FICTION AND NON-FICTION BY LEE JACKSON

NOVELS 


LONDON DUST 

Paperback 296 pages (March 6, 2003)
Publisher: Arrow
ISBN: 0099439999

'It is some months since Miss Ellen Warwick has graced the London stage as "The Brick Lane Butterfly" but this has not lessened the sensation generated by the brutal manner of her death ...'
    In the darkness, a solitary figure stands upon the parapet of Blackfriars Bridge, reflecting on the violent scene she has just witnessed. Natalie Meadows jumps into the swift, silt waters of the Thames. But the river gives her up again to be rescued by a lone boatman. Natalie was once Ellen Warwick's friend. Now she knows that she alone can discover who killed her. 
   But Ellen kept secrets. The more Natalie uncovers, the less she recognises the strange world Ellen inhabited. The greater the danger that she, too, will become a target for an elusive and dangerously active killer . . .

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A METROPOLITAN MURDER 

Hardback 299 pages (March 4, 2004)
Publisher: William Heinemann 
ISBN: 0434012297 

Paperback 299 pages (October 7, 2004) 
Publisher: Arrow 
ISBN: 0099440024 

The last train of the night pulls into the gas-lit platform of Baker Street underground station. A young woman is found strangled, her body abandoned in a second-class carriage.
   The brutal 'Railway Murder' brings Inspector Decimus Webb to the newly-formed Metropolitan Line one bleak winter's night. His investigation leads him through the slums of Victorian London to the Holborn Refuge, a home for 'fallen women', and to Clara White, a respectable servant.
   But Clara has her own tragic and shameful history. As her past is revealed, Inspector Webb must decide whether she is merely a victim of circumstances, or prime suspect.

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THE WELFARE OF THE DEAD 

Hardback 357 pages (April 7, 2005) 
Publisher: William Heinemann 
ISBN: 0434012483 

Paperback 357 pages (October 6, 2005) 
Publisher: Arrow 
ISBN: 0099469235 

'Her arms were bare and milk-white, her hands dainty and graceful; her smile as sweet as any I have ever seen. An awful shame . . . '
   
In the disreputable dance-halls and 'houses of accommodation' of 1870s London, a boastful killer selects his prey. His crimes seem like random acts of malevolence, but Inspector Decimus Webb, promoted to the Detective Branch at Scotland Yard, is not convinced.
    Webb begins to suspect a connection between the terrible murders, a mysterious theft at the Abney Park Cemetery, and a long-forgotten suicide. His investigations lead him, in turn, to the Holborn General Mourning Warehouse, devoted to the sale of 'Mourning for Families, In Correct Taste,' and its proprietor, one Jasper Woodrow, a seemingly respectable businessman. 
    As Webb delves into Woodrow's life, he uncovers layer upon layer of deceit. But can he unearth Jasper Woodrow's darkest secret, in time to prevent another tragedy?

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THE LAST PLEASURE GARDEN 

Hardback 320 pages (April 6, 2006) 
Publisher: William Heinemann 
ISBN: 0434012491

Paperback 315 pages (February 1, 2007) 
Publisher: Arrow 
ISBN: 978-0099469247

A sinister figure stalks the gas-lit groves of Cremorne Gardens, the last pleasure - ground on the banks of the Thames. His weapon, a sharp pair of scissors. His victims, young women in the first bloom of youth. His crime - merely to remove a lock of their hair. 
    Inspector Decimus Webb of Scotland Yard suspects a harmless lunatic is at large. But, when morbid obsession turns to murder, even Webb's loyal sergeant begins to doubt his judgement. 
    As the press and his superiors clamour for answers, Webb's investigations lead him to Rose Perfitt, aspiring debutante and daughter of a respectable stock-broker. Will she fall prey to 'The Cutter' or does a worse fate beckon? One thing is certain - only Decimus Webb can save her.

