The Corpse Played Dead - Georgina Clarke
Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley
‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…’ When an undercover assignment for the Bow Street magistrate sees prostitute Lizzie Hardwicke trade Ma Farley’s Bawdy House in Soho for life as a seamstress the theatre on Drury Lane, it becomes clear quite quickly - what goes on in the wings is much more intriguing than the theatrics being played out on stage… Soon Lizzie is once again thrown together with the handsome Inspector Will Davenport when a high profile investor is brutally hanged at centre stage and Lizzie discovers the body. With the suspect list rivalling any casting call, Lizzie will have to use every trick she’s hidden up her sleeves to unravel the tangled threads and bring the culprit into the spotlight.
It was absolutely awesome to be back in the world of Lizzie Hardwicke (or should I say, Lizzie Blunt!?). Jumping into a book set in a completely different era is pure escapism, and I love imagining what it would have been like back in the 1700s. I’ve just been watching ‘Victoria’ set in the 1800s so I had a starting point and could image the voices and the clothes etc. The way of life for both eras are utterly different from the modern world that we are used to. Just as the first book this second instalment of the harlot Lizzie Hardwicke was brilliantly written. It wasn’t stuffy or unintelligible, written with a 21st Century voice but describing a world gone by is the perfect combination and works so well. The attention to detail from the author and the amount of research she must have put into this book is phenomenal! I loved the historical afterward that advises that some of the characters we meet in the book actually existed. I love this; it is fiction but incorporates real-life historical events and people. In this story, we see Lizzie helping Davenport that we met in the first book. There are some underhand goings-on at a nearby theatre, and he needs her help to blend in and investigate. Things turn bad, and Lizzie once again finds herself facing life-threatening danger. The story was well-developed, and I didn’t get lost at all. Even though there are lots of ‘players’ to get to grips with, it isn’t difficult to remember them all. They are repeated often enough for you to be familiar with everyone. I didn’t see the ending coming at all, and I had not guessed who the bad guys were or why. I do like being taken by surprise like this; it means the story wasn’t predictable nor uninspired. A brilliant read and I am already looking forward to more of Lizzie Hardwicke. I hope we get to explore more of her ‘harlot’ life as I did miss this a little in this book.