Title: Dead Ringer
Series: Gaslamp Gothic #5
Author: Kat Ross
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: December 13, 2019
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Mystery
From the publisher—
A poisonous secret.
A terrifying curse.
And a client she’d just as soon see dead in a ditch….
Summer 1889. Harrison Fearing Pell hoped for adventure when she signed on with the Society for Psychical Research as an occult investigator. Slogging through New York’s sewers in pursuit of a “mud man” wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. But the reeking monster terrorizing the dance halls of the Tenderloin leads her to an even more peculiar mystery — and the last man on earth Harry wishes to become entangled with.
James Moran is a prodigy in music, mathematics . . . and crime. Harry’s older sister, the famed detective Myrtle Fearing Pell, has vowed to put him behind bars. But Harry owes Moran a personal debt, so when he demands her aid she can hardly refuse. It turns out that the brilliant black sheep of New York Society is part of a secret club at Columbia College whose members have started dying in bizarre ways that may not be accidents.
Thus begins one of the strangest cases of Harry’s career, a tale of murder, cold-blooded revenge and fairytale bogeymen to make the Brothers Grimm shudder. As the bodies pile up, each preceded by sightings of the victim’s doppelgänger, Harry and her stalwart friend John Weston must race against time to save a man who arguably deserves his macabre fate.
When I first picked up this book, I was confused because the main characters and the setting seemed so familiar but “Gaslight Gothic” did not. I soon realized that I had indeed met Harry and her family and friends before; the series name had changed from “Dominion” to “Gaslight Gothic”. I’ve been delighted to spend time with these charming folks again. I also like the way the author mixes and matches various characters throughout the series so we don’t always see the same ones.
Harry is off on another strange case with a little help from her friends and, this time, her client is one she’d really prefer not to be working for but his request/demand is more than she can resist. It’s a tale of murder and doppelgangers that is well beyond anything she and John have encountered before and they’re determined to stop this string of killings. Their special abilities have never been so necessary to solving such a dark fairytale.
Along with truly appealing characters, Ms. Ross continues to enhance a unique and compelling setting in an 1889 New York City that took me right back to that period albeit with a paranormal twist. In fact, I’d say this city is in itself a character, one that’s equally important as the humans and mythical beings. As with the first two books, The Daemoniac and The Thirteenth Gate, I sank right into the story and now I need to go back and find the missing pieces, A Bad Breed and The Necromancer’s Bride. They’ll help keep me busy till the next book comes out 🙂
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, February 2020.
About the Author
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.
Follow the tour here.
$20 Amazon gift card
5x ebook copies of A Bad Breed