• Death at the Workhouse

  • Penny Green Series, Book 8
  • By: Emily Organ
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Baker
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

London 1885. Something's not right at Shoreditch Workhouse and reporter Penny Green is struggling to convince someone to listen. After spending time there undercover, she knows that more can be done for the deserving poor beneath its roof. But does anyone else care?

When two workhouse inmates die in a fight, the police and the coroner accept the simplest explanation. Penny undertakes her own investigation with Inspector James Blakely's help and it's not long before they make themselves unpopular.

A macabre turn finally makes the authorities act, but can anyone stop the force behind the crimes?

©2019 Emily Organ (P)2020 Tantor

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another great installment!

"Death and the Workhouse" by Emily Organ is the 8th book in the Penny Green series.

I've enjoyed most of the books in this series, some more than others. Overall, it's a solid Victorian mystery series with good characters and decent mysteries.

This book was a good addition to the series. Many of the books in the series focus on social injustices in Victorian London, and this one, in particular, had a strong focus on social justice, specifically the depravity found in the workhouses of the late 19th century. As it so happens, earlier this year, I read about the workhouses of Victorian London, and I can say that the author did her research, she described them very accurately.

This particular mystery surrounds a series of suspicious deaths at a workhouse. Penny is doing an expose on the condition of workhouses, and of course, there's a death, it's not at first suspicious, but after a second death and some slightly related thefts Penny's hackles are raised, and she goes on the hunt.

Like most mystery series, it's structured like a "murder of the week" with overarching storylines that follow the characters throughout the series. For example, we have the relationship between Penny and James, which is a very slow burn. Then, there's the mystery of the whereabouts of Penny and Eliza's father as well as Mr. Edwards's voyage to try and find their father. I would say though that this book, in particular, focused heavily on the mystery, and all the overarching storylines were a bit neglected. They were mentioned, but they were not the focus.

Overall, a worthy addition to the series. I will note that this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but it's a nice one, so I'm looking forward to the next installment.

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My Least Favorite of the Series

James continues to be a weak investigator; I really don't understand how he keeps his job at Scotland Yard. He questions very little. Penny on the other hand just blindly follows her own path with no sense of danger or concern for protocol. I am surprised she is not assaulted on a regular basis which considering the time period is amazing. Plot dragged on and I lost interest but I did finish it. I sure hope the character development improves.

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  • Gary S.
  • 05-22-20

Good story, narration was stilted at times

Found myself wanting the end of the book to come quicker. The storyline was ok but the performance wasn't natural and there was some annoying errors, like reading the speech attributions in the characters accent rather than the narrator's.