“A Deadly Deception” Mystery, Historical Fiction Book Review

Author: Tessa Harris

Series: A Constance Piper Mystery, Book 3 (August 27, 2019 release date)

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars

plottwistbookreviews.com  A Deadly Deception by Tessa Harris
“Regrets are like rats in this neck o’ the woods. They gnaw away at you. We’ve all got them, but none more that what most call the unfortunates. –Constance”
— Tessa Harris, A Deadly Deception

Synopsis:  London, July 1889. Eight months have passed since the horrific murder of Mary Jane Kelly. The residents of Whitechapel have begun breathing easy again—daring to leave windows open and walk about at twilight. But when old Alice McKenzie is found dead, throat slashed from ear to ear, the whispers begin once more: Jack the Ripper is back.
Constance Piper, a flower seller with a psychic gift, was a friend to both women. With the supernatural help of her late mentor, Miss Emily Tindall, and her more grounded ally, police detective Thaddeus Hawkins, she uncovers links between the murders and a Fenian gang. The Fenians, committed to violence to further their goal of an independent Ireland, are also implicated in a vicious attack in which the Countess of Kildane’s uncle was killed. Could the Whitechapel murders be a ruse to make the British police look helpless? 
Soon, Constance is called upon for help. But there are spies everywhere in the city, and a bomb plot intended to incur devastating carnage. And as Constance is fast discovering, the greatest evil may not lurk in the grimy alleys of the East End, but in a conspiracy that runs from Whitechapel to the highest office in the land …

Review: As soon as I finished reading “A Deadly Deception” by Tessa Harris I instantly wanted to read the next installment of the Constance Piper Mystery series. I have found a new historical fiction mystery series to love. The historical setting of this book is so authentically and smartly written that I found myself transported back to 1889 London and swept into mystery and intrigue right along with Constance and Thaddeus. It’s not often that a book evokes such strong sensory feelings in me, but this one did. “A Deadly Deception” is the perfect read for classic mystery fans who enjoy an exciting and fast-moving plot with plenty of surprising twists and turns to keep you guessing at what will happen next.

"The washhouse is where Ma, Flo, and me go for a bath now and again. 'Course we have to go second class: a cold bath and a towel for your penny. Someday I'll treat myself to first class: that's two towels and warm water. Someday." -- Constance 

Constance Piper is an intelligent, determined, and compassionate protagonist that I liked immediately. It was refreshing and interesting to watch her acknowledge her limitations (often imposed by society) and work around them to achieve her goals. Constance has grit and doesn’t give up. As well, Thaddeus, a police detective who yet again seeks her help, is the perfect compliment to Constance and I can’t wait to see where their blossoming romantic relationship takes them, or how they’ll solve the next murder mystery together.

I especially appreciated that this story was told from Constance’s point of view and then alternatively from Emily Tidwell’s (Constance’s former mentor/best friend and now ghost). Not only could I sleuth right along with Constance, but I could gather clues and insights from Emily as the plot unfolded. The narrative made this historically influenced mystery addictive and thrilling.

****Thank you to the author, Kensington Books and NetGalley for this ARC which was received in exchange for my honest review****

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