First off,this book is not widely known. There hasn't been a single review since its publication in the nineteenth century, so give or take one-hundred years.

I have been reading this novel for an English course at my University and we've been taking an in-depth look at the themes, characterization, plot, etc. and I have several opinions.

First, this book is supposed to be a detective story about a young woman who loses her memory after her father is murdered. I will try not to give anymore beyond the general plot. Secondly, the focus of the novel was, originally, educated high class men of society as there are many references to the weakness of women. This is not to say that it is sexist, but the readers must be reminded that it must be read in context of the time period. As such, the novel has a good plot and, I would consider towards the end, a very good climax.

Unfortunately, the author failed to make use of his characters. He developed characters with interesting enough background/involvement in the story, but disregarded them in the end. It was also brought to my attention that the novel was more tell than show. In other words, the author used Deus ex machina in a place where it was not needed. A character who was un-involved in the novel for two-thirds of the story was suddenly introduced and summed everything up. The protagonist was also contradictory at times and dependent while portrayed or constantly stating, I should say that she was independent. A lot more could have been done with the characters, rather than a summation at the very end.

In this sense, the author, presumably, satisfied his readers at the time, though nowadays this would definitely need additional editing. For those who simply read for pleasure or were surface readers, as I call them, it was enough at the time.

Overall, The story is interesting enough for you to read. If you like nineteenth century literature, I would suggest only for the experience. It is interesting enough.