Bridie Devine - don't call her Bridget - is quite possibly my new favorite detective. A woman who wears a distinctly unfashionable bonnet and can often be found smoking a colleague's experimental tobacco blends, she is not a typical Victorian lady, nor is she a typical detective. As the ward of a respected doctor, she grew up learning to assist in a laboratory, and has the nerves of steel one might expect from someone who has watched many gruesome surgeries on patients not under anesthesia. She also travels with some unusual companions. Her maid, Cora, is seven feet tall and eager to scrap with anyone who crosses her team, and she can often be found talking to Rudy, the scantily-clad tattooed boxer who follows her around, despite the fact that she's the only one who can see him, since he's a ghost.
In Things in Jars, Bridie investigates a kidnapping case that also brings an object from her past back into her life - a specimen of a creature that may or may not be a mermaid, preserved in a jar of formaldehyde - and with it, some demons of her own. Things in Jars is a delightfully witty, thoroughly engrossing mystery - the kind of book where once you've finished the last page, you immediatly go online and try to find out if there will be a sequel. I couldn't find anything - but I would really love to read more of Bridie's adventures! It is available through Overdrive though there is a bit of a waiting list.