Saturday, January 18, 2014

Whitechapel Quill by Angela Ashton

Whitechapel Quill by Angela Ashton
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (206 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia
In 1888 London, an aspiring journalist will do almost anything to get a story on the front page of her father’s male dominated newspaper. Long grown tired of revamping redundant weekly missives regarding high-society fashion and gardening tips, Samantha Winston yearns for the day when she might prove it doesn’t take a pair of over-inflated bollocks to merit the coveted headline…even if it means going undercover to unearth the identity of the most sadistic killer to ever darken Whitechapel’s fog-laden alleys. Yet when Samantha intersects the path of Adam Hawkins, a meddlesome, fork-tongued, disarmingly attractive American seemingly hell-bent on ending the elusive killer’s reign of blood and terror, she finds herself no longer the huntress, but the hunted…
The killer is much closer to Samantha than she realizes.
Samantha is a very modern woman living in a place and time when women didn’t have the same rights as men. Samantha is extremely outspoken and brash at times, and she never misses an opportunity to voice her opinions on equal rights. Consequently, she is frequently at odds with her family. I completely understand Samantha’s outrage at the double standards of the day. However, I think that her arguments would be more effective if she varied her approach occasionally. Whenever the subject of women’s rights comes up, Samantha’s temper gets away from her and she ends in heated arguments. She does this so often that her family has taken to writing her tirades off as just another one of her fits. I must admit that her attitude even began to get on my nerves and I agreed with many of her ideas!
Even though Samantha’s attitude is somewhat abbrasive, I still think she is a likable character who is brave and dedicated to her writing. Since her father won’t give her the space in the paper that she deserves, Samantha feels she has no other choice than to go undercover and discover the identity of the killer stalking Whitechapel. Little does she know that the killer is practically right under her nose. I think Samantha’s plan to catch the murderer is a very foolish one. She has absolutely no experience with undercover work and even less experience in chasing murderers. As I read, I kept wondering what she would do if she actually did come across Jack the Ripper. However, I will admit that Samantha did the best she could with the resources she had, but it quickly becomes clear that Samantha is in way over her head.
Adam and Samantha have excellent chemistry from the moment they meet. Ms. Ashton paces their relationship perfectly. I enjoyed watching Samantha and Adam dance around their attraction for each other. It made the moment when they finally gave in to their feelings even sweeter. Samantha and Adam are both way to stubborn for their own good. However, I have a feeling that they’ll be an excellent couple.
I figured out who Jack the Ripper was fairly easily. In fact, as I read, I became increasingly frustrated when no one else seemed to be able to figure it out. Adam insisted on suspecting a certain character when there was absolutely no proof. There are plenty of hints concerning Jack the Ripper’s true identity, but Adam kept ignoring them until it was nearly too late. Adam is a smart man and really should have figured the mystery out much sooner. Despite my frustrations, I really like the way the story ended. Ms. Ashton found a clever and completely plausible way to explain the reason why Jack the Ripper’s identity remains a mystery.
Whitechapel Quill is a certainly a good read. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark mysteries, historical romance, and a heroine with attitude to spare.

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