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Lestrade and the Leviathan by M J Trow

Title: Lestrade and the Leviathan (Inspector Lestrade series order #4; chronological #12)

Author: M. J. Trow

First published in 1987; republished by Thistle Publishing on 20 August 2013

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have had Inspector Lestrade series in my TBR list for over a year and a half now. I am slowly trying to catch up with my reading so that I can add new series to the list. 😉

I read Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra way back in July 2018. I had just started to book blog and was new to NetGalley. The blurb sounded interesting and the book was in the ‘Read Now’ category so I decided to give it a try. I have read a total of five books in this series so far.

In the previous book(s), we saw Lestrade lose his wife Sarah and the Chief of Police His Nims aka Nimrod Frost. The first book in this series is about Lestrade encountering Jack the Ripper. We also have Sherlock Holmes (who is portrayed as an imbecile), Dr. John Watson, Harry Bandicoot (Lestrade’s ex side-kick), Charles Dickens (no relation to the author), Rudyard Kipling (the one and only) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the one and only).

The basic plot of stories this series is – several ‘unrelated’ crimes around the country and Lestrade is called to investigate. He finds a similarity between the crimes (usually murders) and catches the perp red-handed. In this story, a handful members of The Peace Organization are found dead. Most of the victims are writers.

The threat of war is looming. Anarchists are trying to spoil the peace in Europe. Women’s suffragette movement has started and there are talks of getting women on the force (which is not appreciated by many). A series of murders seem to create a sense of tension in the country.

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Emma Lestrade-Bandicoot, Lestrade’s daughter who is being looked after by the Bandicoots, is in love with a naval officer. The Bandicoots have a tragedy in their family – one of their twin boys, Rupert, was washed away while on a yacht. Papa Lestrade doesn’t find Ballard Hook, Emma’s love-interest, convincing; but the daughter’s decision is of utmost importance to Papa’s Lestrade.

Overall, this was an above-average read. A handful of characters are introduced as the story starts and I had trouble remembering who’s who. The story starts on a good pace, falls flat halfway through and the ending surprises you! My, My! Leave it to Mr Trow for terrific endings!

Guess who else makes an appearance in the story? One of the famous spies of that era (the story is set in 1910). Any guesses? 🙂 Trow is a master storyteller. Well-portrayed characters, an engaging story filled with cart loads of history, and an ending that keeps you guessing, the Inspector Lestrade series is surely to become one of your favourite Holmes’ pastiches. Speaking of Holmes, the poor chap died in 1909. Hummm!

Oooh yes, I have kept the best bit for the last. As the story ends, we see Lestrade departing on the Titanic’s maiden voyage. We all know how that story ends! But… Lestrade and the Leviathan is the fourth book in this series. So I am waiting to read Lestrade’s survival story.

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