Book Review: Dust and Shadow

Last week I created a mock-Booklist review for my collection development class. Different from my usual review writing style, this one focuses on the role of the book in trade. Let me know what you think of the new style!


Dust and Shadow: An Account of The Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson
Faye, Lyndsay (author)

Dec. 2009.  325p.

Simon & Schuster, paperback, $15.00 (978-1416583318)


Dr. John H. Watson has kept silent about his role in the most notorious murder investigation of all time. Under the impression that the world would forget Jack the Ripper he opted to keep Sherlock Holmes’ name out of the papers, until now. As the murders in Whitechapel mount it becomes clear that there is more to the Ripper case than the papers ever reported. A whore-turned-detective, an accusation against Holmes and a rogue policeman come together to shed light on this mystery that history deemed unsolved. Set in London’s East End during the fall of 1888, Faye’s plot shows attention to historical detail. Victorian England comes to life under Faye’s thoughtful hand – with no detail from a woman’s dress to the smog filled air going unannounced. She adeptly narrates the case in the familiar voice of Dr. Watson, taking care to pick up realistic voices of East End peasants when necessary. The story swiftly careens from Polly Nichols to Mary Jane Kelly, with all of Holmes’ traditional snide wit intact. Readers of Caleb Carr and Matthew Pearl will love this fast-paced thriller. A fresh addition to the Sherlock Holmes’ canon, Dust and Shadow will please mystery readers and Ripper fans alike.

6 responses to “Book Review: Dust and Shadow”

  1. […] The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye I reviewed her earlier work Dust and Shadow – […]

  2. […] realizing the sequel won’t be out for far too long. As a side-note, this is a YA version of Dust and Shadow by Lyndsey Faye that I reviewed earlier this year and mentioned in my books I recommend […]

  3. […] that her whole idea of the future is predicated on the idea of Jack the Ripper (see my obsession here and here), and that a woman younger than me managed to write the book. But honestly, the book is […]

  4. […] events, she weaves together the silences. Much like what Faye did for Jack the Ripper in Dust and Shadow, Shepherd does here. The result is an oddly satisfying story of intrigue. But let me offer a work […]

  5. […] Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by John H. Watson by Lyndsey Faye […]

  6. […] your troubles, stat! I find mystery novels the easy to get lost in quickly. A few of my favorites: Dust and Shadow by Lindsay Fay and anything by Kathy Reichs or Dan […]

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