Monday, 10 July 2017

Spotlight and Review: Toxic Diamonds by @LizaOConnor

Late Victorian Era was both amazing and appalling.

As factories expanded in the cities, so did the poor arrive, hoping for a job.
Soon the middle-class grew and began to expand.
As more people moved to the cities, the need for homes exceeded the homes available. Some unethical builders began building homes for the new middle-class without proper plumbing allowing deadly gases to asphyxiate people in their sleep and toxins in the walls and floors that could kill them.
And for the poor, conditions became intolerable.

An entire family would often live, sleep, and eat in a single cramped room, with a tin tub for washing but no toilet or running water. They would have to use the pump outside for drinking water (which was frequently contaminated) and use the two-seater public outhouse somewhere in a two-block range to rid themselves of the runs.
There were also open sewers they could piss in—certainly couldn’t make it smell worse. Cholera, Dysentery, and Toxins were killing people by the hundreds, but those in the country kept arriving, all the same. The cities were literally dying over its sewage issues.

Everyone is called in to assist: Jacko, his wife Alice, their son, Pete, Samson, the Crime Lord, David and Claire, Tubs and his wife, Sara, the boys: Cannon and Ham, plus the bloodhound, Arroo.
The Wasp who escaped punishment for her attempts to murder her bigamist husband’s first wife last year is back. Vic discovers love letters between Ben, their terrible secretary, and the Wasp. Worse yet, he shared Xavier’s financial advice with the Wasp, making her and her husband very wealthy.
With Stone missing, and Barns and Meyers stretched to their limits, Vic decides it’s time to train more of the Scotland Yard officers in intuitive and deductive reasoning. While only half the class makes it through her two-day course, everyone is pleased with her results.
Finally, be warned: Vic’s sister, Claire, is becoming more difficult than ever. Gregory thinks she is going mad.

Okay so I will be the first to admit I am a huge fan of  Liza's Xavier and Vic Series. Having read the entire series more than once. That being said I am always pleasantly surprised that with each book the series just gets better and better. 
The wonderful mysteries that I never manage to solve before the characters do are what keep you turning the ages.  Then there's the lovely relationships between all of the characters. Whether it is father son, brother sister, or husband and wife. Reading these books is like getting to catch up with family you haven't seen in a while then remembering at the end why you love them so much. 
If you haven't read the books before this one I highly recommend you do, you won't be sorry. Overall I give this 5 out of 5. 

“Bloody Hell!” Davy yelled.
Gregory headed to the carriage house with a severe reprimand on his tongue. While Davy had become far more prone to bursts of anger since they had hired a driver-in-training, bellowing curses at this early hour of the morning was unacceptable.
He lost his scold upon the sight of Davy, on his knees coughing.
When he approached Davy, the man waved him away.
“Stay back…poisonous gas…” Davy choked out before collapsing.
The air in the carriage house did smell bad and the horses kicked at their stall doors as if wishing to escape as well.
Gregory hurried back to the kitchen where he found most of his staff. He sought out Fagan and Casey. “Retrieve Davy and take the horses out back. Do this while holding your breath!  Now!”
Gregory knew that with a normal staff such instructions would have a myriad of follow up questions. But his staff was battle ready at all times. Thus, the inexplicable order to do these actions while holding their breath would be followed.
He hurried to his room and called Dr. Connors. “We have an emergency. There is a foul odor in Davy’s carriage and the air in the carriage has brought Davy to his knees. The horses are affected as well. I’ve sent the boys in with orders to extract Davy and the horses. Can you come?”
“Yes, of course,” Dr. Connors assured him. “I’m not yet dressed, but I will be there in short order.”
Gregory thanked him and returned to the carriage house. Both Davy and the horses were gone.
He hurried out the back door and found his three drivers sitting on the grass and the horses tethered to trees.
“Is everyone alright?”
Davy nodded and coughed. He then reached over and patted the back of Fagan. “He saved my life while Casey saved my Marybell.” He met the two young men’s eyes. “I know I’ve not been friendly with either of you, but that ends now. From now on, I’ll be your friend if you wish, and I’ll teach you whatever you don’t already know. However, that may not be much, because from what I’ve seen, you are both superb drivers.”
Both young men grinned. Fagan held out his hand. “Friends, then!”
By the time Davy shook it, Casey had approached and held out his hand. “Friends for life.”
“Without you guys, I’m pretty sure I would have died today.”

Book 8
Free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Need to catch up?
Book 1
Book 2
Book 2.5
Book 3
Book 4
Book 5
Book 6
Book 7

All Xavier & Vic books are Free with Amazon Unlimited

Liza O’Connor was raised badly by feral cats, left the South/Midwest and wandered off to find nicer people on the east coast. There she worked for the meanest man on Wall Street, while her psychotic husband tried to kill her three times. (So much for finding nicer people.) Then one day she declared enough, got a better job, divorced her husband, and fell in love with her new life where people behaved nicely. But all those bad behaviors has given her lots of fodder for her humorous books. Please buy these books, because otherwise, she’ll become grumpy and write troubled novels instead. They will likely traumatize you.
You have been warned.
The Adventures of Xavier & Vic Sleuth series: (Late Victorian/Mystery/Romance)
The Troublesome Apprentice — The greatest sleuth in Victorian England hires a young man who turns out to be a young woman.
The Missing Partner — Opps! The greatest sleuth in Victorian England goes missing, leaving Vic to rescue him, a suffragette, and about 100 servants. Not to mention an eviscerating cat. Yes, let’s not mention the cat.
A Right to Love — A romantic detour for Jacko. Want to see how amply rewarded Jacko was when he & Vic save an old woman from Bedlam?
The Mesmerist The Mesmerist can control people from afar and make them murder for her. Worse yet, Xavier Thorn has fallen under her spell.
Well Kept Secrets — The problems with secrets is that they always come to light, no matter how you wish to silence them.
Pack of Trouble — Changes are a part of life, but these changes almost kill Vic.
The Darkest Days — Muddled cases make Vic very grumpy.
The CrimeLords’ War — Vic is almost killed twice as she tries to prevent a CrimeLords’ War, stop a female Russian spy, and locate Xavier.
Toxic Diamonds The Queen’s Diamonds have been stolen, Director Stone of Scotland Yard is missing, and there is a toxic gas that may kill hundreds of Londoners.

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