The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder

The Alchemy of Murder (Nellie Bly #1) by Carol McCleary

So this is a historical fiction mystery, with the main character being based on the real life reporter Nellie Bly.


The year is 1889. The place, Paris France;  the capital of Europe. Paris is hosting the World’s Fair, having unveiled the Eiffel Tower, (at the time thought ugly but then became a permanent part of the skyline and one of the biggest tourist destinations.)


But while people are celebrating man’s accomplishments, a serial killer stalks the area and a plague is striking Parisians by the thousands.


Nellie Bly is convinced that both the killings and the epidemic are connected. She travels down to Paris to hunt this killer, “The Alchemist” as she calls him.


Along her search, she enlists the help of Jules Verne, Oscar Wilde, and Louis Pasteur.


Thoughts after Reading:

I bought this book a couple of years ago as the synopsis intrigued me. Historical fiction, mystery, some of my favorite literary writers. I thought it would be like Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A Mystery, but this book was horrible.


I know it is supposed to be in the Victorian era, but having your main character be cold and emotionless isn’t endearing to the reader. It was horrible to get into and boring. I need my character to have character.


Not only was Nelly bland, but she seemed so out of tune with her time period, not that she was from the future or past, but just as if she didn’t belong.


For me it fell flat.



For more historical fiction mysteries, go to The Harlot’s Tale

For more books featuring investigative reporters, go to A Change of Fortune


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