About the Book
A Child Lost
Release Date: April 28, 2020
A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . .
When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigate a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta—much to Clive’s dismay—begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.
Meanwhile, Elsie implores Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.
Well if this book isn’t right up my alley! This is my first introduction into the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series and I am most definitely going to need to read the rest! A Child Lost was definitely the best introduction to this series for me as well (you know, if I’m going to wind up reading out of order) because I am really interested in any historical fiction related to asylums and the treatment of women’s mental health. Or maybe I would be better off saying lack of treatment.
I think what I am most disappointed about in all of this is the fact that I had not heard of this series before now. I feel so ashamed because I was so enthralled with this book! I’ve also recently been intrigued with reading books set in the 1930’s, so I was really excited about that aspect. It’s really sad and interesting to take a look into how little has changed over the years regarding women’s mental health. Even today it is such a taboo topic, although I have to say I think we’ve been making some strides in opening up the conversation.
There were a lot of difficult topics that were covered in this book and the author handled them all with grace. You could tell that the author put a lot of time into researching the topics and time period. I find that this makes all the difference in a historical fiction work.
About the Author
Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as “Novel Notes of Local Lore,” a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn’t have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.
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*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*