The Streets of Babylon: A London Mystery by Carina Burman is an entertaining, often wickedly funny work of historical fiction that depicts the life of Swedish novelist Euthanasia Bondeson. The story takes place in London; the year is 1851, and Bondeson is visiting the Great Exhibition with Agnes, her young niece.
An independent and sophisticated woman, Bondesonís ideas and manners are often in stark contrast with the constraints of Victorian society. Even though she has traveled a great deal, she immediately falls in love with the great city of London, which in 1851 is "more than ever the centre of the world." Agnes is similarly entranced with the city, but their quiet visit soon turns into quite an adventure as Agnes goes missing.
Bondeson, an amateur detective as well as a novelist, is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and find her niece, whether she be dead or alive. With the assistance of a charming professor and a Welsh policeman, Bondeson navigates the streets of Victorian London in a perilous - and often humorous - search for the truth.
Sarah Death's translation of this book is seamless. You would never know The Streets of Babylon was originally written in Swedish. This novel, rich in period detail and told in Bondesonís witty voice, is a lively mystery and a pleasure to read.