Monday 6 September 2010

Early Review: What Alice Knew - Paula Marantz Cohen + Hell Yeah winner

Genre: Historical mystery thriller
Pages: 341
Published: September 7th 2010 Sourcebooks Landmark

A fun and clever literary reinterpretation, with Henry James hot on the trail of Jack the Ripper

Henry James is suffering through boring drunken dinner parties in London, but when his brother William-renowned for his groundbreaking work in the new science of psychology-is summoned from America by Scotland Yard to help investigate an East End serial killer who calls himself Jack the Ripper, things are suddenly much more interesting.

Their bedridden sister Alice James takes on the role of lead detective, as the three precocious siblings attempt to unravel the true identity of the killer. Searching London high and low, encountering characters both suspicious and ridiculous, they inch closer to a killer neither they, nor readers, would suspect.

There are a few things I am very curious about, and Jack The Ripper is one of them. Who was he? I'd love the answer to that, and here I at least her one suggestion. But we can't really know.

In this book Jack The Ripper is terrorizing London, and Henry James is attending boring dinner parties. In London he also has his sister Alice who never gets out of bed. Because she feels there is something wrong with her. Their brother William is called to London to do a profile on Jack and help them catch him. And soon the whole family are looking for clues.

I have never read a Henry James novel, but I have seen some movies. And yes I could see him as he was here, he is very fond of England and the English way of life. He was in England during this period of time so therefore the what if showed up. His sister Alice was clever and nice, and I sure wished she just would get out of bed. And then there was the brother, the famous William, he saw clues that others missed. They were quite the team.

They were looking at the suspects and found one of their own, and I must say that one made sense, considering. I think I'd vote for him too. Or..oh, right, well it could have been like that too. See, I am still wondering.

It was a good mystery, and thriller, especially as they got close to Jack. I do read thrillers and mysteries, it's just that I only seem to read the historical ones. I like them, cos they are different. First there is the history, second, people just have to work more for clues.  

Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Sort of eerie.
Reason for reading: From Sourcebooks. My thoughts are my own.
Final thoughts: I think this old question made it up there with who killed the princes in the tower. I need a time machine.

Hell, Yeah by Carolyn Brown Winner


I will email you in a little while. Congrats! And thanks everyone for entering.

There were two winners, so I had bf shout a number to me from the kitchen, and that number was:

NAIDA (if you could email me)


  1. This looks REALLY interesting! Thanks for sharing this. I don't think I've ever read a historical thriller/mystery. This might be a good place to start. :)

  2. I think that cover is pretty eerie, too. :)

  3. B,

    Great review. :) This sounds very interesting.


    And does the sister ever get out of bed?

  4. This sounds interesting! I don't think I've ever read historical thriller/mystery.

  5. Great review! I'm glad it's good because it's on my wishlist.

  6. Congrats to the winners!

    Great review B. Sounds like an interesting who done it?

    Thanks for sharing! And I hope all is well with you. :)

  7. This one definitely sounds intriguing and unusual!

  8. I wonder what it is that's so fascinating about Jack the Ripper. This book sounds interesting!

    Congrats to the winners! :D

  9. Michelle
    Lol, and I who said that if I read them these are the ones, well truth be told I have only read J.Winspear's books, but they are great.

    Michelle She did put on a robe though when they had a dinnerparty so she could eat dinner with the rest. So then she got up, but only to see if the murderer was there, and it was at her flat.

    History, great, and a mystery, oooo, nice. I like the mix

    It sure makes you wonder who jack was for sure

    All well, thanks Lea. I hope you and Tori are doing well too.

    I do go for unusual

  10. Janna
    For me it's cos they never found him, thinking he went on after all he did

  11. This one sounds really interesting and I've always wondered who Jack the Ripper was!

  12. I'm also VERY intrigued by Jack the Ripper. I've always been super curious about him.
    I love the idea of a historical mystery!

  13. What Alice Knew sounds really good. I've always had a facination with Jack the Ripper too. He was one of those that really "got away with it". I wonder if he'd be so lucky today?

    RE: The two murdered princes - Edward and Richard of York? I've always wanted to read Robin Maxwell's To the Tower Born. Have you? I guess it's her take on the mystery.

  14. Staci
    I do wonder, even if someone says aha now we know! Then they still do not know

    Set in history it's so much more fun, real detective work. But then that is also why they never caught him

    Today, nah I think he would be caught. With some DNA or something. or not if he is really smart. But then by sending those letters he was rather in your face too.

    Yup, those princes, and have not read Maxwell. Would like to see her take on it

  15. I'd love to know who Jack teh Ripper was too!

    Congrats to the winners!

  16. Mmmm, it does sounds really good. Last year I read a Dutch book about Jack the Ripper, and do you know who Jack the Ripper was in the book? A girl, the main character. Shocking. I really liked that twist. Great review!

  17. DC,
    Such a mystery. I do wonder

    I am always accusing everyone. So here I did think that I woman could have done it too. But your book sounded really shocking

  18. Love this review, and the book sounds good too. I like Jack the Ripper stories.

    Sorry I have been so quiet lately, but thank you for your continued support, I do appreciate it.

    Big hugs and thankies

  19. Congrats to the winners.

    The mystery sounds like one I would definitely enjoy too.

  20. Sassy
    It's ok, life is busy sometimes :) But it's great to see you again.

    I do think you could enjoy this one.

  21. it is surprising how many are still interested in Jack the Ripper..and I agree they will like this one.

  22. Caite
    Maybe we all are freakishly morbid, or just really curious :)

  23. Congrats to the winner!!
    And stopping in to say hi and give you some hugs honey!

  24. Thanks Blodeuedd ! I appreciate it. :))

    Congrats to the winners by the way!


  25. Thanks Cecile,
    Hugs to you.

    Sassy *hugs*

  26. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. This one definitely sounds like an interesting read. And I don't read mystery either, but I do like the historical ones though too :)

  27. This book sounds interesting!
    Jack The Ripper is one of those mysteries that just gives me the chills.

    Thanks so much, Hell Yeah sounds like a good one.

  28. Polish
    I know, they are just so different aren't they :)

    I hope you will like it :)
    I know, he is scary

  29. I loved this book! Glad that you liked it as well.

    And sign me up for that time machine - - I too would like a final answer to the Jack the Ripper question. :)


  30. We will just have to invent that time machine and take a little trip through time :)
    Of course well there I am sure I'd be so scared, lol

  31. I totally need to check this out. I am fascinated with the Ripper aspect. Is it gory?

  32. Juju
    Not gory at all, and I liked it like that, cos no blood and icky stuff for me in books :)

  33. This sounds like a good one. HF mysteries are always good. I haven't been able to finish a JAmes novel either. I tried Portrait of a Lady three times!
    I will certainly keep this one in mind next time I'm at the library.

  34. Jenny
    Lol, some classics aren't that reader friendly ;)
    I do like HF mysteries, they are just more for my taste



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