Posted in Reviews

Review for The Favor by Nicci French

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on October 18, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Favor-Novel-Nicci-French-ebook/dp/B09QMGRD8F

****4-stars

What would you do if someone you dated in high school turned up out of the blue ten years later and asked you to do them a favor? That’s the premise of The Favor by Nicci French.

Jude was in love with Liam as a teenager. He was her first lover. But when they are involved in a car accident together with some friends, their relationship comes to an end. Liam disappears from Jude’s life. She goes on to medical school and becomes a doctor. One day, Liam visits the hospital and tells her he needs her help with a favor but won’t tell her what the favor entails except that she needs to meet him at a secluded cabin that weekend. He requests that she not tell anyone including her fiancee.

While Jude is hesitant to help, she feels bad for Liam because her life seems to have gone more smoothly than his has. But the truth is that she’s kept a lie from her family and fiancee for a decade. The lie involves the accident in which Liam was blamed for drunk driving.

When Jude arrives at the cabin, she waits for Liam who is scheduled to meet her there by train. He never shows up. She later discovers the reason for his absence. Liam was murdered miles away, and the police question Jude’s story about the favor she was asked by a man she hadn’t seen in ten years.

Jude’s life then falls apart as she is mentioned in the news, and her fiancee leaves her because he believes she was still seeing Liam. As the story progresses, we learn some things about Liam and his family when Jude meets his wife, young son, brother, and other occupants of the house where he lived.

The mystery of Liam’s murder is eventually solved with a twist. If you like psychological thrillers, you will enjoy this book.

Posted in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Interview, Reviews

Interview, Blog Tour, and Review for A Dark and Stormy Tea by Laura Childs

It’s a pleasure to have Laura Childs, New York Times Bestselling Author of A Dark and Stormy Tea, here on Ruff Drafts,

Welcome, Laura. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher?

For the last 21 years I’ve been writing 4 different series that are all published by Berkley Prime Crime, a division of Penguin Random House. These include the Tea Shop Mysteries, New Orleans Scrapbooking Mysteries, Cackleberry Club Mysteries, and the Afton Tangler Thriller series. All together it comes to a total of 52 books with 3 more written and waiting to be published.

That’s amazing. Congratulations on such a prolific career.

Tell us a little about your four different series.

My most popular series is the Tea Shop Mysteries. These books all feature tea maven Theodosia Browning who runs the Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, SC and has a tea shop dog named Earl Grey. My Scrapbook Mysteries are a little edgier because they’re set in New Orleans. They feature Carmela Bertrand, an artsy scrapbook shop owner, along with her voodoo shop-owning BFA Ava. The Cackleberry Club Mysteries are set in a cute little Midwestern café and feature three women who’ve all lost their husbands – one through death, one through Alzheimer’s, and one whose husband ran off with the floozy waitress at the VFW with the hot pink extensions in her hair. My fourth series is the Afton Tangler Thrillers. Afton is a crime victim’s advocate who’s also a detective wanna-be and manages to insert herself in high profile cases.

They all sound wonderful. I’m sorry to admit that the only book I’ve read of yours so far is your latest Tea Shop mystery, A Dark and Stormy Tea, that I’ve reviewed below. I absolutely loved it.

What’s the date of your upcoming release and what’s your current work-in-progress?

My new release is A DARK AND STORMY TEA that was released on August 9th. I also have LEMON CURD KILLER and HONEY DROP DEAD coming out next year. Works in progress include MURDER IN THE TEA LEAVES and CADMIUM RED DEAD.

After reading A Dark and Stormy Tea, I hope to read another in that series and also try out your other series.

Describe your goals as a writer.

My goal is to always (always!) entertain my readers. That’s why I jumpstart every book – boom! – with a huge murder right there in the first chapter. Then I drop my main character smack dab in the middle of the chaos and give them a life and death reason to get involved and help track down the killer.

Sounds like a great way to get readers hooked.

What type of readers do you attract? Who’s most interested in reading your books?

My three cozy series certainly appeal to a cozy reader, but I’ve had readers who claimed to be strict thriller fans or true crime fans, comment that they actually enjoyed my books. You see? I pulled them over from the dark side!

