Bingo Square: Cover Art
I don’t often buy physical books anymore but when I visited The Ripped Bodice in LA in June, I wanted to provide some financial support. Between the description and the cover, I was hooked. I am a sucker for these type of covers (I also quite liked the cover of A Curious Beginning, much more than the actual book). Overall, I think there was a bit too much set up going on in this book for potential future books. It was a creative idea, and I was very curious to see how it would all come together, but I think the premise was stronger than the novel as a whole. Now, that may change with the sequel now that all the backstories have been created, but while it was a fine book, I don’t think it was as good as its potential. I’m even hesitant about the validity of that statement since the next novel appears to introduce even more characters.
Also, the novel has frequent writer interjections since one of the characters is writing the novel with assistance from the other characters. Mostly it’s cute and entertaining, but it also took the whimsy up an extra notch. As a result, the whimsy factor was too high for the suspense piece to be truly suspenseful.
After her mother’s death, Mary Jekyll is on the brink of financial ruin. While going through her mother’s accounts, she makes an odd discovery of a secret bank account with monthly payments for the support of Hyde. Mr. Hyde was Mary’s deceased father’s partner before he disappeared after being wanted in relation to a murder investigation. Hoping that there might still be a reward for Hyde’s capture, Mary tracks the money down, only to discover a precocious, wild teen girl named Diana. Diana claims that Mary is her sister and that their fathers, Jekyll and Hyde were actually the same man.
In addition to the bank account, Mary also finds some old letters of her father which allow her to discover the existence of a mysterious society. This leads her to discovering other women whose “fathers” or creators were involved with the society, and interested in the next step in human evolution. These include Beatrice Rappaccini (from an old Nathaniel Hawthorne story), Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein. Sherlock Holmes also plays a critical role in assisting Mary, especially as the women realize that there appear to be creatures tracking them, and the series of murders occurring in London may be related to the society.
The mystery tying the plot together was nowhere near as engaging as the individual background stories of the women or the potential mystery of the society, much of which is left unresolved for later adventures. I will probably end up picking the sequel but will definitely need a stronger plot line to keep me interested beyond that.
Bingo Square: Cover Art