From Melanie's list on folklore of the sea.
I loved this novel by Jess Kidd (and all her novels, natch) from the moment I started reading. Who wouldn’t love a Victorian-era set story of spectacle and sideshow, featuring lady detective Bridie Devine as she sets out to find a mysterious child who has disappeared? The child in question, Christabel, is rumored to be a Merrow, a kind of mermaid. Ruby Doyle, a dead man who may or may not be a hallucination (brought on by whatever it is that Bridie is constantly smoking) assists her in her investigations. The prose is charming, entertaining, and gripping. There is magic, folklore, and bags of personality.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.
As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may…