A thief and a constable on the case in the streets of historical London... The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep (Review & #Giveaway) #christfic #histfic @celebrate_lit

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

The Thief of Blackfriars Lane
By Michelle Griep
Christian Historical Romance, Suspense
Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 294 Pages
January 1, 2021 by Barbour Books


There’s Often a Fine Line Between a Criminal and a Saint

Constable Jackson Forge intends to make the world safer, or at least the streets of Victorian London. But that’s Kit Turner’s domain, a swindler who runs a crew that acquires money the old-fashioned way—conning the rich to give to the poor. When a local cab driver goes missing, Jackson is tasked with finding the man, and the only way to do that is by enlisting Kit’s help. If Jackson doesn’t find the cabby, he’ll be fired. If Kit doesn’t help Jackson, he’ll arrest her for thievery. Yet neither of them realize those are the least of their problems.

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My Review

THE THIEF OF BLACKFRIARS LANE is a story of a woman who was raised among the poor and has taken it upon herself to be a caretaker over them and a man who has dreamed of being able to do justice on the streets as one of the police force. A case brings them together and they find that not everything is as it appears. A story of heart, faith, suspense and romance set in the streets of historical London.

I liked all the characters in this story. Kit has made a life for herself out of what she's been given. Jackson is trying to make the future he has dreamt of work. Both have very different perceptions of life, but find that they also have some things surprisingly in common. I loved their gumption, even though Jackson is a bit naïve. He gets a pretty good wake-up call. It was fun to see them get to know each other, with the teasing and banter as they try to find a missing man and solve other mysteries as well. The romance was sweet with some heartfelt moments of faith, and some action and suspense as well.

I also had some issues with the story. I really wanted to love it, but Kit felt so young to me for the life she's lived and I felt she slipped up really easily when she shouldn't have. I also felt like she should have been a bit stronger (like she was at the beginning) consistently through the story, especially as she has her own crew and place of business. It just seemed like she wouldn't have even last a month with the way things went. Plus, she should have had her own eyes and ears in her position. Kit similarly felt much too green for me with his background. I felt like his character was a bit messy. I had to kind of suspend belief, ignoring that these characters didn't feel genuine (as these characters are presented to be with their backgrounds) nor the situation plausible. The whole thing felt overly dramatic and unrealistic at several points.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, this was an entertaining read. I wanted more depth, better, consistent character development, and a more realistic plot, but otherwise enjoyed reading this. It's a fairly quick read as well.

Content: Some violence, but clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the Christy Award-winning author of historical romances: A Tale of Two Hearts, The Captured Bride, The Innkeeper’s Daughter, 12 Days at Bleakly Manor, The Captive Heart, Brentwood’s Ward, A Heart Deceived, and Gallimore, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery Out of the Frying Pan. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at www.michellegriep.com or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

More from Michelle

Zootopia in Victorian London

I admit it. I like kid’s movies. You know, the animated sort that entertain both young and old alike. One of my favorites is Zootopia, a rollicking adventure about a bunny whose dream it is to be a police officer and make the streets of the big city safe for all animals. In fact, I loved it so much that I thought why not set it in Victorian London?

So I did.

And that’s what The Thief of Blackfriars Lane is all about, but that meant I had to do a little digging into the history of police force of the late 1800’s. Here’s what I learned…

The Metropolitan Police (founded in 1829 by Robert Peel) was composed mostly of young men, many of whom were recruited from rural areas. Few were from London, the philosophy being that they would thus be free from local patronage and influence.

It is a bit of an anomaly that hero Jackson Forge and his friend, Officer Baggett, carry a sidearm. Some did, but most relied on truncheons. It was up to the officer. Revolvers were usually only supplied after the death of a police officer by an armed criminal, at the discretion of the Divisional Officer, or if a constable requested to use one during night duty. In 1884, after the deaths of several police officers, the Home Office ordered nearly a thousand revolvers from Webley & Scott to be issued to branches of the London police. . .which is where I got the idea of a shipment of guns for the villain to attempt to steal.

Police detectives were recruited from within the ranks of existing uniformed officers. There were actually women on the force at the time, employed as police matrons. But these were behind-the-scenes workers, tasked with guarding women and children. If my heroine, Kit, were to be out in public, serving as Jackson’s assistant, she’d have to keep her job secret. The first female police officer wasn’t seen on the streets until 1919.

And so, armed with that information, I wrote the adventures of not a police bunny and a con artist fox, but of Jackson Forge, a fresh-faced constable, and his thorn in the side, swindler Kit Turner. Snatch up your own copy and enjoy a visit to Victorian London!

Tour Schedule

The Avid Reader, January 23
Bigreadersite, January 23
Bizwings Blog, January 23
Remembrancy, January 24
Connect in Fiction, January 24
She Lives To Read, January 25
Blessed & Bookish, January 25
Genesis 5020, January 25
All-of-a-kind Mom, January 26
CarpeDiem, January 27
Sara Jane Jacobs, January 28
Life of Literature, January 29
Betti Mace, January 30
Older & Smarter?, January 30
Texas Book-aholic, January 30
HookMeInABook, January 30
Mia Reads, January 31
Godly Book Reviews, January 31
KarenSueHadley, February 1
The Book Chic Blog, February 1
Artistic Nobody, February 2 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 2 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Mamma Loves Books, February 2
Splashes of Joy, February 3
Vicky Sluiter, February 3
Pause for Tales, February 3
The Write Escape, February 4
Wishful Endings, February 4
Hallie Reads, February 4
Daysong Reflections, February 5

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Michelle is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Thief of Blackfriars Lane!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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