The Osiris Ritual (Newbury and Hobbes 2) by George Mann (book review).

November 27, 2015 | By | Reply More

‘The Osiris Ritual’ is the second adventure by George Mann for the perfect pairing of Maurice Newbury and Veronica Hobbes who battle against the forces of darkness in Victorian Britain. Newbury is an agent of her Majesty Queen Victoria, too long of the British Empire, kept alive by foul and unnatural means to ensure she continues her spider-like grip on power. Veronica is his protégé but nurses her own secret that she has been set the task to spy on him by her Regal Majesty. Together, the pair tackle arcane mysteries and share a friendship that could become something more.


A young journalist, George Purefoy, attends the unveiling of an Egyptian mummy recently excavated by Lord Henry Winthrop and makes the acquaintance of Newbury. The historical crime becomes all to up-to-date when a series of murders links back to the mysterious mummy. Meanwhile, Veronica is on the trail of girls missing after attending an illusionist show. They are so taken up with their own crimes that they fail the basic test of helping each other and so both fall into danger. Whilst Newbury ends up practically recruiting the journalist, Purefoy, Victoria feels isolated. She also has the continuing problem of her mentally ill sister.

This is a great yarn by George Mann and with a retro feel enabled by the familiar but subtly steampunk enhanced Victorian setting. There’s a nice attention to period detail which makes the reader consider that this is might actually be the real history. We have steam powered handsome cabs, great chase scenes and lurid, gruesome details of some grisly murders. What more could you ask for?

‘The Osiris Ritual’ is part of an old-style serial and the lead characters are endearingly familiar. Definitely a match made in pulp fiction heaven.

Sue Davies

November 2015

(pub: Titan Books. 288 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78329-825-9)

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Category: Books, Fantasy

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