Review: The Business of Blood by Kerrigan Byrne

The Business of Blood by Kerrigan Byrne

Synopsis and Details:

London, 1890. Blood and death are Fiona Mahoney’s trade, and business, as they say, is booming.

Dying is the only thing people do with any regularity, and Fiona makes her indecorous living cleaning up after the corpses are carted away. Her childhood best friend, Mary, was the last known victim of Jack the Ripper. It’s been two years since Fiona scrubbed Mary’s blood from the floorboards, and London is no longer buzzing about the Ripper, but Fiona hasn’t forgotten. 

And she hasn’t stopped searching for Jack. 

When she’s called to a murder in the middle of the night, Fiona finds a victim mutilated in an eerily similar fashion to those of the Ripper, and only a few doors down from Mary’s old home. The relentless, overbearing, and irritatingly handsome Inspector Grayson Croft warns her away from the case. She might have listened, if she hadn’t found a clue in the blood. A clue that will lead her down a path from which there is no return.As a killer cuts a devastating swath through London, a letter written in blood arrives at her door, and it is only then that Fiona realizes just how perilous her endeavor is. For she has drawn the attention of an obsessive evil, and is no longer the hunter, but the prey. Fiona Mahoney is in the business of blood. 

But she’s not the only one.

Series: The Fiona Mahoney Mysteries #1  |  Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery |  Release Date: November 08, 2019  |  Publisher: Oliver-Heber Books  | Pages: 304  |  ISBN: 978-1947204997  |  ASIN: B08189JVXR  |  Format: Paperback  |  Source: Purchased

Review with Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Business of Blood is a chilling story that is not for the weak of stomach nor the weak of heart. Fiona Mahoney was a woman who had very few options afforded to her. When she first immigrated to America, it was to join her friend Mary and become a prostitute but once she saw what that reality entailed, she decided that she had to come up with a different plan, quick, fast, and in a hurry.

To meet her financial needs, Fiona started an 1890’s version of a crime scene cleanup service. In her mind, a little blood and brain matter was a better alternative to what others in her life situation were having to do to make a little money. Her chosen profession did not endear her to the company of women and left her with few traditional options such as marriage and children because not too many men in those times would be okay with what she did for a living. Honestly, she wasn’t too keen on finding anyone because she was still nursing a broken heart. I personally thought she was pretty darn awesome!

Fiona may have started her cleaning service as an alternative to prostitution but after her childhood best friend, Mary, was killed two years ago by Jack the Ripper, Fiona’s occupation became her obsession. She was determined to learn everything she could about forensics, how to read a crime scene, and about Jack himself. If he struck again, she wanted to be able to recognize it and because more than anything she wanted to find the man responsible and make him pay for what he did to Mary.

Her fixation on all things related to crime and murder was the reason why most of the cast in this story are of the male persuasion. There were not many women that Fiona came across on her day to day dealings. Many of the male characters in this story that Fiona interacts with that are from very different walks of life. There is no romance in this book really but there does seem to be a few male characters who have a more than an acquaintance type of interest in Fiona. Fiona of course hardly notices because she has never truly moved on from her childhood sweetheart. That is a wound that just never seemed to heal for her, the poor thing.

Out of all the guys there was one fella in particular that I honestly had quite the dislike for from the start, Inspector Grayson Croft. Oh my gosh, I wanted him to take a long walk of a short pier for a majority of the book. He was truly very infuriating but there were glimpses of a decent man here and there and it made me, grudgingly, come to accept him and almost sort of like the guy. Fiona was a thorn in Grayson’s side for most of the story because he just wanted her to stay out of his way as he inspected the murders that were taking place. That always gave me a smile, she could really get under his skin.

I loved Fiona’s tenacity in this story but I will admit that she came across as a bit naive and there were times where I wanted to know what the heck she was thinking. It was like she didn’t have the natural instinct for survival. I would have liked her to be a little more wary, especially since a certain serial killer had taken a keen interest in her. That is also what drew me to her as well, her passion for those that she cared for and her unquenchable desire to understand why. I became very caught up in her hunt and what a twisted trail it became. Overall, The Business of Blood became a story that absolutely captivated me and Fiona Mahoney is a character that I am eager to join again. I cannot wait for book two, A Treacherous Trade, which publishes soon!!

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🖋 ❤️ ✒️

About the Author:

Author Kerrigan Byrne

Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.

She lives in a little Victorian coast town on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State with her wonderful husband. When she’s not writing you can find her sailing, beach combing, kayaking, visiting wineries, breweries, and restaurants with friends, and hiking…okay…wandering aimlessly clenching bear spray in the mountains.

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