I just finished reading an excerpt from The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod. It is an historical mystery set in a Victorian type London in 1879. It is similar to our Victorian era but there is a different monarch and more modern inventions. Her Royal Highness Queen Alexandrina Victoria in on the throne and she is married to Prince Consort Arthur (he was just a Lord before they married). The Queen was very progressive and granted voting rights to women in 1859. In 1847 the Queen created a new department called Her Majesty’s Psychic Service. They investigated all matters that were supernatural and they employed people with psychic gifts.
Alexandrina “Alex” Victoria Pendlebury is a Reader with Her Majesty’s Psychic Services. Alex is named after her godmother, the Queen. Alex has been working for the department for three years. She is called out to examine crime scenes and witness. She can read the emotions in a room if she opens herself to them. It is Christmas Day (barely) when Alex is called out to investigate a death. Alex arrives to find Inspector Lennon on the scene. Lennon does not like the Psychic Services department nor the Readers. He makes fun and ridicules what they do (right in front of them). Alex goes into the room where the death occurred and sees a man hanging from the gas light. She avoids looking at the body to read the room. When she is finished with the room, Alex sees a familiar face. It is the valet of the owner, Percival Fingate. Fingate is her father’s valet. Turns out that the dead man is her father, Lord Gerard, and he was there under an assumed name. Alex has not heard from her father since she was fifteen. Why was he in London and who killed him?
When they discover Alex is related to the victim, a new Reader has to be called to the scene. Alex waits with Sir Richard Desmond, the head of the Psychic Services. He arrived on the scene, but he stayed outside in a carriage (despite the sleet, cold wind, and snow). Alex waited with him. Alex is not sure why he is on the scene, but she is too upset to question it. Mrs. Emma Woodwake, a Reader and in charge of the psychical training branch of the Psychic Services, joins them. Mrs. Woodwake was the Reader called in to replace Alex. She no sooner joins them when the coach is attached by bandits with air guns. They escape in the carriage, but Sir Richard is shot. Alex takes them to a cousin who is a doctor to receive help. No sooner have they taken the bullets out of Sir Richard when the bandits strike again. Who is out to kill Sir Richard? Why did they kill Alex’s father, Sir Gerard? Something is going on and Alex wants to get to the bottom of it.
We will have to wait for The Hanged Man to come out to find out what happens. When I picked this book on NetGalley it did not say it was an excerpt. I would not have chosen to read just an excerpt because it just leaves me frustrated (waiting for the book release). However, I did enjoy what I read. I give The Hanged Man 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the book, but did not love it (at least not the portion I read. The Hanged Man has a unique setting, an interesting mystery, and a good paranormal element. I will look forward to reading the rest of the book when it comes out.
I received a complimentary copy of The Hanged Man from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
I am currently reading Full House by Maeve Binchy. Thank you for stopping by and reading my review. I am off to watch The Flash season finale. Have a good evening and Happy Reading!