Review of Murder at Madame Tussauds by Jim Eldridge – recently published

A real dead body amongst the wax ones…

I am a huge fan of historical mysteries, but somehow had never heard of Jim Eldridge’s Museum Detectives series, set in the late 1800s, and featuring ex-Scotland Yard detective Daniel Wilson and his partner, archeologist Abigail Fenton.  So I was happy to receive a review copy of the latest title in the series, Murder at Madame Tussauds.   And I’m glad I did. 

As the story opens, a real beheaded body is found in with all the wax ones in the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.    Daniel and Abigail have made a bit of a name for themselves solving murders in museums, so John Tussaud, who now runs his great-grandmother’s museum, calls on them to investigate.    The dead man is one of Madame Tussaud’s two night watchmen, and the other is missing, so it seems obvious to Scotland Yard’s Inspector Jarrett that he’s the culprit.   But is that really true?    More dead bodies give some clues…

Meanwhile, there’s also an outbreak of bank burglaries happening in London.  Clever criminals have been breaking in to bank vaults from the cellars of neighboring stores.   The crimes have been happening in wealthy areas so a lot of money, and perhaps even more importantly, a lot of private papers, have gone missing.     Are the two crime sprees connected?    Although they are on the outs with senior officers at Scotland Yard, Daniel and Abigail still manage to work with their friend, Inspector Feather, to figure out what’s going on. 

I very much enjoyed Murder at Madame Tussauds – the plot was engaging, and I also got to painlessly learn a bit about Madame Tussaud’s and the history of wax-figure making.  Since I came in on the sixth book, though, I’m a bit uncertain as to the origin of Daniel and Abigail’s relationship, which seemed to me to be unusual (openly living together, without being married) for the time.   The living-together part didn’t bother me personally, but it did seem to be a bit of an anachronism.   (Perhaps if I get a chance to read some of the earlier books in the series, that part will make more sense.)   All-in-all, though, this was a fun and quick read.   And please keep in mind that I don’t give many five-star reviews, and so my four-star rating here is a solid “read this book” recommendation.  And my thanks to Allison & Busby and NetGalley for the advance review copy.  

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