Octopus: The Case of the Throttled Tragedienne

‘“O fly your fate. Thou art a dead thing. Never see her more,”’ intoned Mr Bone, and, though he was murmuring these phrases under his breath, in the silence that had fallen in the auditorium we all heard every word.
‘What’s he on about?’ demanded Mr Willoughby.
Mr Bone looked at him and blinked. ‘They’re lines from later in the play, sir, that the duchess speaks from her grave. It seemed an appropriate tribute to the late Miss Prynn.’
‘The late—?’
‘Miss Isabella Prynn. She is dead, sir. She is dead.’

Gooseberry, the fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective, is having his fair share of problems. Not only must he juggle the task of being Mr Bruff’s newly-appointed chief investigator with the unwanted responsibility of managing London’s entire criminal underclass, he also has to decide whether a drunken wretch of a man—who turns up on his doorstep claiming to be his father—is who he says he is.
But when the leading actress dies in mysterious circumstances on stage during a performance of The Duchess of Malfi at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Gooseberry feels duty-bound to investigate. It is, after all, a great deal more exciting than the last case he was assigned to: the tracking down of a rich old lady’s errant cat!
Join Octavius and his ragtag bunch of friends on their latest adventure, a revenge tragedy (of sorts) in (roughly—very roughly) three acts.

Follow young Gooseberry on Twitter @sendforOctavius

Cover photograph by John Thomson
Cover design by Negative Negative
Published by Seventh Rainbow Publishing, London
RRP: US$2.99; UK£2.99

Praise for Octopus:


5 of 5 starsOctopus is a scholarly murder mystery without being staid…those who enjoy television investigative series as varied as Leverage, Castle and Elementary will be delighted with this series and want to devour more. It is a masterpiece of misdirection and layers of creative storytelling. Trust me. Buy the books!
—Dogsmom (Laura in Wisconsin) Amazon.com Reviewer


5 of 5 starsOctavius is such an interesting character, and the book is set in such a fascinating time in London's history. A good mystery that kept me guessing. I wasn't sure who and why until the very end! A good read and highly recommended!
—Suzy Schettler Goodreads Reviewer


5 of 5 starsI love Victorian mysteries in general and Sherlock Holmes in particular…Gooseberry could perfectly be the leader of the “irregulars” of Baker Street, the ragamuffins that helped Sherlock.
—Mrs. Hudson LibraryThing Early Reviewer


5 of 5 starsWhat fun! The cast of characters is a wondrous mix of unlikely folks. Even a dog!
—Libby Dodd Goodreads Reviewer


5 of 5 starsHistorical fact is deftly combined with fiction that makes Octavius’s world a new form of old London that I am eager to visit again. Pour some tea or a wee dram, put your feet up, and enjoy cover to cover.
—Gladread LibraryThing Early Reviewer


5 of 5 starsHere is a sensational historical fiction who-dunnit that gives nothing away until the very end. To me, it reads like an old time radio show. It leaves you breathless.
—Connie A. LibraryThing Early Reviewer


5 of 5 starsDid I solve the puzzle - no, but I enjoyed every minute of Octopus’s investigations.
—LizzieKillin (Liz Stevens) LibraryThing Early Reviewer


5 of 5 starsA wonderful Victorian melodrama!
—Eileen LibraryThing Early Reviewer


5 of 5 starsI really enjoy the way the author writes and the subtle humor he uses throughout…I recommend this very entertaining book.
—I ADAM Goodreads Reviewer


5 of 5 starsThis is a delightful read for any age. I liked it so well, that I intend to read more in this series.
—Aleta Sullivan LibraryThing Early Reviewer


4.5 of 5 starsMichael Gallagher creates a very vivid, accurate and believable image of Victorian London…I can highly recommend this book to anyone fascinated by Victorian mysteries.
—David Eggerschwiler (pratchettfan) LibraryThing Early Reviewer


4.5 of 5 starsThe characters are fantastic, they feel real, and the whole book just sucks you in from the first word. Everything about this book feels real, actually, and I had to keep reminding myself not to google for photographs of the characters. . .One of my favorite books this year, hands down.
—LauraBrook LibraryThing Early Reviewer


4.5 of 5 starsHad me hooked from the start.
—John Tatum LibraryThing Early Reviewer


4.5 of 5 starsI hope that this series is continued.
—Barbara Heckendorn Smashwords Reviewer


4 of 5 starsGooseberry's voice is one of the novel's greatest strengths; his candour and enthusiasm are delightful…There's a wonderful mixture of pomposity and innocence, knowledge and ignorance, that makes his narration a pleasure to read.
—Emma Hamilton buriedunderbooks.co.uk LibraryThing Reviewer


4 of 5 starsWhenever I come into the middle of a series without reading the first book, I’m always a little fearful of being left confused. Not so with this book! The reader is given enough information to give them a good foundation for these characters without being bogged down by repetition. In fact, just enough detail is given that I WANT to go find the first book posthaste…A fantastic book for detective fans and lovers of the Victorian Era.
—Bethany Swafford (The Quiet Reader) LibraryThing Early Reviewer


4 of 5 starsThis was a beautifully written book and played like a movie in my head. I could see, hear, and smell everything.
—Beth McManus (alanbethcam) LibraryThing Early Reviewer


4 of 5 starsIf you like your mysteries on the cozy side and your characters loveable, read this book! You won't be disappointed.
—Devon Lewis LibraryThing Early Reviewer