Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book Review of Rookery by Emily Organ

Goodreads Summary: London 1884. When a thief robs Fleet Street reporter Penny Green, she finds herself caught up in a horrifying murder.
Someone is terrorizing the residents of St Giles Rookery and Scotland Yard sends Inspector James Blakely to investigate. When the serial killer claims a victim outside the slums, Victorian London is sent into panic.

Can Penny’s friendship with the people of St Giles uncover the culprit? She and James must overcome their complicated relationship to work together, but each new murder threatens to derail their work for good.

If you like historical murder mysteries, then you must read this second book in the Penny Green Series. The books can be read in any order.
Goodreads Rating: 4 stars with 260 reviews
Genre Listing: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Get the book: Amazon
Goodreads Challenge: 2/30
2018 Reading Challenge: #33 A book that takes place before 1900 (Find the challenge here.)
Previous review of the series: Limelight (Penny Green #1)

Book Review:

The Rookery is the second book in the Penny Green series by Emily Organ. It takes place shortly after Limelight ends, with Penny in a sling from being shot while trying to solve the murder of her friend Lizzie Dixie. In The Rookery, Penny finds herself being robbed while walking past St. Giles, a rough area of Victorian London. Inspector James Blakely comes in to take over the case, and Penny gets the first-hand news for her paper. The killer alludes them both on multiple occasions and ends up wreaking havoc in St Giles before being caught. 

I liked the Rookery, but not as much as I did Limelight. The story was good, and it kept me interested. I appreciate that there's a mystery within a mystery regarding what happened to her father. I hope that the third book shows more of that as well. I was also excited that we kind of got to see a motherly side of Penny as well as see her as an aunt. I predict there may be the start of a romance for Penny in the next book. Curious to know where that goes, because I think there's a couple of viable options.

While I did enjoy The Rookery, there are somethings that I wish would have been done a little differently. Emily Organ continued with giving quite a few suspects which was a nice touch, however, the pseudonym made it pretty easy to figure out once it was shown shortly before the characters full name. Also, both Limelight and The Rookery had secret letters with mysterious handwriting. It was interesting in the first book, but seeing something similar in the second was a little underwhelming.  I feel like there was also a similarity with the way the killers in both books dressed and lurked around at the funerals. These similarities made it feel like the author was following a set formula for the mystery.

While the identity of the killer didn't come as a surprise to me, the motive did. I liked how it turned him into a serial killer, and it made me want to dive into the psychology of it. It also gave off a Jack the Ripper vibe to me.  I also really liked the imagery that Emily Organ created for St. Giles. I could really imagine a dingy poverty-stricken area with a maze of streets and bad lighting.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Rookery, and I'm going to continue on with the series. I just wish there was a little more creativity with the mystery and that it differed from the first book. I believe each of the books is under $5.00 as well as on Kindle Unlimited. If you go for the option to buy one, it'll make a nice addition for #2 on the reading challenge list, which is a book under $5. Side note, the summary says it can be read out of order, but I don't beleive that's true. I highly recommend reading Limelight first.

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