Cover Image: Murder at the National Gallery

Murder at the National Gallery

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Member Reviews

⭐⭐⭐⭐ -- The cover on this one is fabulous!

This is my second foray into this series and I really wish I had time to go back and read all the previous books. I am enjoying them so much. This was another solid read. Well written and well paced. I loved the historical tie ins with Walter Sickert and Jack The Ripper. The plot was engaging and kept me guessing until the end. Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton remain solid and likable lead characters with great on page chemistry. Honestly, not much more to say about this one. This series is shaping up to definitely be one of my favorites, and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book "Murder at the Victoria and Albert Museum."

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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Murder at the National Gallery is the 7th Museum Mystery by Jim Eldridge. Released 20th Jan 2022 by Alison & Busby, it's 311 pages (ebook version) and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats (paperback due out in summer 2022). It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. 

This is a competently plotted slightly gritty murder mystery. The characters are well developed and have a solid background and chemistry together. The pacing was variable, at points it dragged a bit for me, but overall it moved along at a good pace. It's 90% dialogue driven and the dialogue tends to be overly simplistic and not very nuanced. I admit the dialogue threw me. The book is set in the 19th century and is often quite jarring because the vernacular is completely modern (it reads very much like a modern mystery and the historical setting is only made clear by contextual clues such as when the author throws Bram Stoker, Conan Doyle, and Van Gogh in as contemporary). My other small quibble is that it seemed the author included almost every famous contemporary person, actor, current event, landmark, and news headline in the narrative. It interfered with my suspension of disbelief in several places.

All in all it's a readable and mostly engaging mystery with lots of skullduggery and shenanigans, a soupcon of danger, and a reasonable denouement and resolution. Sensitive readers will want to be aware that there are graphic descriptions of Jack-the-Ripper-esque murders including disembowelment, as well as fairly graphic on-page sexual content and descriptions. The two main protagonists are cohabiting in a stable long-term relationship and apparently suffering no social censure (another anachronism, although the author does partly address the paradox in the text).

Three and a half stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I haven't read any of the previous books so read this as a stand alone. While I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery itself and the victorian atmosphere I did feel the main character's were a little flat. I'm not sure if this was because I hadn't read the other books and had missed the details of their meeting and the build up of their romance.

Thanks to netgallery for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review as given above.
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Plot 

1897, London. The capital is shocked to learn that the body of a woman has been found at the National Gallery, eviscerated in a manner that recalls all too strongly the exploits of the infamous Jack the Ripper.



Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton are contacted by a curator of the National Gallery for their assistance. The dead woman, an artist's model and lady of the night, had links to artist Walter Sickert who was a suspect during the Ripper's spree of killings. Scotland Yard have arrested Sickert on suspicion of this fresh murder but it is not the last ...

Copycat murders of the Ripper's crimes implicate the artist who loves to shock but Sickert insists that he is innocent. Who would want to frame him? Wilson and Fenton have their work cut out catching an elusive and determined killer.

Review 

So this book is one of the middle in a series but you get a quick recap at the beginning so you’re pretty much up to speed beforehand. That being said, I just didn’t get on with this at all. 

One of the major things is that the pace was extremely slow for the first two thirds of the book then suddenly picked up at the end.  New characters were introduced as the book was reaching its close which didn’t add anything in my opinion. 

I couldn’t warm to the characters because they just weren’t likeable. And they were stereotypical of the era. 

I did like the connection to Jack the Ripper which I thought was clever but honestly I just wanted to find out who did it so I could move on. 

I really didn’t like this one. 

Rating 

2/5


Recommend 

Not really sorry 

Thank you to and Allison and Busby and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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3.75 stars. I love a murder mystery. But, when its based during the Victorian era and connected to museums - I Instantly wanted to read it. I didn't realise this was part of a series until I had been sent the ARC by Netgally. But thankfully, it can be read as a stand alone, yes, there are parts I would like to know more about, such as how the main characters met etc, but all in all I could follow the story fairly easily. 
At the beginning I found this a little slow, perhaps if I had read the rest of the series I would have been more invested. But about 20 percent in it began to grab my attention. I really enjoyed the links to the Ripper case and the use of real life people from the infamous murders-  that was a nice touch. I also liked the main characters and their relationship. I will definitely be picking up the first book from this Museum Murder series!
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This was a solid read for me. Nothing stood out to me in particular,but I don’t regret reading this.
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Very intriguing mystery! The book is long and it felt that way at times but generally I flew right through it. It was a nice read on a rainy afternoon, highly recommend!
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Standard fayre from Jim Eldridge, this latest of his Museum Mysteries featured dull and lacklustre characters and a gossamer-thin plot.  The writing is on the wall from the outset and before too long the reader is well aware that this book is more akin to a work of fantasy rather than historical mystery.  Being fiction, one is prepared for a modicum of suspension of disbelief, but not quite as much as is required while reading this book!

