The Mysterious Lady Law by R. Appleton

RAppleton-Mysterious Lady Law

RAppleton-Mysterious Lady LawLady Law, a brilliant investigator or a beautiful, arrogant fraud? At first I thought that I couldn’t possibly cheer on such a pompous, arrogant woman, then I realized that she wasn’t going to be a protagonist. Once I realized this (after 3 chapters), I could finally finish The Mysterious Lady Law by Robert Appleton.

In a time of grand airships and steam-powered cars, the death of a penniless young maid will hardly make the front page. But part-time airship waitress and music hall dancer Julia Bairstow is shattered by her sister’s murder. When Lady Law, the most notorious private detective in Britain, offers to investigate the case pro bono, Julia jumps at the chance—even against the advice of Constable Al Grant, who takes her protection surprisingly to heart.

Lady Law puts Scotland Yard to shame. She’s apprehended Jack the Ripper and solved countless other cold-case crimes. No one knows how she does it, but it’s brought her fortune, renown and even a title. But is she really what she claims to be—a genius at deducing? Or is Al right and she is not be trusted?

Julia is determined to find out the truth, even if it means turning sleuth herself—and turning the tables on Lady Law…

I totally missed the last sentence of the summary. If I had, I probably would have finished The Mysterious Lady Law a lot sooner. You really want to hate Lady Law who is haughty and full of herself. That’s great, except I was under the mistaken impression that she would be the focus of the story, much like a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Oops.

The Mysterious Lady Law by Robert Appleton jumps between perspectives of Holly and Julia, which is a bit jarring, and could have been better handled, if the breaks were between chapters. The steampunk technology that was slipped into the Victorian aspect of the story was nice without seeming too odd.  I did enjoy the bit of Julia’s little adventures, but then Lady Law wrapped up the case, and mentally, I ended the story there.  However, that was only a turning point.  From there, it felt more like a different story tacked onto the end of a mystery that had already been solved. That’s when the confusing, badly handled time-travel sequences begin. Even the court scene, which seemed very forced, was confusing while they were trying to wrap up and explain everything.  Plus, rather than leave the heroes to ride off into the sunset, the ending is drawn out for another few pages.

I admit I wasn’t feeling that great while reading The Mysterious Lady Law; therefore I know my ability to be confused was increased, but I wish there had been more foreshadowing of the events after the false conclusion that would have tied The Mysterious Lady Law‘s two halves together. It would have avoided some of the confusion and annoying, complex explanation at the end. In all, it’s not one I’d recommend unless you really like confusing time-travel.

About Trish 11 Articles
Wife & Mom, part-time Chiropractic Assistant, Costumer, and avid table top Role-player/GM. Strong interest in history and historic fiction. Is totally loving the Steampunk movement.