Monday, 12 October 2015

Honour and Obey by Carol Hedges

When a young woman's body is discovered lying in an alleyway off Carnaby Street, Detectives Stride and Cully do not realise that her brutal murder is only the beginning of a killing spree that will terrify the whole of London and leave them both baffled. It will take all their skill and deductive powers to track down the serial killer, and their investigation will lead them into new and frightening territory. Meanwhile, Hyacinth Clout, a young woman of some beauty but few prospects, decides to end the servitude of her life looking after her dictatorial sister by seeking love instead. She is not alone: love is in the air for several young women in 1861 London, but will their search lead to romance or ruin? Honour & Obey is the long awaited sequel to the much acclaimed Diamonds & Dust, once again featuring Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his assistant Detective Sergeant Jack Cully of the recently formed Detective Division of the Metropolitan Police.

I love the way this book is written. A narrator sets the scenes between the dialogue and this gives the story a real eerie feel to it. We are onlookers, seeing and hearing things we maybe shouldn't.
Young girls are being brutally murdered in Victorian London.  The murdered girls are poor yet respectable seamstresses and not the prostitutes that the police expected. As Inspector Stride and Sergeant Cully investigate they are once again hampered by the press and by copycat killers but only they know exactly how the murderer disposes of his victims.

The author takes us on a ride through Victorian London, the sights, the smells which I'm glad not to have experienced. We are then immersed in the whole atmosphere by way of her words.
Poor women worked their fingers to the bone and their bodies to exhaustion,sewing for the rich pampered ladies. These rich ladies didn't have such a great life either,pampering to older sisters, fathers and mothers with no real lives of their own.

 Another part of Carol's writing which I love is the names she gives her characters. It seems if your not very nice you have a name like, Morbid Crevice or Lobelia Clout and if you are nice you have a name like Emily or Hyacinth. There are many more strange names but I'd like you to find them yourself. I am in no doubt that these were all actual Victorian names as I know the author does her research well.  I will say that I love the little Mullygrub children and I now think all children should be called Mullygrubs,what a great name.
I loved Hyacinth and was willing her to stand up to certain people throughout the book. Lovely Emily and the hard life she had. I disliked the  usual horrible pious people like Lobelia and Rev Bittersplit, he made my skin crawl.
The more into this book I read the more I liked it and especially enjoyed the ending where the reader is the only one privy to what happened.

I enjoyed the first book in this series which was Diamonds and Dust. Although the same policeman are involved both books can be read on their own.
The third book of the series is Death and Dominion and will be published on 13th October.
 These books would make a great drama series on television.

Honour and Obey can be found here.


  1. You are so right, Anne! I loved Diamonds and Dust and this one too. Death and Dominion will be on my winter reading pile for sure, and I agree - they'd make a great drama series.


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