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The Welfare of the Dead

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'Her arms were bare and milky-white, her hands dainty and graceful; her smile as sweet as any I have ever seen. An awful shame...' In the disreputable dance-halls and 'houses of accommodation' of 1870s London a boastful killer selects his prey.Are these random acts of malevolence or is there a connection between the terrible murders, a mysterious theft at the Abney Park Cem 'Her arms were bare and milky-white, her hands dainty and graceful; her smile as sweet as any I have ever seen. An awful shame...' In the disreputable dance-halls and 'houses of accommodation' of 1870s London a boastful killer selects his prey.Are these random acts of malevolence or is there a connection between the terrible murders, a mysterious theft at the Abney Park Cemetery and a long-forgotten crime?Inspector Decimus Webb, newly promoted to the Detective Branch at Scotland Yard, must investigate, and quickly, to prevent another tragedy... Taking readers through the dark alleys and gaslit parlours of nineteenth-century London, Lee Jackson's second Inspector Webb novel is a suspense-filled gothic mystery with the Victorian celebration of death at its morbid heart.


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'Her arms were bare and milky-white, her hands dainty and graceful; her smile as sweet as any I have ever seen. An awful shame...' In the disreputable dance-halls and 'houses of accommodation' of 1870s London a boastful killer selects his prey.Are these random acts of malevolence or is there a connection between the terrible murders, a mysterious theft at the Abney Park Cem 'Her arms were bare and milky-white, her hands dainty and graceful; her smile as sweet as any I have ever seen. An awful shame...' In the disreputable dance-halls and 'houses of accommodation' of 1870s London a boastful killer selects his prey.Are these random acts of malevolence or is there a connection between the terrible murders, a mysterious theft at the Abney Park Cemetery and a long-forgotten crime?Inspector Decimus Webb, newly promoted to the Detective Branch at Scotland Yard, must investigate, and quickly, to prevent another tragedy... Taking readers through the dark alleys and gaslit parlours of nineteenth-century London, Lee Jackson's second Inspector Webb novel is a suspense-filled gothic mystery with the Victorian celebration of death at its morbid heart.

30 review for The Welfare of the Dead

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gerald

    On the back of this book it says 'The smoky, horse-dung-laden atmosphere of the London streets steam off the page'. This comment is tributed to the Spectator. Now this is by no means a great book but I think it's a bit harsh to call it a pile of steaming poo! Not to mention the demerits of doing so from a marketing point of view! OK I'm being a bit facetious but although the story is good, the writing is awful. It's like it hasn't been proof read. Now I'm no scholar but I'm experienced enough to On the back of this book it says 'The smoky, horse-dung-laden atmosphere of the London streets steam off the page'. This comment is tributed to the Spectator. Now this is by no means a great book but I think it's a bit harsh to call it a pile of steaming poo! Not to mention the demerits of doing so from a marketing point of view! OK I'm being a bit facetious but although the story is good, the writing is awful. It's like it hasn't been proof read. Now I'm no scholar but I'm experienced enough to know I could have significantly improved this book by just going through it with a red pen and tidying it up a bit. Just being a good story is not enough. The reader should not find themself despairing every few lines because of the way it's written. The Welfare of the Dead is a detective novel set in Victorian London. There are lots of twists and turns and plenty of intrigue but it is written in such a way that it seems to be trying to represent itself as a novel written in Victorian times but in this respect it falls well short. I could cite dozens of minor annoyances to back this up but have neither the time nor the inclination to revisit it to do so. There are also a number of bigger faux pas (for example 'go and get some ice' for an injury in 1870 is probably an unlikely first thought?). One might ask why I stuck with it if I felt this way and to be completely honest, the reason is quite simply because it is set in the area in which I live and the action takes place on streets I walk down every day! Not a recommendation.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sean Harding

    Second if the trilogy, and the 7th of 12 Lee Jackson books he has published so far according to another web site (two under the name LM Jackson) Again, I find his style difficult to maintain complete interest, but it is still a solid read. He really does know Victorian England, I wonder if he wishes he lived in the era! The five other books I have not read of his are also set in that same period. Anyway onward to the final in the trilogy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annette Evans

    Found on a book swap shelf at work. Glad I dint buy it because it wasn’t that good. I’m not good at guessing who dun it but it was obvious. I liked the snap shot of Victorian London but even that didn’t excite me as much as I thought it would. Shame because if it was better I might have read the others.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lise April Amelia

