Friday, January 7, 2011

A Great Read for lovers of the Victorian Era

My wife, knowing my penchant for everything Victorian, generously bought me a great gift for Christmas. Having completed my reading of the book she bought me I simply must bring it the attention of those who enjoy this blog, and who share my love of things Victorian. I was fortunate that she found a collectible first print, first edition copy of Lee Jackson's The Welfare of the Dead. The book has kept me enthralled for the last week and today, I placed my review of the work on the book's page at I'll also be adding it to the US site as soon as I can. For those who may be interested in an author who skilfully takes his readers into an authentic Victorian world, this one cones with my highest recommendation. Without wanting to give away too much, here's the book's write up at amazon followed by my own review of the work.

The Welfare of the Dead

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? Lee Jackson's second Inspector Webb novel once again guides readers through the dark alleys and gaslit parlours of nineteenth century London, in a suspense-filled gothic mystery, with the Victorian celebration of death at its morbid heart.

My Review:
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb tour through the murk of Victorian London, 6 Jan 2011
Whitechapel Jack "Whitechapel Jack"
This review is from: The Welfare of the Dead (Hardcover)
Have previously read, (and thoroughly enjoyed), Lee Jackson's, A Metropolitan Murder, I looked forward eagerly to reading Welfare of the Dead. I was not disappointed. Having first of all been delighted to have found a collectible first edition of the book, I then found myself quickly drawn once again into the world of Inspector Decimus Webb. Lee Jackson has a talent for drawing one's attention to the minutiae of the Victorian era, and this adds to the overall effect of the story he so cleverly weaves. When two young women of rather less respectable means are discovered dead in a London bawdy house, Webb finds himself on a path that leads along many blind alleys, and yet which seems to lead him inextricably to the conclusion that the deaths have some connection to the events surrounding a long ago disappearance and suicide, and to the world of the Victorian's strict and ethical funeral processes. I shall not spoil the reader's entertainment by giving away any more of this wonderful story, except to say that I found myself unable to put this book down. Page after page led me further into a superb re-creation of the world of the Victorians and their morals and standards, and the ending carried a superb surprise twist.

Five stars, without a doubt!

And, coming soon from me!

Moving on to my own humble efforts, the summer of 2011 will see my own Victorian murder/mystery, Behind Closed Doors, released by Sonar 4 Publications. Sonar 4 approached me last year with a view to commissioning me to write a Victorian Thriller for them and Behind Closed Doors is the result. This book probably brought me more enjoyment in the research and writing of it than anything I've previously produced and I sincerely hope my readers will enjoy it in the same way. The big positive for me in the publication of the book is that Sonar 4 have generously agreed to donate $1 from the sale of every print copy of the book to The Mayflower Animal Sanctuary, not far from my home, and from where many of my own pack of rescued dogs have come from. A truly generous publisher, without a doubt!
As for the book itself, well, here's the blurb, and I will be giving out more information about Behind Closed Doors as publication date draws near.
Behind Closed Doors, Brian L Porter, Sonar 4 Publications
Autumn, 1888. The population of London is transfixed and horrified by the atrocious and horrific murder spree being conducted by Jack the Ripper. The newspapers are full of the details of the mutilations perpetrated by the killer and the apparent inability of the police to apprehend the unknown assailant. As Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Charles Warren throws the bulk of his investigative resources into the search for The Ripper, and the tabloid press scream of the crimes in banner headlines on a daily basis; on the new, ultra modern Underground Railway that has revolutionized travel around the great metropolis for the working man, another, less well publicized killer is at large.

Tucked away on the inner pages of the daily press, hardly enough to raise an eyebrow among discerning readers, one may have found a few, short articles which told of the strange and also, so far unsolved murders which are taking place on board the carriages of the new-fangled and much heralded transport system. Each murder takes place the day after one of the ripper killings, as the murderer appears to be taking advantage of the lack of police resources to tackle not one, but two, major investigations simultaneously.

Inspector Albert Norris is charged with bringing the railway killer to justice, but, as with case of Jack the Ripper, clues are few, the killer's motive unclear, and he is forced to carry out his investigations 'quietly and without causing a public panic' as the authorities seek to prevent a loss of confidence in the safety of the underground railway system. The press are being told even less, hence the minimal coverage, and Norris can count on little help from above as he attempts to solve the inexplicable series of murders.
Behind Closed Doors by Brian L. Porter

Coming in Print and Ebook format Summer 2011

$1.00 off of every print sale goes to: 


Sonar4 publications said...

We are thrilled to have Brian L. Porter be published with us for Behind Closed Doors.

It is a thrilling novel. One we know you will enjoy.

J.T. Webster said...

Behind Closed Doors sounds fascinating. I'm looking forward to its release.

And thanks for the review of Lee Jackson's book, I'm adding it to my TBR list.

AnneMarie Brear said...

I really admire Lee Jackson, her website is amazing for Victorian research.
Congratulations on the new book, Brian!

Maggi Andersen said...

Behind Closed Doors sound like a fabulous read, congratulations, Brian. I'm familiar with Lee Jackson, I'll check The Welfare of the Dead out on Amazon.

Tilly the Rescue Dog said...

Thanks everyone for your comments and congratulations on Behind Closed Doors. I'm really looking forward to seeing this one in print. Anne, you may not be aware that Lee Jackson is in fact a MAN, and not a lady, and yes his website is a marvellous source of information on the Victorian era. For those who may not have visited his site and may wish to take a look the address is

AnneMarie Brear said...

Now I'm red-faced. I always thought Lee was a woman! Oh, the shame!

Tilly the Rescue Dog said...

Hi Anne,

I wouldn't worry about it. It's so easy nowadays to get these things wrong when people have a name that can be used for either gender. Actually, there's a really nice picture of him on the inside back flap of the hardback copy of Welfare of the Dead.
I recently got caufght out by the US author P. J. Tracy, whose thrillers are very readbale. For some reason I had it in my mind that P.J. Tracy was a man and it wasn't until I was reading the the second of 'his' novels that I discovered he was a SHE.

Best regards