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Book Review: Daemoniac By Kat Ross

Wow, what a fun, literary yarn straight from the world of Holmes and Doyle, but better with a female protagonist named Harrison “Harry” Fearing Pell, the nineteen-year-old younger sister of a legendary detective Myrtle Fearing Pell, who remains mysterious throughout as we only learn about her from the viewpoint of Harry. I loved the skepticism Harry shows throughout about what’s happening. Her best friend, John Weston (Dr. Weston), is convinced it’s supernatural as the victim, Becky, performed a seance to bring forth a demon, then was murdered. The Bradys show up and hire Harry on the assumption she is Myrtle, an assumption Harry does not dispel. Harry is smart and eager to prove she has worth beyond simply being the younger sister of Myrtle. Using her wits, charm, and good-looks, she makes her way through the slums, high society, and supernatural worlds to pursue a serial killer terrorizing NYC only months before the more infamous Jack the Ripper began his spree in London. A fascinating story of whodunnit that thrusts the reader into danger at every turn, I loved this story. The characters had unique voices and the writing made me feel claustrophobic when called for (I had to stop reading because the feeling overwhelmed me) and giddy with anticipation. I thought a lot about the book and I appreciated that I could play along with Harry in using the clues to make an attempt to solve the murders. Ross’ metaphors were descriptive without overburdening the prose. The nods to other stories like Arthur Conan Doyle’s and J.K. Rowling’s also made it delightful for someone who enjoys literary references.

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