Oh for the days of yore when a mystery was challenging, sophisticated, and literary; when echoes of history resounded as the pages quietly rustled. Well, rejoice, mystery lovers, this young adult to adult detective tale, British to the bone, is redolent of Jane and her drawing room, Sherlock and his irregulars, Agatha and her sleuths, Oliver and his orphans, Napoleon and his armies, and maybe a touch of blood libel for good measure. There are poisonings, missing jewels, medical experiments, contested wills, reopened graves — not an element has been missed! Atmosphere abounds; suspense is palpable. Jewish detective Ezra Melamed, true to his name, once again wisely saves the day. This highly recommended page-turner is the third in a series which this reviewer hopes will have a long, healthy, and hearty run. Ages 12 and up will love this one.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.