    After some thought on whether to write a review on this specific book or not, I decided to give it a go based solely on the fact that I had surprisingly mixed feelings throughout my reading experience. Initially the beginning seems incredibly promising, what with a first person account of the events leading up to the main case featuring in the story, in 19th century London over the course of a few hours, one that we revisit a few times in the midst of the story in interval form. Soon this is swi After some thought on whether to write a review on this specific book or not, I decided to give it a go based solely on the fact that I had surprisingly mixed feelings throughout my reading experience. Initially the beginning seems incredibly promising, what with a first person account of the events leading up to the main case featuring in the story, in 19th century London over the course of a few hours, one that we revisit a few times in the midst of the story in interval form. Soon this is switched to the present tense telling of a story revolving around an American lady visiting her cousin and family in London, remarkably less interestingly written than that first chapter, sometimes separated by brief encounters with the character of Decimus Webb, the detective investigating the case in a decidedly bland and drawn out manner with little attention to detail. This continues for some time, with some irritating mannerisms such as overuse of French terms where they're not essential, repeatedly mentioning very famous streets and places in the city and of course perhaps unnecessarily slow progression in the plot. As soon as we're introduced to each of the characters it becomes far too clear to the reader who the villain is, as well as what is coming up in the remainder of the story. However, despite complaining about the book throughout the time spent on reading it, I can't help but mention that even with its faults I DID enjoy it as such. I liked knowing what was coming right from the start. I liked picking out the annoying little mannerisms I listed above. I actually enjoyed the way the foggy atmosphere, although repeatedly mentioned, was present throughout the story. All in all a light, slightly dreary at times, but nevertheless fun read for a casual summer afternoon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ian Mapp

    Chosen out of Qpd magazine, after finishing, I believe that I shouldnt bother. There is no doubt that the writer does an excellent job of evoking victorian britian, but the man is not an author and this tells through the obvious twist and lumpen dialogie that fill the pages. The story leads us to believe that a manager of a store specialising in death paraphanalia (apparently, the victorians liked this), Woodrow, is murdering girls. Starts with a couple of prostitutes and then moves on to a girl i Chosen out of Qpd magazine, after finishing, I believe that I shouldnt bother. There is no doubt that the writer does an excellent job of evoking victorian britian, but the man is not an author and this tells through the obvious twist and lumpen dialogie that fill the pages. The story leads us to believe that a manager of a store specialising in death paraphanalia (apparently, the victorians liked this), Woodrow, is murdering girls. Starts with a couple of prostitutes and then moves on to a girl in his employ. A detective Decimus Web and his useless assistant are on this case, and the case of a recently escavated grave..... and of course, the two stories collide with common purpose. There is a business partner involved, Richard Langley and a fair way before the end of the book, it is obvious that it is him, rather than Woodrow who is the perpretrator of the killings. The empty grave belonged to Woodrow, who earlier in his life had faken his own death. All a bit wooden and obvious and the speech patterns and dialogues all became a bit wearsome towards the end. Would not go out of my way to get more of his work.

  6. 4 out of 5

    jankreidler

    Fun, atmospheric Victorian setting(the man can write fog!),an amusing and diverting quick read. Cardboard characters including a Snidely Whiplash figure, the visiting American upstart girl cousin, a wise DI and his wisecracking sidekick as well as a long suffering, fashion-obsessed wife, slashed prostitutes, laudanum, and three possible culprits! Spoiler: Professor Plum in the library with a candlestick!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anne-Claire

    Enquête de Scotland Yard dans les méandres des maisons closes de Londres à l'époque Victorienne. Enquête de Scotland Yard dans les méandres des maisons closes de Londres à l'époque Victorienne.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This was a second read and I didn't remember the ending. This author has an unusual writing style but after the first few chapters you get used to it. This was a second read and I didn't remember the ending. This author has an unusual writing style but after the first few chapters you get used to it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Gruber

    fine page turner about victorian london but pretty predicatable and writing isn't great fine page turner about victorian london but pretty predicatable and writing isn't great

  10. 5 out of 5

    JenniferB

    An atomospheric story. Information on Abney Park Cemetary. Good.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Antigone Chambers

  12. 5 out of 5

    The .Mail

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paola

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amethyst

  17. 5 out of 5

    Harish P

    Wonderful characters. Superb setting. However the plot was a little predictable

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cazzie

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gareth

  20. 5 out of 5

    Simon Trevaskis

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

  22. 5 out of 5

    Phil On The Hill

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fay

  25. 4 out of 5

    Drew Buddie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Donna

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Bowtell

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rose Nicholson

  29. 5 out of 5

    The Cannibal

  30. 5 out of 5

    Priya

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