The first in a series of ‘Sensation’ novels by Henrietta Stackpole is 'A Kind Of Justice', her sequel to Henry James’s 'The Portrait of a Lady'. Hardly ever could two novels be so different, James’s is a work of established literary genius and Henrietta’s is in the style of the populist Victorian ‘Sensation’ novel. Henrietta’s book starts where James’s finishes and with all (and more) of the same cast. But instead of the almost indolence of The Portrait characters those of 'A Kind of Justice' are all action, mystery, secrecy, murder and more. Of course, you don’t have to have read Henry James’s introspective novel to thoroughly enjoy A Kind of Justice.THE BLURBOutraged by the deceit of her brutish husband and her passion awakened by an old flame, wealthy Isabel Archer Osmond despairs that there is no divorce law in nineteenth-century Italy.LOYAL FRIENDS GATHER ROUND.Can they solve the mystery of the murder in Rio?Can they discredit her evil husband, Gilbert, and seek annulment?Must they go to even greater lengths to free Isabel from the shackles of a disastrous marriage?Where Henry James’s ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ leaves off ‘A Kind of Justice’ takes off. James’s serene and measured literary masterpiece leads neatly into a fast-paced crime thriller with veins of romance running right through it. Organised crime, amateur detectives and a pair of Rome’s finest carabinieri play their parts to the hilt.If you like Victorianesque ‘Sensation’ novels—something Wilkie Collins or Mary Elizabeth Braddon might have written, then Henrietta Stackpole’s novel will suit you fine.Henry James refers to Henrietta as a ‘celebrated authoress’, he doesn’t say he liked her writing and he probably didn’t—far too pacey and vibrant I would think, but ‘celebrated’ means many others did enjoy her works. This one, purportedly written in 1883 is the first one to be released under her name, the second ‘Stackpole Sensation’ novel, 'Some Choose The Pen' will be published in the last quarter of 2015.
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