Book Review: The Fatal Flame – Lyndsay Faye

The Fatal FlameTitle & Author: The Fatal Flame by Lyndsay Faye

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Thriller

Release Date: May 12th 2015

Series: Timothy Wilde Mysteries #3

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Source: ARC from First to Read

Description: A scarred barman turned copper star, the birth of the NYPD, gangs, murder, brothels and bedlam in the dark underworld of nineteenth-century New York. Timothy Wilde – copper star, tough with a warm heart, learning his craft as a detective. Valentine Wilde – Timothy’s gregarious, glamorous, depraved rogue of a brother. Mercy Underhill – The intelligent, creative but unstable love of Timothy’s life. Silky Marsh – The beautiful brothel owner whose scheming knows no bounds. Against the gritty backdrop of the notorious Five Points in 1848, Timothy Wilde is drawn yet again into a disturbing mystery, leading him to the heart of the Bowery girls, the original ‘factory girls’ in downtown Manhattan. Someone is starting fires on the streets of New York and Timothy has to unravel a knot of revenge, murder and blackmail if he’s to find out who is behind it all and stop them before the whole city goes up in flames…

Historical fiction: YAY or NAY?

First of all I was under the impression this was not apart of a series, or if it was, it would be the first book. So understandably, I have not read the first two books. Needlessly to say I was well and truly confused while reading this book. The characters aren’t really explained since the first two books most likely built them up so I constantly felt disconnected to them and the story. The writing style is unique but at times cumbersome. I understand this is a historical fiction but I didn’t think it would be so…hard to process. At times I found myself rereading a chapter just to make sure I didn’t miss little clues or to better understand a phrase/situation.

Although I struggled with the book and grasping the characters/plot/subplots I did enjoy the world Lyndsay Faye was able to create. I felt transported back into the nineteenth century with its rough and gritty streets and underpaid simpletons.


This was my first Historical Fiction. Unless you count classics like Jane Austin? Ok, first Historical Thriller/Mystery Fiction, how about that. I know this doesn’t fall under the realm of YA/NA or the other genres I typically review but I figured I would give it a shot since I was lucky enough to get a arc through Penguin. I think if I had read the first two books I would have enjoyed this more. I won’t be rushing out to purchase the first two books but I did find most of this story enjoyable.


Yes and No. I personally did not enjoy this book all that much but I’m not one for Historical Fiction. If you enjoy well written Historical Fiction then I would say give this series a shot and let me know what you think.

Goodreads | Amazon | Lyndsay Faye’s Website