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My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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16 / 50 books. 32% done!

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Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

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6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

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22 / 100 books. 22% done!

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58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

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42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

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60 / 165 books. 36% done!
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!
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