James' latest gaslit mini-chiller again pumps out fog and horrid happenings to the saturation point. The 1880 London brothel...

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FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG

James' latest gaslit mini-chiller again pumps out fog and horrid happenings to the saturation point. The 1880 London brothel madam-ed by greedy, monstrous Thea Podulski has an unusual new housekeeper--spinsterish Victoria Hamish, who runs a tight ship but whose genteel English and special concern for society's victims are an odd contrast to the general tone of the establishment. Before Miss Hamish whips off wig and spectacles at the grand denouement, two of Podulski's girls will have been murdered and decapitated; and the mysterious house next door will yield up a grisly secret. The prime suspect is an escaped are murderer, Black Dick, who has it in for prostitutes. But also under suspicion are four bizarre brothel customers: a diplomat whose briefcase of secret papers has been lifted; a hellfire preacher of satanic tastes; an impecunious young man who's obviously not a regular client; and the elegant Lord Constantine, who just wants to talk for his money. Efficient inspector Fitz-Cameron is in on the case, but other sleuths on the premises nip the murderer into the chute. And, oh yes, there's a sad wraith of a ghost also on the premises. James manages mild horror with an alleviating Victorian cosiness--and it all makes for a not-overly-taxing eerie hour or two.

Pub Date: July 4, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1980