Review: The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle (Horatio Lyle #1)

“In Victorian London at the height of the industrial revolution, Horatio Lyle is a former volunteer law enforcement officer with a passion for science and invention. He’s also an occasional, but reluctant, sleuth. The truth is that he’d rather be in his lab tinkering with dangerous chemicals and odd machinery than running around the cobbled streets of London trying to track down stolen goods. But when his government calls, Horatio swaps his microscope for a magnifying glass, fills his pockets with things that explode, and goes forth to unravel a mystery of a singularly extraordinary nature. Thrown together with a reformed—in other words “caught”—pickpocket named Tess, and a rebellious young gentleman named Thomas, Lyle and his faithful hound, Tate, find themselves pursuing an ancient Chinese plate, a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of polite society, and a dangerous enemy who may not even be human. Solving the crime will be hard enough—surviving would be a bonus.”

– Goodreads description

Catherine Webb has been a favourite author of mine since I was a teenager. She had her first book published at fourteen and continued publishing novels all through her A Levels and a university degree. This woman is amazing!!!! Her books aren’t anything like as well known as they should be. She also writes as Kate Griffin, but I haven’t got around to reading those books yet.

I first fell in love with this author when I read Waywalkers (which is followed by Timekeepers). The next set of books I read was her first novel,  Mirror Dreams, followed by Mirror Wakes. And then I moved on to the last of her YA series: Horatio Lyle.

WHY I kept it on the shelf for so long I DO NOT KNOW! I know I sound like I’m raving but it really was the best book I’ve read in ages. The detail in the description is incredible. It is very different to the other two sets of hers, and there are four books in total, instead of two.

Victorian detective novels seem to be very popular these days, especially when they have that fantasy element added in, which Horatio Lyle certainly does. It’s almost a shame she released it when she did as I think it would’ve been even more successful now.

And having main characters called Tate and Lyle – awesome!

This isn’t so much a review as incoherent excited squealing. It’s been a while since a book grabbed me this much and I’m always a bit of a mad fan-girl when it does happen. This is a good thing though. I will be reading the next one soon.


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