A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong @MinotaurBooks @sophiarose1816

Posted June 2, 2022 by Sophia in Book Review / 24 Comments

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong @KelleyArmstrong  @MinotaurBooks @sophiarose1816A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong
Series: A Rip Through Time #1
Published by Minotaur Books on May 31, 2022
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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May 20, 2019: Homicide detective Mallory is in Edinburgh to be with her dying grandmother. While out on a jog one evening, Mallory hears a woman in distress. She’s drawn to an alley, where she is attacked and loses consciousness.

May 20, 1869: Housemaid Catriona Mitchell had been enjoying a half-day off, only to be discovered that night in a lane, where she’d been strangled and left for dead . . . exactly one-hundred-and-fifty years before Mallory was strangled in the same spot.

When Mallory wakes up in Catriona's body in 1869, she must put aside her shock and adjust quickly to the reality: life as a housemaid to an undertaker in Victorian Scotland. She soon discovers that her boss, Dr. Gray, also moonlights as a medical examiner and has just taken on an intriguing case, the strangulation of a young man, similar to the attack on herself. Her only hope is that catching the murderer can lead her back to her modern life . . . before it's too late.

Strangled in the same alley that a woman was strangled 150 years before, a woman police officer suddenly finds herself back in that time and in the woman’s body.  Talk about exciting premises, right?  After reading several thrilling books from this author, I was keen to pick up this first in a new series and explore the idea of a modern woman adjusting to the past and, as a police officer, adjusting to investigating a crime old-style.

Mallory is in Edinburgh struggling to say goodbye to a beloved grandmother on her deathbed.  In need of a bit of air, she finds herself in Old Town at night in time to hear a woman struggling nearby.  Her cop instincts kick in and she rushes to the rescue only to encounter a killer.  She wakes up in 1869 and discovers she is now Catriona, a disreputable woman given a new chance as a housemaid in an undertaker’s home.  However, Dr. Gray is not just a funeral home owner.  He studies forensic science and one of the police investigators has just brought him a new body to help offer clues about the murder.  While adjusting to her new incredible circumstances, trying to figure out how to get back to her own time, and more than curious about Catriona’s attack and her past, she can’t help herself from getting involved in the police investigation and Gray’s work.

I love the idea of bringing a modern police detective into Victorian Scotland and seeing her work through the whacked out idea that she just traveled back in time, the world of being a woman and a serving class person with criminal history, and having her land fortuitously in a progressive man’s home and work.  I say progressive because Dr. Gray can empathize with the frustration she feels as a woman denied certain things of his race.  He and his sister, Isla, are looked at askance because they are educated, own a business, and have a comfortable income when most people of color were servant class.  His personality and interests are not unlike a certain famous fictional detective by the name of Holmes and his sister is a chemist and atypical of her time as well.

Kelley Armstrong took the time to sketch in how it all felt for Mallory to go through such an experience.  I liked that Mallory wasn’t some special snowflake who instinctively knew her history and how to fit in, but neither was she arrogant about it.  She tries to fit in and respect that people of the past weren’t stupid.  Her attempt to talk ‘historical’ based on a vague knowledge from historical romance books was hilarious.

That said, I did get antsy to come to the moment when she got settled in and we could get on to the fun part.  Solving crime old-style with her knowledge from the future that would help the investigation.  I was sympathetic that she left things unfinished with her grandmother and she had a life back in the present, but I enjoyed her in the past.  It was fun seeing how her secret about being a time traveler and also the surprise twist figuring out how she ended up there spins itself out.

Mysteries abound from the serial killer in the present, the killer in the past, how the time slip worked, and coloring in Catriona’s story.  It was interesting seeing the extra twist of her being ‘Catriona’ in 1869 and everyone else knows more about Catriona than she does so she must learn as she goes and it turns out Catriona was as much a mystery as the investigation into murder.  I liked Gray and McCreadie, but was happy to see them show up the other arrogant police and pathologist, but Mallory’s time with Isla was also pretty great.

All in all, this was a good start to a series, building the background and slowly getting going to a steady, suspense-building book that left me satisfied with what I got and ready for what comes next in the series.

About Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could
write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a
story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls
and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. Today, she continues to
spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked
away in her basement writing dungeon. She lives in southwestern
Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

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Posted June 2, 2022 by Sophia in Book Review / 24 Comments


24 responses to “A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

  1. I really like Kelley Armstrong and am excited to start this new time traveling series. It just looks like a lot of fun. 🙂

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  2. I really enjoyed this but it started a bit slow because I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of time travel. As there wasn’t lots of traveling back and forth I enjoyed it. Mallory ended up in a better position than it could have been since it was a sciencey family.

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    • Yes, I prefer the ones where the time travel seems to be a one way-one time event and the rest of the story takes the spotlight afterward. Yes, she definitely was lucky to land where she did with people who accepted her modern quirks and her time travel secret more easily (aka didn’t burn her as a witch or sent her to insane hospital). 🙂

  3. Jen

    This sounds really interesting! I just read my first Kelly Armstrong book – in the Heroic Hearts anthology. I enjoyed that one, but it was more UF with weres and witches. I love the historical mystery aspect of this one.

  4. It’s been so long since I haven’t read one of her books! This one looks good! I’m curious too now!

  5. I can’t wait to read this one! I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of this author’s books, so i bought this one on release day. I really like the premise of this one with the main character going back in time and solving a crime in the past. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I am curious about how she has to get to know the women’s whose body she now is inhabits in the past. I hope I’ll get around to reading this one soon :). Great review!

  6. Lovely review you have here Sophia. Sounds like for a first book in the series, the author set up the world really well for you. I really like the premise of this one, so you have me intrigued.