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A Metropolitan Murder.

A METROPOLITAN MURDER. Lee Jackson. 2004. Read by Joe Dunlop. 8 cds. 8.75 hrs. Recorded Books. 1-4193-1311-8. $89.75. Vinyl; plot notes. A

Inspector Decimus Webb rides his velocipede to the Baker Street Underground to investigate the murder of a young woman on a foggy night in 1864. Miss Sparrow, lady superintendent of the Holborn Refuge for Penitent Women, identifies the victim as one of her charges. Then the hapless victim's roommate, Agnes White, goes missing. Her daughter Clara is concerned, as is Clara's employer, the saintly Dr. Harris, who "recruits" young fallen women for the refuge. Agnes's other daughter, Lizzie, is less concerned. Her husband Tom, who is a con man, prostitutes her nightly to keep himself in new suits and spending money. Webb's job is complicated by the lack of motive and clues, but he plods his way through several plot twists to a satisfying conclusion.

Jackson's London is filled with visceral period detail and odd characters. You will choke on the fog, so convincing is his description. The novel has a Dickensian air. Narrator Dunlop gives the novel a full-voiced reading. His female characters are spot on. Janet Julian, English Teacher, Grafton, MA
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Author:Julian, Janet
Article Type:Young Adult Review
Date:Jan 1, 2006
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