Snap Shot

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

This is historical crime thriller  that read more like cosy mystery. It moved at a slower pace than i like. I did not care for this author's  writing style. It created alot of confusion for me . I only read 48% of the book before giving up. Sorry but this book just was not for me. The cover is amazing and drew me to it.
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A really intriguing read- like nothing I’ve read before. McAllister is a photographer but her models are being murdered one by one- the obvious connection being her, so of course the finger of suspicion is pointed at McAllister. She has to clear her name- but will she be able to do so in time and be believed? A great premise, an eerie tale with great descriptions and an ending I didn’t see coming.
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Very intriguing read and a fascinating plot, one I would never have guessed! Found the characters interesting, and the way that their back stories unraveled slowly giving details about their pasts and how they've shaped the people they became was really fascinating. 
The writing was vivid and atmospheric, I enjoyed the small details that helped to add an authenticity to the period, and indeed the details about photographic abilities and technology at the time were wonderfully descriptive, leaving me wanting to go and google things to find out more. 
Plot wise, this is a very clever book, with some great cultural aspects - especially the Jewish cemetery and the stones being left on graves. I hadn't known about this before and felt that I'd come away from this book having learned something.
The only downside for me with this book was at times it felt a little "rambling", some of the narrative felt like it was there to "pad out" passages and I found that I was skim reading in places, picking out the pertinent information, but that's just a personal thing and nothing that detracts majorly from the book.
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1895. London is rather strait laced at least on the surface. Taking risqué photographs is not the occupation you'd expect a young woman to follow, but photography is her passion and if this is the only way she can achieve her dream to travel, see the world and photograph it, then so be it.

When her models start dying one by one, in the most awful manner however, Judith knows she is being set up. Despite her covering her back at every turn, she knows the law in the shape of the canny Detective Collingwood is going to catch up with her. To top it all, she really likes the detective, and hoodwinking him is not going down well with her personally.

This was Victorian England, veiled in hypocrisy as to the way one should live and Heaven help you if you were discovered not keeping to the straight and narrow.
I enjoyed the contrasts in the story - the character of not just Judith but the other models as well and their very matter of fact approach to the photography which was very unusual for the times.

Ending was a complete turn around for me. Never saw it coming.
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An interesting mystery story that I enjoyed reading. Because I love the Victorian era or anything related with historical London, this was an appealing story to read. 
However, the writing style was good but it felt dragged a lot at times for no reason than giving a lot of descriptive scenes that maybe in my opinion weren’t that necessary and could have been ok without it. Otherwise, I enjoyed all the different characters and their lives stories even wearing a stigma for their times.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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The story is set in the year and the main character Julia decides to become a photographer to survive as a young woman in Victorian London. Trouble starts when the women who are her subject begin to die one by one and Inspector Collingwood immediately suspects her. But is she guilty or is she being framed? 
The story is well written and intriguing. I loved Julia and her determination to make it on her own. The book started slowly but I was soon engrossed in the story. I liked the characters and felt the authors characterisation was the strongest part of the book. They were strong, funny, irreverent and interesting to read about, I felt I really liked and  cared about them. 
I wasn’t gripped until the end and didn’t predict either the twist or the murderer. Hopefully there will be more books in this series soon. I really enjoyed this one.
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1895, London and Julia McAllister has found that the only way to carry on in the photography business left to her is by taking risqué photographs. One day Inspector Collingwood calls on her to inform her that some of her models have been killed, and it looks like she is being framed for their murders. So she decides that her only possible action is to find out who the murderer is.
An enjoyable Victorian murder mystery, with a touch of romance. The main characters were in the main likeable, and not working out who the killer was is a bonus. So overall a good solid start to what I presume is a new series which I look forward to reading.
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Snap Shot is the first book in the Julia McAllister Victorian Mysteries series, which takes place in London circa 1895. This is historical crime fiction that has elements of cosy mystery, and I found that very enjoyable. However, sadly, there are quite a few issues to contend with throughout. The writing was, at times, quite confusing and so long-winded that the story barely moved forward in parts. That said, I particularly enjoyed the characters as Todd gave us just enough to be able to latch on to them but managed to allow them to carry an air of mystery about them too; this worked really well.

I also appreciated the diverse cast with the author using LGBTQ+ characters despite them being shunned at the time for non-conformity. Overall, I would recommend it as it's easy, light entertainment, however, it is not thrilling enough to earn the title of thriller, but there is mystery and intrigue and it very much resembles the cosy genre more than anything else. My favourite part has to be the perfect sense of time and place the author created and the atmosphere that was cultivated as a result. Many thanks to Sapere Books for an ARC.
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The year is 1895, and the only way Julia McAllister can retain her business, and her independence as a young widow in London, is by taking risqué photographs. But, one by one, her models are being murdered, and the murderer is determined to frame Julia for the crimes.

With the relentless Inspector Collingwood on the case, watching her every move, young women still dying, and her life at stake, Julia must unmask the real killer and prove her innocence before it is too late… Can she do it? or will her dark past come back to haunt her?

The cover for Snap Shot instantly caught my eye, while scrolling through NetGalley. I found that it was a combination of two of my favourite genres: historical fiction, and thriller, so I knew I had to give it a read.

I had quite high expectations for this book. I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed, but I definitely set my expectations higher than I should have. At times, I found the writing style a little confusing, especially in the first few chapters. However, I did enjoy reading the opening chapters quite a lot. The introductions of each character were not too detailed, which left a lot of mystery surrounding them and their pasts, and I feel that this really helped while moving forward in the story.

