Reporter Nellie Bly is on the trail of a despicable madman and she garners a lot of famous help along the way. Set during the 1899 World’s Fair in Paris, The Alchemy of Murder is a historical tale of murder, mayhem and mystery that will keep you turning pages at a fast clip.

Bly is after the man who murdered a friend she made while undercover at Blackwell’s Asylum. Knowing only the name he went by at the hospital, Dr. Blum, she trails him to London where she investigates the similar Jack the Ripper killings. She loses the trail there, but picks it up again in Paris, the City of Light.||Bly realizes she needs influential help and introduces herself to none other than Jules Verne for assistance. He grudgingly joins the search which leads them to need the assistance of Oscar Wilde and Louis Pasteur. The poor are dying in droves in the slums of Paris and it will take all of their combined geniuses to put a stop to it.

While this may sound farfetched, it is beautifully set and completely believable. If you enjoyed Caleb Carr’s The Alienist or the film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, this debut work is right up your alley. It was one of those books that was sad to say goodbye to when I was done.

Want to read it? I will be featuring it in a giveaway this weekend for the GotBooks? event, so stay tuned.

The Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (March 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076532203X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765322036