Time Traveling Mystery: A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong
A Rip Through Time #1 by Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Fantasy, Time Travel, Mystery
Published May 2022; 352 pages
I love the Rockton series which was my first exposure to Armstrong - I love the readability of her stories, the strong characters and evocative locale descriptions. So, I thought I'd see what else she's written. She's written a LOT. I randomly started with A Rip Through Time.
First Sentence: "My grandmother is dying, and I am getting coffee."
THE SET UP
A weird confluence of events sends detective Mallory Atkinson back 150 years in time. She is in Edinburgh, visiting her dying grandmother and when she's out one evening, she's attacked. At the same time in 1869 Edinburgh a young woman is attacked. Mallory wakes up in her body. And the fun begins.
Mallory discovers she's a housemaid in the home of a Dr. Gray, a funeral director and sometime medical examiner who works on the cutting edge of science as he works with the police in trying to ascertain cause of death in cases of murder. Faking memory loss as she learns her job as a housemaid and adapting to the restrictions on women of that era is a huge problem. And when a murder occurs and she's able to subtly offer some insights to the doctor, he begins to see her in a new light.
As events unfold and Mallory continues to try to return to her own time, questions arise: is the girl whose body she inhabits now alive in her time? How much do her actions helping Dr. Gray affect the future? How can she return to her time? Etc. We don't get answers yet, but I'll be reading the next installment to see what happens.
This is not literary fiction. Suspend your belief and just go along for the ride. It's fast moving, amusing, entertaining, very readable, and just a romp of a story. Armstrong has such an easy writing style that I'm drawn into her stories immediately. There's no struggle to figure out who's who. There's no confusion over what's happening. And yet, there's depth and intrigue and humor.
I thoroughly enjoyed the representation of Victorian Scotland and the mores of the era. Armstrong is great at creating a place. I liked how Mallory attempted to speak in the formalized language of the time and often used modern words by mistake, causing many a raised eyebrow. Mallory is a character with a lot of depth and I imagine it will only increase as the series continues.
Historical Fiction reading challenge