At the start of the story, the reasons for Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton, our intrepid detectives' services being called for is paper-thin.  A well-known artist is being held on remand on a charge of murder, and the detectives are called in to obtain his release.  As if two civilians could march into Scotland Yard and say 'Would you please let Mr Sickert go - thank you very much.'    At another time a police inspector hands Daniel Wilson a 'letter of authority' permitting Scotland Yard to assign a constable to him to work at Wilson's direction.  In what fantasy world would such a thing happen?  A civilian detective ordering a Metropolitan police inspector around?  As aforementioned, one can suspend disbelief only so far.  In another incident Abigail Fenton is punched heavily in the face by a desperate man who means business, crushing her nose and jaw, and almost knocking her unconscious.  Her nose at least cannot fail to be streaming with blood and would most likely be broken, but another character sees her and calmly asks 'is everything alright?'  One hardly knows whether to laugh or weep!

Amongst the smattering of unnecessary and unaccountable (since Eldridge is an Englishman) Americanisms and the author's desperate attempts to come across as modern and 'with it' by the anachronistically open discussion of sex, which might be quite normal nowadays but certainly was not in Victorian England, Eldridge tends to send his characters off on a pedagogic diatribe, where subjects such as artistic movements, past criminal cases, the history of the underground railway are delivered in a tone suggestive of a schoolmaster or tour guide, rather than a discussion between friends.  The relationship between Daniel and Abigail is also handled a little heavily by Eldridge, and at times they seem more like virtual strangers tiptoeing shyly around each other rather than a couple who have been cohabiting for years.

While most of the characters, with the exception of Daniel Wilson, who could be quite an interesting character but is borne down by the lack of opportunity, are rather dull and ordinary, Abigail Fenton is definitely unlikeable.  It is unclear whether Eldridge is deliberately attempting to portray her as flawed, or whether this is his idea of a strong female character, but she is definitely a sanctimonious, self-righteous prig.  

She shows us just how petty she can be when, at the beginning of the book, she takes offence at the fact that the letter requesting their services is addressed to Daniel alone, rather that to the pair of them.  She then allows her personal feelings about Walter Sickert to sway her judgement regarding his guilt or innocence with her 'I don't like him, therefore he must be guilty' attitude.  Fenton insists on being taken seriously as a detective and being treated by all (including Wilson) as Wilson's equal as a detective despite being a woman, yet, in a completely unaccountable move, Eldridge has her run off home to cook a dish for dinner rather than accompanying Wilson on a visit to interview an important witness.  It is difficult to see what Eldridge was hoping to convey with this completely contradictory action on Fenton's part.  

Fenton's worst excesses were evinced when, while living openly in sin with a man, an action which would clearly brand her as a Jezebel who is not better than she should be, she takes the moral high-ground when she encounters a police constable that she believes is using the services of the prostitutes on his beat in return for freedom from prosecution.  I don't suppose considerations of glass houses and throwing stones ever occurs to our judgemental Ms Fenton. 

In conclusion, this is a perfectly good read if one is looking for a cozy-ish mystery story with an ostensibly historical setting, and for fans of Eldridge who are keen to read his entire oeuvre.  However, if one is looking for a taught, well-plotted, historically accurate mystery story, look elsewhere.
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I love murder mysteries and the stories of serial killers. Yes, that makes me a nut, I get it. 

Murder at the National Gallery didn't blow me away, but it was a nice read. It was a light read, as light as a book with a dead woman can be. 

It was simple to pick up, even not having read the other Museum Mystery books.
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What a setting to have had a murder take place than at the National Gallery, ad to have had the murder show similarities to the style of Jack The Ripper, was a very good plot. Truly could not put this down. Such a brilliant opening chapter and then so many twists and turns.
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Murder at the National Gallery is book #7 in the Museum Detective series about archeologist Abigail Fenton and ex-policeman turned detective Daniel Wilson set in Victorian London. Author Jim Eldridge created a very dynamic, colourful, mutually complimenting duo that defies social canons, proprieties (they live together but are not-married) and conventions.

I have met this pair early on in the series in Just Out Book Review – Murder at the Natural History Museum by Jim Eldridge and enjoyed their adventure, repartee and dynamics.

Their 7th Adventure did not disappoint. Set in Victorian Londong, stepping on the hills of ‘Jack the Ripper’ case, mixing real historical figures with ficitional character, Murder at the National Gallery is a present fo crime lovers like myself.