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A MOST DANGEROUS WOMAN 

Hardback 351 pages (April 5, 2007) 
Publisher: William Heinemann 
ISBN: 978-0434015528

Paperback 363 pages (February 7, 2008) 
Publisher: Arrow 
ISBN: 978-0-099-49839-1

'It was said that she had the good manners of a respectable upper servant but was far too young to have been pensioned; that she spoke as if she had received an education, but knew the costers' slang as if she were born-and-bred to it; and that she not only had no husband - which was a commonplace on Leather Lane - but seemed never to have possessed one.' 
    When the mysterious Sarah Tanner opens her Dining and Coffee Rooms upon the corner of Leather Lane and Liquor pond Street, her arrival amongst the poor market-traders is a nine-days' wonder. Few doubt that she has a 'past'; but no-one can possibly predict how it will return to haunt her. When an old friend is brutally murdered by the unlikeliest of assailants, Sarah Tanner is the only witness. Unable to turn to the police, she reluctantly finds herself drawn back into the dark underworld of the Victorian metropolis. Assisted by unlikely friends, dogged by the criminal machinations of 'the greatest gamester, felon, villain, swindler, and scoundrel in London', she must unravel a web of treachery and deceit, that takes her from the gaming hells of Regent Street to the suburban heights of Upper Holloway; from the slums of St. Giles to the fast-flowing waters of the Thames. Relying on her wits, trading on her past, Sarah Tanner risks gambling her own life upon a desperate quest for justice and vengeance.
    Lee Jackson returns with a new "Lady detective," the first of a gripping series set in 1850s London.

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THE MESMERIST'S APPRENTICE 

Hardback 361 pages (April 3, 2008) 
Publisher: William Heinemann 
ISBN: 978-0-4340-1553-5

Paperback 361 pages (March 5, 2009) 
Publisher: Arrow 
ISBN: 978-0-099-49842-1

When the enigmatic Sarah Tanner re-opens her Dining and Coffee Rooms soon after a disastrous fire, the gossips of Leather Lane grudgingly admit she has 'the luck of the devil'.  Yet when a local butcher is falsely accused of a heinous offence, selling horse-meat, it seems her luck has run out...Drawn into an ever more dangerous series of confrontations with a gang of youths who seem determined to put an innocent man out of business, Sarah Tanner's own livelihood looks set for ruin into the bargain. But what links the persecution of a humble butcher with a certain Dr. Stead - a leading practitioner of the strange art of mesmerism - and a desperate plea from Sarah's former lover, the aristocrat Arthur DeSalle?  As Mrs. Tanner investigates, she increasingly fears that the mesmerist, patronised by the highest in society, is a charlatan and his latest patient, the unwitting victim of a grotesque fraud. To preserve a family's honour, Sarah Tanner sets out upon a trail of suicide, murder, deception and deceit which stretches from the alleys of Leather Lane to the drawing-rooms of Mayfair. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more she seems to be putting herself in danger...

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THE DAIRY OF A MURDER 

Paperback 371 pages (June 2011) 
Publisher: Snowbooks
ISBN: 978-1-906727-93-2

Jacob Jones is a respectable clerk at the Crystal Palace Company, with a pretty young bride and a delightful new home in Islington. When his wife is murdered, everything points to his guilt, even a handwritten confession.
But the police discover Jacob Jones's diary, which tells a different story. They learn of a husband trying to bury his sordid past; a wife afflicted by a deep personal tragedy; an unlikely love affair that leads to a fatal conclusion.
Is Jones' diary a confession? An attempt to exonerate himself? A study in madness?
Read the police investigation read the diary itself and uncover the truth.

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NON FICTION 


 Victorian London
    by Lee Jackson
    photography by Eric Nathan
    read more ...

 

 A Dictionary of Victorian London
 
edited by Lee Jackson

  read more via Anthem Press ...
 
a review on Victorian Web ...
  order via Amazon.co.uk ...

 
JOURNALISM  


Time Out: 'The story behind the legend of Sweeney Todd'  (15/01/08) 

 
A SHORT STORY  


'A is for The Angel'

 
INTERVIEWS


An interview with www.londonist.com