Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective Mini Mysteries 2-4: Richard Behrens

#2: The Forlorn Maggie
#3 The Purloined Curio
#4 The Melancholy Scion

Because each installment is a mini, I decided to bunch these 3 titles into one, divided review. Lizzie Borden, made infamous by the trial & poem surrounding her parents’ murders, runs a consulting business from her home. Members of the Fall River Community visit her when they have troublesome cases that need solved. Even the police seem to turn to Lizzie’s ingenious skills to assist them.

In ‘The Forlorn Maggie’, Lizzie is again indulging in her ‘Fancy’. Simply put, the fancy is an addiction to shoplifting. As her prize is in sight, an unremarkable woman nearby is doing the same. When the shopkeepers catch her, she collapses. But, once the dust settles, it appears this woman isn’t quite as ordinary as she seemed.

Extended family of the Bordens are introduced as Lizzie is ‘hired’ on to solve a curious case. Sarah Borden, a cousin, has asked Lizzie to investigate a spiritualist. Elizabeth Wingate has appeared nightly to ‘summon’ the spirit of Sarah’s father. Believing Ms. Wingate can help locate her husband’s missing will, Mrs. Borden has allowed a number of alleged supernatural occurrences to go on. But, Sarah is skeptical & needs Lizzie’s help.

Readers get a glimpse into Lizzie’s later years in ‘Melancholy Scion’. Only one man ever captured Lizzie’s heart & he is the scion in the title. Espionage, World War, & secret societies will all get in the way as Lizzie & her new friend seek to help his father.

All three are worth a read. They are quite quick reads, as well. The two latter works are seeming longer than Book #2 & much more in-depth. Of the three, the ‘Curio’ is my favorite. Book #2 is decent, but was missing a lot of detail that would have made it more gripping. Book #3 is humorous & contains many more characters than previous installments. Book #4 is a fresh twist in the series, where her infamy is addressed as is her future. I personally didn’t have enough prior background on her other than hearing her ‘poem’ years ago. Readers who’ve wondered what became of her, get the smallest of glimpses, but enough to encourage further reading.

I’m excited to see that two additional books have been added to the series & am reading #5 now. Richard Behrens definitely stepped outside the box in order to write these mysteries. I recommend the series. With the minis, there is very little time investment, but they are all quality reads.

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