This book has it all: a murder, two, three… a pair of detectives who are as brave as they are smart and rational, famous British landmarks and famous figures (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for instance).

Abigail and Daniel are called to investigate when a body of a prostitute is found next to a painting at the National Gallery. a) a prositute b) body mutilated c) body is found at the painting by an artist who was one of the suspects in Jack the Ripper case.. A Copycat? A return of Jack the Ripper?

Well, Museum Detectives will have to figure it out navigating London establishment, police politics, personal danger and volatile temperaments of artists, their wives and lovers.

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All in all, a very enjoyable read. Even though it is #7 book in the series, the suspence, interest, mystery, characters do not disappoint.
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A charming young couple solve mysteries.  He's a former detective sergeant with Scotland Yard.  She is a noted archaeologist.  The time is Victorian England.  For some strange reason, all of their murders occur at museums in London.  So, they receive the moniker of the Museum Detectives.

In this book, young prostitutes begin showing up on the steps of the National Gallery with shocking similarity to the murders of Jack the Ripper.  The main suspect is the same painter who was one of the leading suspects from the original serial murders.  

But it quickly becomes clear to the detectives that he is being set up.  But who is doing it?  And why?  With lots of allusions to the original Jack the Ripper case, including bringing in the original distinguished investigator, the result is a great whodunit.

You'll enjoy following the exploits of these charming sleuths, while enjoying a romp through Victorian London.
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I liked this last instalment in this series as it was a compelling and entertaining read.
I liked the link to the Ripper investigation and how it made me discover some facts about Walter Sickert and the world of art at the time of the investigation.
The plot is well developed, Abigail and Daniel are two fleshed out characters, and the solid mystery kept me guessing.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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I am a big fan of the Museum Detective series, I have read all of the series to date, and whilst they could all be read as stand alone novels, the reader benefits from reading the series in order to understand the relationships with in them.

The book is set in London in 1897 and Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton are asked by the Curator at the National Gallery to help to exonerate the artist Walter Sickert, who is implicated in the death of a woman found murdered (in a style reminiscient of the recent Ripper murders). Sickert is a real historical character, a post-impressionist artist, who at the time suggested he had lodged in a room used by the Ripper, and whilst not considered a suspect at the time, there has subsequently been some who have considered him either the Ripper or an accomplice of the Ripper. This is where I think Eldridge is really clever, in each book he included real life characters or real events, which adds a level of interest and authenticity to the books.

I am a big fan of Abigail and Daniel, both subvert societal norms, have a fabulous relationship and I have developed a real fondness for them throughout the books. Eldridge creates strong, well-drawn characters, and whether you love them or hate them, you feel something and you care about them.

The sense of time and place created is perhaps my favourite aspect of these books, and whilst I thoroughly enjoy the mystery behind the murders, which are often very visceral, despite the cosy nature of the books, I love feeling as if I am walking alongside Daniel and Abigail, smelling, seeing, hearing, feeling and tasting everything they are.

I couldn't put this book down and I can't wait for the next instalment.

Thank you to NetGalley and Allison & Busby for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

This is a solid historical murder mystery. It is the seventh in a series, but it can be read as a stand alone, and that was the position I was in picking it up as I hadn’t read any of the others.

In this book we follow our two main characters, Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton, a couple who have fallen into the role of private investigators for museums and galleries in Victorian England. Daniel used to be a police officer and Abigail is a renowned archeologist, which is an unusual pursuit for a woman at this time. In this installment they are called on by the National Gallery to investigate a series of murders that have implicated an up and coming artist. Shockingly there seems to be some connection to the infamous Jack the Ripper case from a decade before. 

The mystery in this book was thoroughly engaging and had me trying to piece together all of the clues right alongside the detectives which is my favorite thing to do when I am reading a mystery novel. The connection to Jack the Ripper was also very well done, it felt believable that if a series of murders was committed like this it would be linked back to the Ripper.

Where this book let me down a little was with the main characters. They weren’t very memorable. Unlike Sherlock and Watson, or Poirot, our protagonists were just missing a spark to bring them to life. We didn’t get to see their personality at all, at least not in this installment of the series.

If I can get a hold of the earlier books in the series from my library I will happily go back and read them all as palate cleansers between more challenging reads.

