THE DEATH COLLECTOR by Justin Richards
“Four days after his own funeral, Albert Wilkes came home for tea.” This sentence begins a novel that is part mystery, part historical fiction, part science fiction, and part horror–with a healthy dose of Victorian London fog. Although few people believe the widow who claims her dead husband came home for a visit, Albert’s coworker George soon begins to suspect that someone murdered the old man to get their hands on a fragment of a scientist’s diary. A top-secret organization recruits George to help them investigate the situation, but George begins doing some sleuthing on his own as well, with the help of a theatrical young woman named Elizabeth, who met when they both had their wallets stolen by a plucky young pickpocket. Eddie, the pickpocket, of course gets mixed up in the mystery as well. The trail of their individual investigations always seem to lead back to the same sinister old man in his mansion. And there may be more than one zombie on the prowl. The question is: can they figure out what is really going on before the maniac’s henchmen catch up with them?
The premise of this book is admittedly outrageous, but the story is truly engaging. I definitely recommend it to those readers who are willing to put the absurdity aside and enjoy a great steampunk suspense story. I know I did!
I listened to the audio book, narrated by Steven Pacey, which was a great performance!