This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Matthew A.J. Timmins. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.The Miseries of Mister Sparrows by Matthew Timmins
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Release Date: November 22, 2015
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Source: Author, Matthew A.J. Timmins
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble
Robin Sparrows is no Great Detective. He's not a dashing gentleman. He's not even a stalwart companion. No, Mr. Sparrows is a humble and hapless clerk at Winston Winston & Crumpet, the wickedest law firm in all of Victoria's empire. But when he is charged with delivering a mysterious box to the arch-fiend Kermit J. Tarnish his life of quiet misery is transformed into a quagmire of murder, mud, and madness.
Unwilling, unaided, and unprepared, Robin must wander the fog-drenched streets of the Capital hunting the last man he wants to find. But exactly who is hunting whom? What can one young law clerk really know about love? And how much trouble can one frog cause? At least some of these questions will be answered as Robin confronts brutish valets, quarrelsome cross-dressers, dithering policemen, forlorn soldiers, and sneering phantoms, before learning the scandalous truth behind a shameful war.
Truly, there is no rest unto the wicked, nor it seems, unto their clerks.
The Miseries of Mister Sparrows is not just a title intended to gather your interest. This book is truly about the misery that Robin Sparrows has to endure at the behest of his employers. He has been charged with retrieving an item and delivering it to the most hated criminal of the times. Beyond his task there is not much else that happens that matters to him. That is not to say that this story is without interest, it is just unusual in that way.
This story is set within a Victorian-isque world. It has its own history and events that drive the fervor with which Robin is repulsed by his task. Even though he rebels against the idea of his commission vehemently he is more afraid of his employers. Robin is a law clerk employed at the law firm of Winston, Winston, and Crumpet. The brush with which his employers are painted by depicts them as soulless human beings whose only care in life is taking what they can from whom they can. I did truly enjoy how these characters were brought to life.
From the point that Robin is given his commission he is beset by mishap after mishap. That is what makes this story flow. Robin’s character finds that with each step he takes he encounters problems or difficulties that derail his progress and push him further from his goal. His misadventures take him to opium dens, seedy meeting places, and even lead him to a short-term imprisonment. At each turn, Robin has to use his wiles, which he has little of, to figure out how to escape his current situation while keeping on track to somehow delivering his package.
I found the writing to be vivid and descriptive. I could easily see the world that the Author created. There is quite a bit of dark humor in this story and the play on words is quite entertaining. I felt that at a few points that the plot got off a little off track following stories of characters that really did not need to be told as in depth as they were. This is a book that is for fans of slapstick comedy as Mr. Sparrows journey is full of clumsy actions and embarrassing events that he must endure in order to complete his task. I recommend this book to readers who would enjoy a tale that is Dickensian as well as being a bit bizarre and yet playful and entertaining.
*Thank you to Matthew A.J. Timmins for this complimentary copy of The Miseries of Mister Sparrows*