The parodied detective

The Mangle Street Murders - M.R.C. Kasasian

A self-obsessed, aloof, personal detective who occasionally wears an eye patch and lives in the heart of London at the end of the 19th century. A young woman with surgical experience and a determination to be treated the same as a man. A bloody murder with an obvious suspect who acts as if he's completely innocent. Where can you find all of these things in the same place? In The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian. This is the first book in the Gower Street Detective series and it really sets the scene for the kind of rude, sarcastic sleuthing that would have amused Arthur Conan Doyle to no end. This book often parodies Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories (there's even mention of the author himself) as well as the mystery genre in general. Sidney Grice is not a nice man. I didn't find him to be a likeable character in the slightest. His motivation for solving crimes is made somewhat less honorable by his greediness and priggishness. His ward, March Middleton, is somewhat of a caricature of what it means to be a feminist from the 19th century. She is continuously frustrated with Grice's narcissism in regards to the central case of this novel. The prime suspect displays all the indications of innocence while Grice refuses to budge from his position that the suspect is guilty. If you can't handle descriptions of gore then you might find certain passages of The Mangle Street Murders quite difficult to read. However, if you think the idea of a fussy detective who treats everyone with as little consideration as he can get away with sounds like a good time then this is the book for you. I plan on continuing this series (at least through the second book) so I guess we'll find out together what kind of trouble Grice will find himself in next. For this one, I give it an 8/10.