Lol. After reading your latest book, I can see why.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?

Three things. Read as much as you can in your genre because you’ll start to pick up all sorts of little tricks and tactics from other authors. Second, be sure you know the difference between a story idea and an actual plot (outlining will help you figure this out). And, finally, please don’t start your book with all sorts of back story. Drop your reader right into the action, then fill in the facts and figures later.

Excellent advice.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?

Actually, I was very lucky. Early on, a friend introduced me to the great Mary Higgins Clark and she (God bless her) helped me get started. She even gave me her agent!

Wow! I wish I could get that lucky – lol. But although that was a lucky way to get started, I’m sure your talent took it from there.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?

I serve on the boards of a couple of non-profit organizations and enjoy travel, art, and investing.

Very nice.

What do you like most – and least – about being an author?

My favorite thing is getting out and meeting my readers. A few weeks ago I did a talk for a book club of 300 – what fun! My least favorite thing is working alone – when I was CEO of my marketing firm I loved the collaborative creative process. So I really do miss that aspect.

I think most writers enjoy interacting with readers and also don’t always enjoy the solitary aspect of writing.

What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?

The best thing is – there are no rules! Sure, cozies are supposed to be a kinder, gentler type of mystery, but that doesn’t mean you can’t push the envelope and make your mystery as exciting as possible. I’ve kicked off my books with kidnappings, exploding floats, hangings, art thefts, yacht races, jewelry heists, poisonings, and a strangling in a creepy cemetery – and ended them with killer drones, food truck chases, alligators, hidden tunnels, ghosts and lots more. You just need to flip the script a bit.

I agree that writing cozies can be fun if you make it that way. Finishing the second book of my new Buttercup Bend series, I included a seventies costume dance party, a club of parrot lovers, and mysterious notes containing Shakespeare quotes.

Can you share a short synopsis of your new release, A DARK AND STORMY TEA?

Love to. Here it is:

Tea shop entrepreneur Theodosia Browning dashes down Charleston’s famed Gateway Walk as she attempts to outrun an oncoming storm. But lighting, thunder, and pelting rain soon overtake her, and the normally picturesque ramble of hedges, statuary, and flowers becomes a twisted labyrinth of fog and driving rain. As Theodosia approaches St. Philips Cemetery, she sees two figures locked in a strange embrace. Wiping rain from her eyes, Theodosia realizes she’s just witnessed a brutal murder and sees a dark hooded figure slip away into the fog.

In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim – it’s the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop. Even though this appears to be the work of a serial killer that’s been stalking the back alleys of Charleston, Lois begs Theodosia for help. Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who’s writing a true crime book and searching for a big ending. Between a raging storm, real-life murder investigation, and staging her Murder Mystery Tea at Chillingham Manor, Theodosia suddenly worries that she might be the next victim!

Wonderful! I truly enjoyed reading it.

Is there anything you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?

Yup. These aren’t your typical cozies. In fact, I coined the term thrillzies to describe them – because they’re a hybrid cozy that moves at the pace of a thriller. Oh, and when I mention a wonderful scone or tea sandwich in my books, I always include the recipe.

Interesting, and your recipes certainly sound delicious.

Thank you so much for the interview, Laura. I’ve included your bio below along with your blog tour and my 5-star review of your book.

Laura Childs Bio:

Laura Childs is the author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. All have been on the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestseller lists. Recently, Book Riot named her mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.” In her previous life Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, and has a Chinese Shar-Pei named Lotus.

Find out more at laurachilds.com or become a Friend on Facebook at Laura Childs Author

A Dark and Stormy Tea (A Tea Shop Mystery)
by Laura Childs

About A Dark and Stormy Tea


A Dark and Stormy Tea (A Tea Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
24th in Series
Berkley (August 9, 2022)
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0593200896
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0593200896
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09LH6VG4P

A possible serial killer on the loose sends tea maven Theodosia Browning into a whirlwind of investigation in this latest installment of the New York Times bestselling series.

