Review: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd

Jess Kidd is an author who keeps flying around in my radar but yet I just never seem to have the time to fit in her books. That and I just wasn’t completely sold on the fact that I would love this author. I mean some of her books sound good—but quirky.

I love quirky as much as the next person, but I need to be in the mood for quirky and I just haven’t been lately, but then this book started popping up on my radar and I started to rethink that decision.

This book caught my eye because it was set in the Victorian era and the word gothic lit, which if you know me, then you know it is basically impossible for me to pass on Victorian era gothic lit books, so here we are.


Bridie Devine—female detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Blending darkness and light, history and folklore, Things in Jarsis a spellbinding Gothic mystery that collapses the boundary between fact and fairy tale to stunning effect and explores what it means to be human in inhumane times. (summary from Goodreads)


Well yes, this book was quirky and weird but in the best way possible. I loved that there was this kind of alternative London in this book with ghosts and a dark mystery. This author has a wonderful voice and I loved the dark humor along with her ability to create mood and atmosphere. I felt entirely transported and immersed in this book from the beginning.

Birdie was such a pleasure to read about. She was a perfect mixture of bold and odd and I related to her so much. All of the characters in this one are memorable and well developed. I thought the author left a few loose ends that maybe would leave the way for another book which I hope is the case because this one was just so much fun!

The plot and world building are excellent, I love this author’s imagination. There are gritty elements to the story which I thought added a lot to this period and overall story but at times there could be some funny or light plot aspects that really broke things up.

This was an absolute shock for me to read. I went in thinking that I might not like it because it just sounded like an odd ball read, but it had been one of my favorite reads so far this year and I can’t wait to read more by this author! What a pleasant surprise! I breezed through it in a matter of days and couldn’t have been happier with how everything ended up and perhaps more to come!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2020 by Atria Books (first published April 4th 2019)
Free review copy provide by publisher, Atria Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: historical fiction, fantasy


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