Wednesday, June 5, 2013

HFVBT: Review--Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell plus {Giveaway}

Giveaway winner--Tammy/The Self-Taught Cook

My thoughts:
Murder as a Fine Art is exactly the kind of book I love. An historical mystery/thriller with just the right elements for it to have one leg in the horror genre. The opening chapter of the book is so shocking, it's like reading about a murder committed in our modern times. Hard to believe that it occurred in Victorian times. From the moment I started reading, I knew this was the book for me.

What I found most interesting was the criminology aspect of the book. The action takes place just ten  years after the newly established detective bureau of the Scotland Yard had its detectives educated in France by the father of modern criminology, Eugene Francois Vidocq. There is a reason that all of these television shows, such as CSI and the new Hannibal, are so popular. We are fascinated by the solving of crimes. Morrell fills the bill with his meticulous investigator, Sean Ryan and his assistant, Constable Becker.

It is also the allure of Victorian times with the gaslight and the fog that make for great storytelling. Conjuring images of a dark figure intent on malicious acts walking the streets of London gives the reader a feeling of dread in the pit of the stomach. The palpable fear of the public as they live in fear that they might possibly be the next victim. This is edge-of-the-seat reading!

Morrell has impressed me previously with his thriller, Creepers--a book that has stuck with me since the day I finished reading it. There is no doubt that he is a masterful storyteller and this new foray into historical mysteries is something I hope he plans to continue. If you are fascinated by Victorian London with all its dark underbelly, then I highly recommend that you read this!

About the book:
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Mulholland Books
Hardcover; 368p
ISBN-10: 0316216798


Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his memoir Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, is the major suspect in a series of ferocious mass murders identical to ones that terrorized London forty-three years earlier.

The blueprint for the killings seems to be De Quincey's essay "On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts." Desperate to clear his name but crippled by opium addiction, De Quincey is aided by his devoted daughter Emily and a pair of determined Scotland Yard detectives.

In Murder as a Fine Art, David Morrell plucks De Quincey, Victorian London, and the Ratcliffe Highway murders from history. Fogbound streets become a battleground between a literary star and a brilliant murderer, whose lives are linked by secrets long buried but never forgotten.


“Murder As a Fine Art by David Morrell is a masterpiece—I don’t use that word lightly—a fantastic historical thriller, beautifully written, intricately plotted, and populated with unforgettable characters. It brilliantly recreates the London of gaslit streets, fogs, hansom cabs, and Scotland Yard. If you liked The Alienist, you will absolutely love this book. I was spellbound from the first page to last.”

—Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author of The Monster of Florence

“London 1854, noxious yellow fogs, reeking slums, intrigues in high places, murders most foul, but instead of Sherlock Holmes solving crimes via the fine art of deduction, we have the historical English Opium-Eater himself, Thomas De Quincey. David Morrell fans -- and they are Legion -- can look forward to celebrating Murder As a Fine Art as one of their favorite author's strongest and boldest books in years.”

—Dan Simmons, New York Times bestselling author of Drood and The Terror

“Morrell’s use of De Quincey’s life is amazing. I literally couldn’t put it down: I felt as though I were in Dickens when he described London’s fog and in Wilkie Collins when we entered Emily’s diary. There were beautiful touches all the way through. Murder As a Fine Art is a triumph.”

—Robert Morrison, author of The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey

“I enjoyed Murder As a Fine Art immensely. I admired the way Morrell deftly took so much material from De Quincey's life and wove it into the plot, and also how well he created a sense of so many dimensions of Victorian London. Quite apart from its being a gripping thriller!”

—Grevel Lindop, author of The Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey

About the author:
David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.

For more information on David Morrell and his novels, please visit the official website. You can also follow David on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Visit other blogs on the tour--Tour Schedule
Twitter Hashtag: #MurderAsAFineArtTour

One copy of Murder as a Fine Art to a winner in the U.S. only. Please leave a comment telling me if you are fascinated by Victorian London and why. Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win (email address, Twitter handle, etc). Last day to enter is Wednesday, June 26 at 11:59pm CST. Good luck!


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A copy of this book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for providing it.


Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. It means so much.

I apologize for word verification, but as soon as I changed the settings from only users with Google accounts, I started receiving a ton of spam comments...within one hour of changing the settings. The bots are on high alert apparently.

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  2. I haven't read much yet set in Victorian London but the opening paragraph of your review has me very curiously excited to read it. Looks like an intriguing book. Thanks for the chance to win it. Reach me at Tanya{at}momssmallvictories.comjust in case I win! :)

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  6. I haven't read any books about Victorian London. I love London. I been one time and I think if I had to live in London, I would like to live in this time period. To read a book Victorian would be fine.

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  10. I've always adored Victorian London - foggy London, Sherlock Holmes, the start of the Industrial Revolution. I adore crime novels too an this one's been getting great reviews. I'd love to win!

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  13. I'm obsessed with British historical fiction and would love to read a crime novel in that same genre! Victorian England is fascinating to me because I'm so very interested in Queen Victoria's life, but I have not read too much set primarily in London. I think it's time to change that!

    Thanks for the giveaway and great review!

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  14. I can't say I'm obsessed with Victorian London, but I will say some of the best historical fiction, including mysteries take place there or an alternative version of it.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I've been wondering about it, it seems right up my alley but almost too perfect, bound to disappoint. I'll have to put it on my list.
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  16. I enjoy both history and mysteries. Looks like this one would be right up my alley!

  17. Great review! While I have never heard of him before, it was interesting to learn that many literary characters had been based off of Eugene Fancois Vidcoq and also his break-throughs in criminal investigation. All through your link to the stort bio of course.

    I love Victorian literature because there is usually (but not always) a gothic element to it and is my idea of Stephen King mystery. I've always felt that London goes hand in hand with that, the fog and dampness that is depicted in Sherlock Holmes and Gaslight is a fantastic backdrop.

  18. Great review! I love historical fiction, but do not read much set in Victorian times. Your description reminded me of one of my favorite movies-Gaslight.

  19. I so want this one... actually I need it, need it, need it. I've heard nothing but great things about this book, and yes I love a good mystery set during those times.

  20. I knw you have it, but

  21. Tammy/The Self-Taught CookApril 22, 2015 at 6:49 PM

    I find Victorian England interesting, although lately I have read more on the subject of the Tudors and Plantagenets.

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