Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper by Ana Brazil
Publication Date: November 1, 2017
Sand Hill Review Press
Formats: Paperback & eBook
Gilded Age New Orleans is overrun with prostitutes, pornographers, and a malicious Jack the Ripper copycat. As threatening letters to newspaper editors proclaim, no woman is safe from his blade. Desperate to know who murdered her favorite student, ambitious typewriting teacher Fanny Newcomb launches into a hunt for the self-proclaimed Irish Channel Ripper. Fanny quickly enlists her well-connected employers—Principal Sylvia Giddings and her sister Dr. Olive—to help, and the women forge through saloons, cemeteries, slums, and houses of prostitution in their pursuit. Fanny’s good intentions quickly infuriate her longtime beau Lawrence Decatur, while her reckless persistence confounds the talented police detective Daniel Crenshaw. Reluctantly, Lawrence and Daniel also lend their investigative talents to Fanny’s investigation. As the murderer sets a date for his next heinous crime, can Fanny Newcomb and her crew stop the Irish Channel Ripper before he kills again?
I thought this was quite a good book - I love historical fiction and Jack the Ripper is of course one of the most interesting subjects of all time because he was never discovered or caught. So I love to read anything on the subject, and I really enjoyed this book because Fanny is this teacher who seems to want to be much more than that - she seems to want to be a sleuth and she will do anything she can. And when one of her students turns up dead and killed in the same fashion as the original Ripper but in New Orleans, she decides she is not going to give up until she figures it out. Now in saying this Fanny may seem "overblown" and pompous, but she's not - she is a regular gal who feels that it is her responsibility to find the truth because no one else seems to get it. But the question is will she be able to figure it out before the "Ripper" kills again?
The author does a great job with late 19th century New Orleans, love the background of this beautiful city. And I also love the way people treat Fanny because she isn't a cop or PI, but she doesn't care - she just keeps going. I love that passion of hers and that is part of the reason she is such a great character - she is very well focused and complex, and of course we feel everything that she is feeling. One of my other favorite characters is Olive - Fanny's sister - who is a woman in a man's world. She is in the medical field. So this gives Fanny a little bit of an edge having Olive beside her to help her with anything she doesn't understand. And Sylvia their other sister is not quite as enticing as the other two, but nonetheless important to the story. Because it takes them all. I won't give any of the good parts or ending away, you have to read it for yourself to find that out! But I promise if you enjoy historical fiction this is a good one, and it's not a nasty language book with lots of horror - it's definitely a must read! So please check it out :)
About the AuthorA native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.) The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends. Although Ana, her husband, and their dog Traveller live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice. For more information, please visit Ana Brazil's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Goodreads.