Things in Jars
By: Jess Kidd
When going over what did and didn’t work for me about Things in Jars I hit upon something I don’t think I’ve ever said before… this should have been two books.
(Before I explain I’d like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC copy.)
Things in Jars tells the story of Bridie Devine widowed detective in 1863 London. Bridie is rather happy making a living and spending time with her 7 foot tall awesome housemaid.
She’s hired to find the kidnapped daughter of a Baron. Only few people even know this child existed. She’s been kept a virtual prisoner in her home and bedroom. Probably because she eats animals, attracts snails and can drown people with no water around. At least those are the stories the few people that worked at the house will tell.
Around the same time a handsome boxer shows up stuck to Bridie he claims she knows him though she doesn’t know how. Rudy wants to help but both are attracted to each other despite it not being the best circumstances.
The main mystery connects to sea myths, medical practices, circuses and in the end to Bridie’s own past.
Overall while I have to say I liked Things in Jars- there’s a lot going on. Really enjoyable stuff and characters. Bridie, Cora and the Snake Queen, the whole atmosphere of the circus and the time period, the tale of Bad Dorcas, etc. etc.
And that’s also the problem. For instance the Rudy story doesn’t hit as hard as it could have because it has no real time to breath. I was also super into their attraction and relationship so I was hoping it would hit me harder. And there actually is more than enough in the flashbacks to support a whole other book the two books could have worked chronologically through Bridie’s life.
But otherwise I enjoyed the book and I’d still recommend it. I just think it should have been split or alternately if Kidd didn’t want to do that pared down.