Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Cocktails & Chloroform by Kelley Armstrong
Series: A Rip Through Time #2.5
Published by Subterranean Press on December 1, 2023
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
For modern-day detective Mallory Atkinson, being trapped in the body of Victorian housemaid means overcoming endless obstacles. Her current challenge is winning over the suspicious young parlormaid, Alice. Mallory's plan starts with teaching the girl to make Molotov cocktails, which is a perfectly valid science experiment and not at all a desperate ploy to gain Alice's attention. Before the lesson can begin, though, Alice receives a letter that has her slipping off in the night. Concerned for her safety--and naturally curious--Mallory follows. Mallory finds Alice at what seems like a simple dance hall, watching young men and women flirting and whirling in pretty dresses and dapper suitcoats. But nothing here is what is seems, and what starts as a simple surveillance exercise turns into a full-scale spy mission with Mallory's boss, Dr. Duncan Gray, at her side. Before the evening is done, those Molotov cocktails are probably going to come in handy.
While the A Rip Through Time series has a time travel aspect, Cocktails & Chloroform has no time travel happening. After the first book, we just get to enjoy the stories of Mallory living in a historical time period. She is fortunate to be with open minded, kind people. I’m enjoying the historical mystery and the lovely characters here. She is very helpful in solving the crimes and assisting Duncan in his undertaking / doctor business.
Now we have a mystery around Alice receiving a letter. Mallory is worried when she goes out in the night and follows her. Alice is not trusting of Mallory (Catriona was vile) but the situation turns out to be dire. Mallory runs in to some of the bad crowd Catriona knew.
As a short novella, we get a quick story where I cared about the characters. Mallory made some progress in her relationship with Alice. They and Duncan, everyone took too many chances and things could have gone much worse. Thank goodness they knew how to make Molotov cocktails!
I look forward to more excellent adventures with Mallory in this historical setting and perhaps even some learning about how she was able to travel time. I hope she can retain these friends if she goes back to her own time.
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