The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief – Lisa Tuttle

Jesperson and Lane are Victorian London’s newest team of private detectives.  Lisa Tuttle‘s The Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief (review copy from Jo Fletcher) challenges them with a potentially career-making case, fraught with danger and challenge.  With their new business on the verge of running out of money they must investigate two cases: their sleepwalking landlord and a series of disappearances of some of the world’s most prominent psychics.  But are those two cases linked in some way?

The comparisons with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s work are obvious.  Jasper Jesperson is intelligent, if at times heartless.  Miss Aphrodite Lane is his resourceful partner, more used to operating in society and an experienced investigator of psychic phenomena.  They live together with Jesperson’s long-suffering mother, who keeps house for them.

The Somambulist and the Psychic Thief is a gloriously entertaining mystery story full of twists and turns, about which it is difficult to write without spoilers.  Both Jesperson and Lane are extremely likable leads whose partnership is entertaining and promises much.  Despite the level of peril and the complexity of the plot, Tuttle executes it with a delicate touch and great elan.  Hopefully we will get to see more of Jesperson and Lane.

Goodreads rating: 3*

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