Lee Jackson continues the casebook of Scotland Yard's Inspector Decimus Webb with The Last Pleasure Garden (Heinemann, pounds 12.99). Once again Victorian London is faithfully recreated, as police hunt the sinister Cutter who stalks young female visitors to the Cremorne pleasure gardens, armed with a pair of scissors with which to cut off a lock of their hair. When murder occurs, Webb isn't convinced that the Cutter is responsible, and pursues other inquiries, which involve a respectable family and a fiery preacher whose mission is to close down the gardens. Webb hasn't fully developed as a personality, but he and his assistant, Sergeant Bartleby, make a good pairing and Jackson's series is the best of current Victorian mysteries.
Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph, 23rd April, 2006
Victorian London is brought vividly to life from
the very beginning of this fast-paced historical detective story,
as Inspector Webb and his sidekick Bartleby set out on a pleasure-boat
from Hungerford Bridge to Chelsea.
The pleasure-boat motif runs through the novel and takes it far away from
the clichés of fog-ridden nineteenth-century London and into the
carnivalesque world of the Pleasure Garden.
Time Out, May 10-17, 2006