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Monday, August 15, 2022

Kelley Armstrong's Newest Crime Novel a Rip-Roaring Good Read

Oh, ho! What is this? An actual book review? It's been a hot minute since I posted much other than Top Ten Tuesday lists. It feels good to be getting back in the saddle, even if I pretty much just copied and pasted my Goodreads review here instead of expanding and enhancing it for the blog as I usually do. Oh well, at least you're getting a real, live book review today. Progress!


(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Vancouver homicide detective Mallory Atkinson is in Edinburgh, Scotland, to be with her dying grandmother as she lives out her final days. The grieving 30-year-old goes on a jog one evening to clear her mind. She's lured into an alley where she is brutally strangled by a strange man.

The next thing Mallory knows, she's waking up in a world that has tilted completely. She's still in Edinburgh, but, as she soon discovers, she's traveled back in time 150 years to 1869. To further complicate matters, she's no longer Mallory, at least not on the outside. She's now inhabiting the body of Catriona Mitchell, a saucy 19-year-old. A semi-reformed thief rescued from the streets by her employer's sister, Catriona works for a handsome undertaker named Dr. Duncan Gray. The kicker? Catriona is recovering from being strangled and left for dead—in the exact same spot where Mallory was attacked a century and a half later. 

As Mallory struggles to make sense of her new life while also trying to figure out how to escape it and return to her own time, a curious corpse is delivered to Dr. Gray, who moonlights as a medical examiner. The young man has been strangled. Just like Mallory and Catriona. Mallory's detective brain kicks into high gear; even though she knows it's essential for her to act the part of Catriona—an uneducated servant who doesn't know what a germ is, let alone understand forensic science—she can't help but tap into her own expertise. Anything to catch the cold-blooded killer who is stalking prey in two separate timelines. Desperate to return to the side of her beloved nana, Mallory hopes that solving the case will catapult her back where she belongs. Can the detective put the killer behind bars before he strikes again? Or will his next attempt on her life be final, for both Mallory and Catriona?

I'm already a big fan of Kelley Armstrong's crime novels, but I have to say, she outdid herself with A Rip Through Time, her newest outing. Of all the books I've read by Armstrong, this one is hands-down my favorite. Why? It's just SO MUCH FUN. Seriously. It doesn't sound like it from the plot summary, but A Rip Through Time is a funny, entertaining, all-around charming romp of a mystery novel. The premise is intriguing, the characters are likable, the prose is engaging, and the plot is engrossing. What more could I ask for? How about humor? Check. A light, flirty romance that makes for a diverting subplot without distracting from the mystery? Check. A PG-13 rating that lets me enjoy a crime novel without feeling nauseated or afraid to be in the house alone? A bad-a$$ heroine who's also down-to-earth and relatable? A cast that includes several strong women and even some decent men? Check, check, and check. For all these reasons and more, I adored A Rip Through Time. Considering this glowing review, it won't surprise you at all that I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series. Too bad it won't come out until at least next year. Boo hoo hoo. I seriously can't wait!

(Readalikes: It's Outlander meets The Alienist, according to the publisher. I've never read the latter or watched the series, but I agree with the former. No other keen comparisons are coming to mind. You?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, blood/gore, sexual innuendo, depictions of drug abuse (opium), and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love: I received an ARC of A Rip Through Time from the generous folks at St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!


  1. It's well worth coming out of the remodel haze to review a book if you give it an A! This one sounds really good. I hope all the work on your house is going well.

  2. I would not have thought this book was so much fun!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this

  3. Great review! I'm not generally a thriller reader, but I love Armstrong's work and how she can make even thrillers *fun* (rather than all tense all the time). I hope you don't have to wait too long for the sequel!

  4. I really want to read this one! Time travel, all sounds like fun to me. :D

  5. When you give a book an A, I know it's good. I'm adding this to my TBR.

  6. This sounds amazing! If it's remotely like Outlander, count me in. I love a good time travel story.

  7. I loved Kelley Armstrong's supernatural books, but it's been a long time since I've given one of her crime novels a try -- they haven't been my cup of tea as much as I'd hoped. To me, this doesn't sound like her other crime work and I like the humour and that you've described it basically as fun -- for that this goes on my TBR!

  8. I love Armstrong's writing and am looking forward to this book! Good review
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

  9. I've read Alienist and Booked to Die - of the two, I'd encourage Booked to Die. Alienist is much denser and historic whereas Booked is about books & murder. I think there are 4 or 5 in the series and you could read a couple of them in the time to get thru Alienist. :) Whichever ones you choose, hope you make a dent in the list.
    Thanks for the visit.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

  10. Lovely review & website. Happy to share in the summer fun with you on Reading Ladies post.


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