It’s my turn to review, The Mannequin House by R.N. Morris, a historical crime fiction featuring Silas Quinn, a detective with a dark side, who has to solve a strange locked room murder but the chief suspect happens to be a monkey.Quinn is now my favourite Detective!
Thank you, RN Morris and Canelo Press for an eARC for an honest review.
In this intriguing historical mystery, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn investigates one of the strangest cases of his career . . . London, 1914. Called out to investigate the murder of a fashion model employed by the House of Blackley, a prestigious Kensington department store, Detective Inspector Silas Quinn of Scotland Yard’s Special Crimes Department is thrown into the bizarre: the chief murder suspect is a monkey. He may be sceptical, but how will Quinn ever get to the truth when faced with the maelstrom of seething jealousy, resentment, forbidden desires and thwarted passion that is the Mannequin House?
Silas Quinn has to investigate the death of a Mannequin, a model at Blackley, found dead in a locked room. Silas has to solve the case under the scrutiny of his superiors that seem a little too keen for him to fail. It doesn’t help that that Blackley, the owner of Mannequin House has his own view on how things should be done. His investigation is helped by the Sergeants Inchball and Macadam but hindered by detective Coddington, a terrible hypnotist and a fez-wearing monkey on the run.
Quinn is now officially my favourite detective!
Quinn is a fascinating character, clever with little tolerance for fools. I found myself laughing a few times during the book at his frustration and exasperation especially interactions between him and Coddington. But despite the humour, there is a dark side to Quinn, whose last case led to the death of the main suspect over which he has very little remorse. His superiors are worried about his high body count with good reason.
Blackley could have easily been a two-dimensional villain but his drive, ambition and larger than life personality makes him truly creepy. I was intrigued by the author’s note at the start of the book explaining Benjamin Blackley’s story was inspired but not based on William Whiteley the founder of Whiteleys.
The book is an interesting take on the classic locked-room mystery. The plot races along to a very satisfying yet shocking conclusion. But to me, the key draw of this book is the complex and non-conformist Quinn, the Detective with a dark side.
Perfect for Fans
Any historical crime fiction
The first book in the series, Summon up the blood, is now on my to-read list to find out why things are so tense between Miss Latterly and Quinn as well as what happened to Quinn’s last suspect.