Book Review: A Dangerous Duet

Karen Odden, who has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, has released her second novel, “A Dangerous Duet” (William Morrow, 386 pages).

Young Nell Hallam lives in London with her brother, Matthew, a Scotland Yard detective. Nell aspires to study piano at the prestigious Royal Academy but to do so she must earn her tuition by playing at a music hall.

She disguises herself as a man to play in the raucous venue of the Octavian. Her secret is uncovered by two men who work at the Octavian.

But just as she is being courted by these two handsome suitors, Nell discovers that the Octavian

music hall is a safe house for a notorious crime ring known as the Fleet which has

hatched a wave of burglaries in London.

To help her brother Matthew, Nell carries on her own crime investigation during which her loyalty and love are tested.

Odden blends a knowledge of music and the Victoria era in creating a mystery/romance novel that transports readers to the great city of London in the age of bawdy music halls, gaslights and fog.

Readers of the very popular Anne Perry mystery novels may want to take a peek at Karen Odden’s great addition to the Victorian mystery genre.