She Be Damned Book Review

She Be Damned Book Review

Title: She Be Damned
Author: M J Tjia
Published: July 1 2018, Legend Times Group
No. of Pages: 288
Cover Price: $14.95 Paperback, $8.99 Kindle

Historical thrillers are fun, and She Be Damned is especially interesting because the protagonist is a former prostitute, now wealthy courtesan, who is also a detective. This makes for unique scenarios. In this first installment of the Heloise Chancey series, Heloise is asked to investigate the disappearance of a girl who is suspected to have run away from her father because he wouldn’t give her permission to marry. This leads Heloise to an investigation into a string of murders where prostitutes are not only being murdered, but their sexual organs are also being removed. Amah, Heloise’s Chinese maid is one of the suspects, so besides helping police with her powers of detection, Heloise wants to prove her maid’s innocence.

Where many historical novels focus on the wealthier people who lived in London and those who were respectable, circa 1863, this novel gives readers a taste of another side where it involves prostitutes and courtesans (certainly Heloise isn’t respected by many even though she has plenty of money due to her unacceptable lifestyle).

Tjia’s writing is clear and concise. She is an excellent storyteller, and the novel will keep the interest of readers. She skillfully uses language that sets the scene and makes readers feel that they are living in the period, and it seems true to history. The protagonist is quite likeable even though she is a character who most readers won’t be able to relate to. Nevertheless, the characters are well-developed and seem real.

She Be Damned is a fairly quick read, and there is no palpable violence. However, there is building suspense throughout, and it isn’t easy to put the book down until the murderer is exposed.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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