Things in Jars, a review by Cat

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Things in Jars

Jess Kidd

Published February 4th, 2020
By Atria Books
369 Pages.

Find in on Goodreads.

Things in Jars, written by Jess Kidd, is a novel full of atmospheric writing, rich details, and colorful characters. That’s the reason why I’ve been meaning to pick it up and read it for months now. Can you blame me?

Bridie Devine is both infamous and famous, depending on who you ask. She’s a talented detective living in Victorian London, and she’s got plenty of quirks to go around. She takes on both the impossible and unwanted cases, solving as many as physically possible.

Yet her newest case is about to leave her stumped. It should be a simple case of a kidnapping, but it quickly proves to be anything but. It’s going to take the help of her allies, a seven-foot-tall housemaid, and a talkative ghost for Bridie to solve this puzzle.

Maybe it’s because I spent so many months looking forward to Things in Jars, but ultimately I didn’t love it nearly as much as I had hoped. Yes, the writing and the world were lovely. As were the characters, and the mysteries they posed.

Yet despite all of that, I found myself constantly getting distracted while reading it. There were times where it simply wouldn’t hold my attention, which is very much not like me. I can’t quite place my finger on the why though, as I did enjoy the foundation for this tale.

I’ve seen Things in Jars described as an atmospheric read, and that is absolutely on point. Kidd’s world feels both lush and dangerous, as only a historical mystery can pull off. It was both lovely and twisted, in ways that I know certain fans will appreciate.

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