The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod

Her Majesty’s Psychic Service, Book 1

Synopsis: On a freezing Christmas Eve in 1879, a forensic psychic reader is summoned from her Baker Street lodgings to the scene of a questionable death. Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the current Queen of England) is adamant that the death in question is a magically compromised murder and not a suicide, as the police had assumed, after the shocking revelation contained by the body in question, Alex must put her personal loss aside to uncover the deeper issues at stake, before more bodies turn up.

Turning to some choice allies–the handsome, prescient Lieutenant Brooks, the brilliant, enigmatic Lord Desmond, and her rapscallion cousin James–Alex will have to marshal all of her magical and mental acumen to save Queen and Country from a shadowy threat. Our singular heroine is caught up in this rousing gaslamp adventure of cloaked assassins, meddlesome family, and dark magic.

Review: I saw some very good reviews about this book and I admit that I was impatient to begin it to discover the whole story. It must be said that it had it all: a fantasy aspect, a good investigation, murders and all that taking place during the Victorian period. What more can we ask for?

So we discover Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury, a young woman part of the secret services and helping the police to solve some murders. Indeed, her gift allows her to feel the emotions of others, of a place, helping her to find more effective clues. At the beginning of the novel, our heroine is called to investigate another murder that will completely change her life. Without realizing it, Alexandrina is present on the murder scene of her father whom she has not seen for 10 years … a great upheaval you will tell me. Yet from that moment, life will completely change for our agent and it will only get worse over the situation. Forced to return to live with her family who does not appreciate her, she is accompanied by a newcomer to the secret services: Brooks. Together, they will embark on an investigation that will change their life.

I loved Alexandrina. This is a young woman full of qualities and she does not hesitate to try to do the best whatever the situation. She tries to be strong at the loss of her father and yet this is far from simple. It must be said that all her life, her father’s, her family’s will be questioned and our heroine will have to determine whom she can turn to and whom she can trust. Fortunately for her, she will not be alone in this adventure and Brooks will always be here to help her, whatever he might think. He will also have to face some events which he had never imagined the possibility. It was pretty cute to see that the two were slowly attracted to the other, and that this agent was always available for the young woman. This is also very easy to understand Alexandrina, to see her doubts, hopes and desires.

Through this survey, which also holds many surprises, we discover our heroine, her past, the trials she must go through but also her hidden secrets throughout the years. I confess also that the end of the novel really touched me and it is true that we fully understand the resentment of the young woman.

You can understand that it was a very good book with a very good plot and a story that keeps us going throughout the chapters. I had a lot of fun with this first novel and I confess that I am very curious to read more now.




27 thoughts on “The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod

  1. Loving the cover.

    I’ve also heard lots of things about this one, all positive it has to be said.

    Great review. There are so many aspects of this book that appeal to me, not least of which is the idea of a forensic psychic reader.

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