It was a dark and stormy night, but that was the least of Theodosia Browning’s troubles. As she approaches St. Philips Graveyard, Theodosia sees two figures locked in a strange embrace. Wiping rain from her eyes, Theodosia realizes she has just witnessed a brutal murder and sees a dark-hooded figure slip away into the fog.

In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim—it is the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop.

Even though this appears to be the work of a serial killer who is stalking the back alleys of Charleston, Lois begs Theodosia for help. Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur-sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private-security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who is writing a true-crime book and searching for a big ending.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

My Review of A Dark and Stormy Tea

*****5-stars

This is the first mystery I’ve read by Laura Childs, and I can’t believe what I’ve missed. She has several series. This one, the Tea Shop Mysteries, takes place in Charleston, South Carolina and features Theodosia Browning who owns the Indigo Tea Shop and has a knack for solving crimes as well as brewing tea.

In A Dark and Stormy Tea, the 24th Tea Shop Mystery, Theodosia witnesses the murder of a bookstore owner’s daughter in a cemetery but, because of the rain, she was unable to see the face of the killer. Could he be Fogheel Jack, the name given to a murderer who has strangled women in the past in foggy weather?

The victim’s mother, a friend of Theodosia, asks for her help catching the killer. Against her Detective boyfriend’s wishes and despite her tea sommelier, Drayton’s discouragement, Theo pursues her own investigation and is nearly killed after a successful mystery tea at her shop.

I found this a charming cozy. The characters and atmosphere were great, and there was an interesting twist. A big plus are the recipes at the end of the book for tea and other yummy goodies. You will devour this story. Highly recommended.

About Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links: WebsiteFacebook

Purchase Links
AmazonB&NKoboIndieBound

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

August 8 – Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – SPOTLIGHT

August 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

August 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW

August 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – Lady Hawkeye – SPOTLIGHT

August 11 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

August 11 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT

August 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

August 13 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 13 – Baroness Book Trove – REVIEW

August 14 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

August 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

August 15 – Diane Reviews Books – GUEST POST

August 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

August 17 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 17 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

August 18 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

August 18 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 20 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 20 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – Girl with Pen – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in Reviews

Review for Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It was published on August 2, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Place-Time-Novel-ebook/dp/B09NW4FN2R/

*****5-stars

Jen is a mama bear. She lives to protect her son, Todd. So when she witnesses him killing a strange man, she rightly freaks. But when she wakes up a day before it happens, she freaks even more. With a spin on Ground Hog’s Day, she continues to go back in time a day, several days, a month, even a year. It all seems to be random until she consults with a friend who has studied time travel and comes to the conclusion that the days she’s visiting aren’t random at all. They’re connected to the event she witnessed of her son killing a man named Joseph Jones. But where are they leading her, and what must she learn from this strange experience?

As Jen travels back in time, she learns more about her son, husband, and the man called Joseph Jones. More importantly, she faces her fears of not having been the best mother to Todd which believes has resulted in his becoming a killer. She also discovers some things about her husband that make her question their entire relationship.

Without giving spoilers, I have to say that the twists in this book were well done, even though I guessed two out of three. This was more than a time-travel story. It was a relationship and family story. Do you ever wonder what you’ve missed over the years that you would see differently if viewing them from your current perspective? There are some great points made here. You will find this book hard to put down.

Posted in Reviews

Review for A Dark and Stormy Tea, A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It was published on August 9, 2022, and is available for order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09LH6VG4P

*****5-stars

This is the first mystery I’ve read by Laura Childs, and I can’t believe what I’ve missed. She has several series. This one, the Tea Shop Mysteries, takes place in Charleston, South Carolina and features Theodosia Browning who owns the Indigo Tea Shop and has a knack for solving crimes as well as brewing tea.

In A Dark and Stormy Tea, the 24th Tea Shop Mystery, Theodosia witnesses the murder of a bookstore owner’s daughter in a cemetery but, because of the rain, she was unable to see the face of the killer. Could he be Fogheel Jack, the name given to a murderer who has strangled women in the past in foggy weather?