THANK YOU NETGALLEY FOR THE FREE REVIEW COPY IN EXCHANGE FOR MY HONEST REVIEW.
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What I Enjoyed
* The Sherlock Holmes style mystery
* How quickly the author moved the story along
* The mini history lessons of everyday London back in the late 1800s
* The incorporation of real people into the story to make it seem more believable 
* It was easy to follow along despite being the seventh book in a series (I’m definitely going to go back and read books 1-6)

What Lacked
* I didn’t find myself fully invested in any of the characters
* Certain topics were repeatedly mentioned but nothing came of them (example: Abigail and her expedition). I’m assuming they will be addressed in the following book in the series… I hope.
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This series gets better and bette (and I think I said this after the last book)
The museum detectives are investigating two terrible murders which echo the Ripper cases.
Both found at the National Gallery they link directly to the painter Walter Sickert who was also involved in the Ripper cases
But all is not what it seems. Or is it.

I enjoy the cultural references and that I learned about 19th century art
I like the relationship between the different characters across the books but that this book can stand alone.
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London February 1897, Daniel Wilson and Abigail Wilson are back in their seventh adventure as the so-called (by the British press) Museum detectives. This time they are requested by the Director of the National Gallery on London’s Trafalgar Square to assist. The famous/notorious painter Walter Sickert has been summarily arrested by the police, Chief Superintendent Armstrong to be precise, Daniel and Abigail’s bête noir, for the murder of Sickert’s model Anne-Marie Dresser, whose eviscerated body was found at the entrance to the Gallery. With unpleasant similarities to the unsolved Jack the Ripper case from a decade or so ago, and with Sickert having come under suspicion then from the Metropolitan Police, the bullish and aggressive Armstrong is confident he has his man this time around and, as usual, wants no meddling from outsiders. But when another body is found and with Sickert able to establish his innocence, it seems that someone wants revenge on Sickert. More deaths and violence occurs as suspect mount and Daniel and Abigail struggle to uncover the mystery and protect the innocent, while coming under threat themselves. 
The plot is well constructed and as ever, the narrative flows along smoothly. There are a few instances of characters giving background lectures as a form of conversation, which does not work terribly well and is rather clunky in the text. Also, the editing could be a little tighter in places, with the occasional phrasing or scenario not seem quite in keeping with late nineteenth century English language and society. But nonetheless, this is another entertaining installment in an engaging and enjoyable series.
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Murder at the National Gallery is the 7th book in Jim Eldridge's Victorian-set series Museum Mysteries.  I read books 5 and 6 and enjoyed them a lot; this one, however, is my favorite of the three.  Each mystery stands alone, so don't hesitate to jump in at any time.  You will miss, however, the progression of the romance between our Museum Detectives.  This won't hinder your enjoyment of the story any.

It's 1897 in London, and the body of a murdered woman has been found at an entrance to the National Gallery.  As if that wasn't disturbing enough, the body has been eviscerated in the same manner as the victims of Jack the Ripper.  Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton, nicknamed the Museum Detectives by the press, are called by the curator of the Gallery to investigate the murder.  Walter Sickert, a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders, is arrested for this murder by Scotland Yard; the murdered woman, who modelled for artists and was also a prostitute, had an affair with Sickert.  He swears he is innocent and that someone is trying to frame him, but who?  Then there is another murdered woman.  Will Daniel and Abigail survive their investigation and find the true culprit?

This book was another solid installment in this fun historical mystery series.  I really enjoyed our "Museum Detectives" duo of Daniel Wilson - a private enquiry agent and former detective with Scotland Yard - and his partner in work and life, Abigail Felton - an archeologist and renowned Egyptologist.  They're from different sides of the track, so to speak, and each brings a unique prospective to their cases.  In a time when everything is outwardly proper, Daniel and Abigail live together as an unmarried couple...though they intend to change that when Abigail returns from a scheduled dig in Egypt.  This case was an interesting one, as I've always been fascinated with the unsolved murders of Jack the Ripper.  What I loved here was that Walter Sickert was an actual artist who really was a suspect in the Ripper murders.  Not only that, but Frederick Abberline, who was Daniel's former boss, was also a real historical figure, a chief inspector of the London Metropolitan Police who was prominent in the Ripper murders in 1888.  The blend of fact and fiction made the mystery even more exciting.  I didn't figure out who the culprit was, which hightened my enjoyment.  I hope to see many more adventures featuring the Museum Detectives!

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.  I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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There was a point in the book where the author suddenly veered off-course to talk about impressionist paintings. That's not really *that* of a big deal, but it's important to me that you know that. It did nothing but break the immersion of the story for me.

But apart from that little qualm, the story and especially the mystery was so damn addicting. Or maybe it's just me, but every story involving Jack the Ripper always gets a second glance from me. This book did live up to most of my expectations.

Doesn't help that the cover is so breathtaking, too.
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