Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review for; The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaidi, I can’t wait to share my review with you all. Full disclosure, this review was scheduled to be posted in August, but due to unfortunately looing my old dog at the same time, wasn’t feeling up to posting, apologies to both Malia and Emma at Damppebbles. So, here it is better late than never, right?
The Quality of Mercy by Malia Zaidi
After years spent away, Lady Evelyn is at long last back in her home city of London and she has returned with a rather controversial plan. The Carlisle Detective Agency is born, and it does not take long for the bodies… ahem, cases, to start piling up. With her friend and assistant Hugh, Evelyn embarks on the quest to solve the crimes. Yet the London she encounters is not the London of her coddled youth, and she is forced to learn that there is more to discover than the identity of a murderer.
It isn’t only her city which reveals it is not what she always believed it to be, but the people she encounters as well. Secrets are revealed that have her thinking twice about everything she thought she knew about the society in which she grew up.
Evelyn’s love for her hard-won independence confronts her with yet another mystery, whether she is ready or willing to give up any of it for marriage. And then there is the arrival of rather a familiar face in London, one Daniel is none to pleased to see. Evelyn must find not one but two murderers, as well as make a decision that could determine her future.
From the mansions of Mayfair to the dark alleys of Whitechapel, can Evelyn catch the killers before another life is taken?
This is your a stereotypical cosy mystery, I do have a soft spot or an old fashioned mystery especially from this era which was one of the reason’s I was so looking forward to reading this. I especially love that the investigator is a woman. It’s fun and clever with an edge of danger, the lead character; Evie is a brilliant woman and living her living well before her time, she had fought hard for her independence and doesn’t intend of relinquishing it for anyone. I loved that she went against the grain and set up her own detective agency, she is a clever and resourceful woman who refuses to be the ‘little lady’ stuck at home.
This is the fifth book in the Lady Evelyn Carlisle Mysteries, and actually my first and I do think that by starting at this point in the series I have missed out on something. Which is all my fault and nothing at all to do with the book or the author, I broke my own rule and decided to start a series from the middle, but I loved the sound of this so much I couldn’t say no.
There is this feel of continuity that plays at the edges of the story, which you get from a series which is linked together in one way or another, I do think to appreciate the relation between Evie and Daniel you really have to read the previous books – again this was my own fault that I felt out of the loop as I started the series in the middle.
Set during the 1920’s, which is a favourite era of mine this follows Lady Evelyn Carlisle who after many years aboard is now back in London and decides to set up her own detective agency, and her first case ends being two cases, her investigation starts and it take hers into the bowels of Whitechapel to find the answers
I really enjoyed getting to know Evie, she is a smart woman, she isn’t hugely experienced but what she lacks in mystery/detective solving experience she makes up for in the fact that she is very connected, which doesn’t get me wondering if she wasn’t in such a position, being a ‘Lady’ would a female detective series work if the heroine was just a normal working class woman? Now that is a series I would love to read…or maybe write one day.
Hmmm, I strayed a little off topic there…so our Evie teams up with her sidekick; Hugh and they set out to solve the two murder mysteries she has now taken on. What I really like is that the murders are at both scale of the social spectrum, working class and upper-crust, that’s a really great touch and can connect so many people, bringing into the stories a wide range of beautifully crafted and engaging character’s.
Malia Zaidi is an amazing author, even though this is my first of her books, it won’t be my last I will be loading my kindle with more from this fine author. Malia certainly has a way with words which captures your imagination and transports your to another time and place with her vivid and richly detailed historical research.
Overall, this is a fabulous ‘who-dunnit’ it has a feel of Miss Fischer about it that I thoroughly enjoyed, highly recommend for anyone who loves a good mystery.
About the Author
Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford.
Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.