The victim’s mother, a friend of Theodosia, asks for her help catching the killer. Against her Detective boyfriend’s wishes and despite her tea sommelier, Drayton’s discouragement, she pursues her own investigation and is nearly killed after a successful mystery tea at her shop.

I found this a charming cozy. The characters and atmosphere were great, and there was an interesting twist. A big plus are the recipes at the end of the book for tea and other yummy goodies. You will devour this story. Highly recommended.

Posted in Reviews

Review for Last to Vanish by Megan MIranda

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on July 26, 2022, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3Q4lDgG

****4 stars

This book had a haunting quality. Abigail Lovett works at the Passage Inn in the small town of Cutter’s Pass, a small mountain town in North Carolina. After ten years in town, she still feels like an outsider. When Trey West arrives in town looking for answers from the place where his brother Landon West disappeared several months ago, all the stories and theories about the other residents who went missing after hiking a trail from the inn resurge. The first group, over twenty years ago, consisted of four young men known as the Fraternity Four. Years after their disappearance a young woman disappeared and then another several years later. There didn’t seem to be anything connecting these travelers, but West seeks to find out the truth about these disappearances and his brother’s.

The story includes several small twists and one large one that’s revealed at the end. The characters are well drawn. I found the writing gave off an air of danger. It had a haunting quality to it as Abby discovers clues to the disappearances and the stories are retold, awakening secrets of the residents of this small town.

It’s a good read if you like well-developed characters, and an interesting, small-town mystery.

Posted in Reviews

Review of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on November 8, 2022, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3Q4lDgG

***3-stars

I was looking forward to reading another Lisa Unger book, but I found this one disappointing. The theme was a good idea: three couples spending time at a secluded cabin with all amenities included — a chef, hot tub, and a list of activities to “get back to nature.” Mako, a rich tech guy whose sister, Hannah, worships, planned and paid for the weekend..

Prior to their weekend away, at Christmas, the family all receive an Origins DNA test from an anonymous source. No one knows who placed them under the tree, and no one will admit to putting them there.

Six months later, Hannah and her husband, along with Mako and his wife and Hannah’s close friend and her boyfriend, move into the cabin during an approaching storm. Their host and builder greets them, a man who they don’t realize is watching them from cameras placed around the property. There are also two unidentified persons staying in the small cabin nearby, a man and a woman who we meet through separate POV scenes.

One other addition to this book is the story of a family’s murder on the same land before their “cabin” was built and a ghost that is said to haunt the place. I found the characters, all privileged and proud of it, except for Hannah and her husband, who seemed more appreciative of their circumstances. There were some twists, but they weren’t that surprising. It’s a decent book but not the one I expected.

Posted in Reviews

Review of The It Girl by Ruth Ware

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on July 12, 2022, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3lNWTLO

*****5-stars

April Clarke-Cliveden is the “It Girl.” She has everything — looks, brains, and plenty of money, thanks to her rich parents. When Hannah Jones becomes her roommate at Pelham College in Oxford, they become best friends despite the disparity in their social standings. They also become part of a group of students who hang out together. Hannah is attracted to Will, a member of this group, but he becomes April’s boyfriend.

The book alternates between Before and After. The “After” refers to the murder of April and how Hannah, ten years later, learns that the man convicted of the crime has died in prison. Hannah, now married to Will and expecting his child, starts to relive that awful experience from her past when a reporter asks to speak with her about it. The reporter claims there is new evidence that points to the innocence of the man, a porter who’d worked at the college, and whom April’s testimony helped put behind bars.

While Will doesn’t condone Hannah’s becoming involved again, she is determined to learn the truth of what really happened the night she found her roommate dead. Because April enjoyed playing pranks on people and was sleeping with more than one man at Pelham, there are quite a few suspects, including Hannah’s husband.

I found it hard to put this book down. The atmosphere was well depicted, as were the characters. I had difficulty figuring out who-dun-it because there were so many likely suspects. When I finally realized who killed April, it was right before this information was revealed. I enjoyed the twists and turns, and I found the ending action-packed. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy psychological mysteries. This isn’t my first book by Ruth Ware and won’t be my last. She is one of my favorite new authors.