Although there wasn’t a huge amount of action, the storyline held strong, and I didn’t feel like I was losing interest at any point. I think it helped that I actually liked the characters, and that Todd threw some humour into the story. I do feel that more detail could have been added in regards to the time period that the book was set, to give a more historical feel and to really bring it to life.

I liked that Todd included characters that would not have conformed to the society of that time. During this period of time, women were seen to be inferior, and were supposed to be the traditional housewife, but Julia is a strong, fiery, female character, who ran her own business, and ignored everything that a woman “should” be in 1895. Todd also included homosexual characters, who at that time would have been imprisoned for their sexuality. It was great to see these characters included, to show that it is always good to be yourself.

This book wasn’t as thrilling, and intense as I had hoped for, but I definitely didn’t see the twist coming, and didn’t suspect the real killer at all during the story. I did felt that the end chapter was a little rushed, and could have been written much better. Overall, it is a nice, fast read, which is perfect if you’re looking for something to chill out and pass the time with.

Snap Shot is the first book in the Julia McAllister Victorian Mystery series, and although I had a couple of complaints for this one, I will be giving the next one a read when it is released, as I’m intrigued to see how Julia’s story will continue.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sapere Books for my copy, in exchange for an honest review. 
I give Snap Shot a 3/5 rating.
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A historical murder mystery, Julia McAllister has a secret. A professional photographer who subsides her living by taking risque pictures which seem to be in great demand. Unfortunately her models are turning up with one of her photographs lying next to the body. Someone is framing her but who and why?
An easy read, the rapport between Julia and the street urchin Bug. Personally I wouldn't call this book a thriller more of a cosy mystery. An easy three stars and definitely worth a read. 
I would like to thank the author, Sepere Books and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest review.
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Fast paced historical fiction, set in the Victorian photographer's community. Our main character, Julia, is framed for the murders of several models. While the police investigates, Julia shows us the shadier side of the business, being a woman amongst vultures, also keeping a secret of her own.
Snapshot is an entertaining read filled with interesting characters, absolutely worth the time! 

Thank you Netgalley and Sapere Books for the ARC.
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As always another great book Marilyn would highly recommend it. Looking forward to your next book. We'll done
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Julia McAllister, billed as "England's first crime scene photographer" is a spirited and endearing central character for the first instalment of Marilyn Todd's new Victorian crime series, providing a change in period and location from her earlier racy, pacy thrillers set in Ancient Rome.  

Forced to supplement her work of family portraits and memento mori of the recently dead with more risque strip tease studies, she turns investigator when her models start showing up dead and it appears someone is trying to frame her for their murders. Add in a steely-eyed unhappily-married Inspector Collingwood and you have a perfect stew of desperation, desire and detection. Intricately plotted and relentlessly paced, Snapshot delivers like an expresso  - with a shot of edgy energy. 

It's impressionistic fresh images fulfill the cover line's promise of being an "atmospheric thriller." The drab morality of lower middle class Victorian England, and the hand-to-mouth existence of  young women forced to live outside conventional norms, is sensitively captured.

Julia seems always in motion to the next scene, a tropical bird more suited to a thrusting green jungle than the smoky industrial suburbs where she finds herself, destined never to achieve the anonymity she seeks. 
Snapshot ends with a perfect cliff hanger, all balls in the air.  Past indiscretions seem to preclude the opportunity set before her to pioneer crime photography, but if Julia's proven one thing in her first outing, it's that she's resourceful and irresistible.  Fully capable of pulling the unresisting reader along with her into her next adventure. We're lined up already, waiting with bated breath.
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This is a historical murder mystery and I found it to be an entertaining read. It was very atmospheric and the main lead was a very intriguing character. I liked that I  didn't guess the culprit and there were a lot of red herrings along the way to confuse the reader.
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An fascinating foray into an older time and an interesting career choice!
I enjoyed Julia's POV, seeing her world and the people in it. The characters were complex and interesting in general.

There was a sentence here or there that felt too 'modern' for the time but that's just me being picky. Overall it was an enjoyable read. 

The only issue I can find with it is the tagline 'Julia turns from murder suspect to England’s first crime scene photographer…' This doesn't actually happen in the book though. There is a passing mention by Collingwood that the Police Dept will be hiring one but that's it. Since the last chapter feels a little rushed in general I can only assume this was accidentally missed out? Very odd.
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I received this from Netgalley.com for a review. 

1895, London - Taking risqué photographs is the only way Julia McAllister can retain her independence as a young widow in London. But one by one, her models are dying — and now she is being framed for their murders. 

I liked the characters and setting of this book but the writing style bothered me at times making the story harder to read and follow.

2.5 ☆
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Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read this book.  A good story and easy read.  Look forward to more books by this author
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Julia, a photographer in Victorian era London, resorts to taking boudoir-esque photographs in order to make ends meet in a predominately-male profession.  All is well, until her models start turning up dead and the police are pegging her as the primary suspect in their murders!  Desperate to stop the string of killings and to clear her name, Julia sets out on her own to expose the real killer.  Along the way, she discovers love, friendships, and hidden secrets she was not anticipating to find.
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I found this book to be a fun, quick read.  I liked the characters, along with the subject and setting.  I also enjoyed the fact the killer was someone I was not expecting.  However, I grew tired of the author’s frequent use of idioms and quirky phrases.  Rather than adding to the story, I felt they created redundancy.  In addition, the writing style created confusion for me at times, making it difficult to follow what was going on and/or what the author was trying to depict.
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I want to thank NetGalley and Sapere Books for allowing me to read and review this title before its publication on July 29, 2019.  I look forward to more books in this series!
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This was an interesting book. It was easy to read and kept my interest. I highly recommend and look forward to reading more from this author.
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