daughter Birdie and bring her home (or at least talk to her and make sure she is okay). Birdie is apparently a ‘simple-minded’ young girl, as her family call her, and is easily led astray. Since she married farmer Walter Ockwell she hasn’t been seen or heard from and her parents, though they have tried, haven’t had any success in finding her and talking to her. The Ockwell family are fiercely private people and won’t let anyone near Birdie. The family seem to be ruled by Walter’s sister and are very well know in their local area. Arrowood and Barnett take a look into the Ockwell‘s and find out some disturbing information which they go to the local police officer with, though he refuses to help and warns Arrowood to stay away. There’s also the issue of someone who helped them with their enquires going missing too. Arrowood’s not easily beaten though and won’t give up until he’s completed what’s he’s been paid for. I’m a huge Sherlock Holmes fan so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. At first, I didn’t realise it was the second in a series, but it is fine to read as a stand-alone so not reading the first didn’t hinder me in any way. Arrowood works in the same field as Sherlock Holmes but his methods are completely different. He studies people and their actions and emotions rather than rely on the clues to lead him to the culprit or cause. He also gets paid a lot less than Sherlock’s and takes on poor peoples cases. He also seems to detest Sherlock. The book is narrated by Barnett, Arrowood’s assistant. Author Mick Finlay has certainly done his research into the Victorian era and also the plight of disabled people back in those days. This comes across strong and there is no doubt when turning the pages which era in history you are within. I favour the chase in mystery/detective books far more than the outcome and this book didn’t disappoint, (neither did the finale). I enjoyed it immensely and if you like Sherlock you’ll love this series.