I recently decided to pick this mystery up at the bookstore because, well, time travel, first of all. I love time travel stories, and I love Victorian-era historical fiction novels. Throw in that it takes place in Scotland, and I was hooked. Something made me pick it up ahead of all the books I’m committed to reading in the next few weeks, and I’m glad I did!
A RIP THROUGH TIME is a voice-y read that’s full of tension and bits of humour. The main character, Mallory, is sassy and smart, which I can totally get behind, but these are not qualities that are overly becoming or acceptable for the person whose life she falls into: a 19th-century, 19-year-old housemaid, Catriona, and especially not of her station. Once Mallory figures out who she is, she must keep up appearances instead of being the detective she truly is. The trouble is, she must figure out who tried to kill her—from 150 years in the past—in order to try and figure out how to get back home. She has the unfortunate drawback (or advantage?) of being a 21st-century detective in a 19th-century timeline, which is a great obstacle for a protagonist to have to overcome. However, she’s used to having information at the ready but can no longer access it because that information—nor the means to access it—does not yet exist. She can’t even let on that she knows what she knows. You know, disrupting/changing history and all that. I can’t imagine not being able to reach for my phone or computer for the simplest reasons, not having access to the plethora of information we have at our fingertips nowadays, but that’s what the main character faces in this strange new (to her) world. She’s unable to blow her cover or she’ll end up in an asylum and never be able to return to her own time.
It’s an easy and enjoyable read—I read it in less than two days. I kept thinking back at potential breadcrumbs to see if I could figure out who dunnit, and I realized at the same time as the protagonist who the bad guy was, which was exciting. I enjoyed the story and writing enough to hope that this is the start of a series—and it looks like there will be, according to her website! (Yay!) I’ve also discovered that Kelley Armstrong has written a ton of books in the last two decades, so she is an author I’m looking forward to reading more from. I can’t wait to see what Mallory gets up to next!
If you’re a fan of time travel stories and 19th-century mystery with a pinch of 21st-century knowledge and humour, give this book a read!