Posted in Reviews

Review of The Girl Who Survived by Lisa Jackson

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on June 28, 2022, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3NnjAlQ

*****5-stars

I chose this book because I’m a fan of the author’s, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Kara McIntyre suffered a horrible trauma on Christmas Eve when, at seven years old, she witnessed the massacre of her family. Although her step brother, Jonah, and step sister, Marlie, survived, Marlie disappeared that night and hasn’t been found in twenty years. Jonah was tried for the murders of his step siblings and found guilty. However, due to a technicality discovered twenty years later near Christmas, he was released from prison.

When other murders begin taking place of people involved with the McIntyre’s, the police believe Jonah is striking again. One detective isn’t too sure, and Kara, receiving odd text messages that may mean her sister is alive, wants to remember the truth of that terrible night to finally learn what really happened. Teaming up with the reporter whose father died saving her, Kara returns to the cabin where her family had spent that Christmas season.

I highly recommend this book to those who like dark fiction and enjoy thrillers with twists.

 

Posted in Reviews

Review: Stay Awake by Megan Goldin

*****5-stars

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published in August, 2022, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3lg4536

I was reading this book as I quarantined from COVID, and I finished it in two days. I definitely intend to read more books by this author. I was caught up in this story about a woman, Liv, who lost her short-term memories every time she fell asleep. This rare type of amnesia was thought to have been caused by a trauma she witnessed two years ago while working at a magazine called Cultura in New York City and dating a man named Marco.

The book is told in alternating chapters from the present time to two years ago, and there are also chapters that go back two days and a day. The current time takes place in twenty-four hours and begins with Liv awakening in a cab which she doesn’t remember boarding and being dropped off at a Brooklyn apartment that she shares with her friend, Amy. When she tries to enter, she realizes her purse is missing and, when she knocks, other occupants of the apartment answer and tell her that this is their place. Also missing her cell phone, Liv borrows a phone to call Amy and then Marco. Neither one answers her.

Not knowing what to do, she leaves the apartment and then realizes that she’s carrying a bloody knife wrapped in a t-shirt. Dumping it in a trash bin, she notices some writing on her hand with the name of a local bar and the words, “Stay Awake.” At the bar, she is greeted by the bartender who seems to know her, even though she doesn’t recognize him. A news channel is showing a breaking report about a murder of an unidentified man who was stabbed in an apartment rental. A clue left at the scene were the words “Wake Up” written in the victim’s blood on the window.

As the book flashes back and forth in time, readers learn that Liv is suspected of the murder that she can’t remember. Her previous trauma is also described as well as the people from her past, one of whom might be framing her for the murder.

I highly recommend this excellent thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I was stumped as to the identity of the killer until a few pages before it was revealed.

 

Posted in Reviews

Review of A Rip Through Time by Kelly Armstrong

****4-stars

*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published in late May, 2022, but is available for pre-order now on Amazon at https://amzn.to/3sy1HJ2

The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because the ending was a letdown for me. I’m thinking it makes room for a sequel or series. Otherwise, A Rip Through Time was a great read. If you like time-travel books like I do, you’ll enjoy it.

Mallory is a current-day detective who is transported into the body of Catriona, a young, Victorian maid in the household of a mortician and his sister after being nearly strangled by a stranger in an English alleyway. As Mallory tries to fit into the era and dynamics of the place in which she finds herself, she becomes attracted to Dr. Gray and, under the guise of losing her memory from her near-death experience, she pretends to be Catriona. She demonstrates her interest in mortuary science and detecting work, so when a body turns up that’s been tarred and feathered, she assists Dr. Gray in his examination of it.

Despite the circumstances that she finds comfortable, Mallory seeks a way to return to her own time. On her day off, she goes to the spot where she encountered her strangler, but she’s unsuccessful in finding a way back. Believing that if she finds her attacker, who she feels has followed her back into this time, she might be able to fix the rip in time, she sets out to solve the murders that have been taking place in town including ones that mimic those of Jack the Ripper that are occurring decades later.