The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

 The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal
Author: K.J. Charles
Publisher: KJC Books
Release Date: March 25, 2017
Genre(s): Historical Reimagining, AU, Paranormal
Page Count: 251
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 

The biggest mystery here is WHY, oh why, haven't I read this before now? Robert Caldwell, a London journalist circa late 1880's in a slightly alternate universe, relates tales of the cases that he and Simon Feximal have worked on over a 20-year period, which is (as the author states) a loving homage to the Victorian occult tradition. 

It's a rich menage of old Cornish tales, ghastly Welsh traditions, and a tosher's tale that gives you an awful insight into what had to be the worst Victorian-era job ever - sorting through the sewers' tunnels and nooks to forage for anything worth selling. The writing is stellar, as always, and really evokes an authentic setting:
" ... in the sweltering August of 1897. It was hot, we had not had rain in too long, and the city stank: of horse manure, of drains, of sweaty unwashed humanity, foul clothes, tanneries, workshops, smoke, filth of every description, dry stone, dust, and two thousand years of human habitation in which it had not burned to the ground nearly often enough."
Eewww. And it is also a love story in the midst of Victorian stoicism that grows into a found family and a life-time love. 5 stars all the way.

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