Book Review: A Child Lost by Michelle Cox (ARC)

A Child Lost

Author: Michelle Cox

Publication Date: 28 April 2020

Genre: Adult Fiction – Historical Fiction Mystery

Pages: 256

Publisher: She Writes Press

A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . .

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist’s strange ramblings.

Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.

Calling all historical fiction and mystery fans! A Child Lost is the fifth installment of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series but don’t let that deter you because it can be enjoyed as a standalone!

Henrietta is going through severe depression as she copes with a recent miscarriage. Clive (Inspector Howard) is at his wit’s end trying to help. He ultimately decides that the best thing for Henrietta is to feel needed by immersing herself in a new case.

Rather than once case, Henrietta and Clive quickly find themselves embroiled in two very different cases which ends up leading to a combination involving: a psychic, an asylum, and a lost child.

There were lots of twists and turns in the investigations, which kept me wanting to know more. I loved both Henrietta and Elsie as they refused to be anything but willful and strong during a time (1930s Chicago) that wasn’t always kind to women.

Additionally, the author does a fantastic job of tackling a myriad of social issues such as depression, miscarriage, and domestic abuse in a way that is both respectful yet insightful. There were definitely parts that were challenging to read, so I just want to warn anyone of possible triggers.

Thank you to the author for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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