Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg
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Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Late one night in April 1958, a filing assistant at Miss Brickett’s receives a letter of warning, detailing a name, a time, and a place. She goes to investigate but finds the room empty. At the stroke of midnight, she is murdered by a killer she can’t see–her death the only sign she wasn’t alone. It becomes chillingly clear that the person responsible must also work for Miss Brickett’s, making everyone a suspect.
Marion Lane, a first-year Inquirer-in-training, finds herself drawn ever deeper into the investigation. When her friend and colleague is framed for the crime, to clear his name she must sort through the hidden alliances at Miss Brickett’s and secrets dating back to WWII.
Review: This was such a fun mystery!! I loved that it was set in 1958 London – historical mysteries are always a bit more exciting because they don’t have modern day means of detecting. The whole world of Miss Brickett’s was fascinating to me – it’s literally housed underground and men and women train to become Inquisitors. They are essentially “law enforcement” that keep out of the spotlight and exact justice apart from the government. Marion is in her first year as an apprentice here, and everything is exciting and freeing (much better than being forced into a marriage she doesn’t want). However, when a filing assistant is found murdered…everything changes.
I really loved Marion. She was, in most ways, smart about investigating the murder and ultimately trying to exonerate the person who is being held up as the culprit. She has a great friend named Bill who helps her through most of the book and I really liked their relationship – they really were great friends who told each other almost everything. There are a lot of secondary characters, so I got confused here and there about who was who, but I don’t think it’s anything that should deter you from reading. The author did a good job building this “world” if you will and creating a cast of characters that were all needed and important.
The book wraps up the main mystery, but there is a bit of a cliffhanger in terms of what could possibly happen next. This leads me to believe the book will have a sequel, and I certainly hope so! I really loved Marion, and I think she’s a strong character who understands right and wrong, and she doesn’t believe everything her superiors tell her to believe. She’s smart, for sure, and I think a lot of people will enjoy meeting her.