Things in Jars: Jess Kidd

★★

Jess Kidd’s Things in Jars is a curious, fiercely unique story of a female detective in Victorian London who, with the help of a ghostly sidekick, is on a mission to uncover the whereabouts of a potentially supernatural young girl.

Thanks to Atria for sending me a free advanced copy!

Bridie is an independent, outspoken woman who is very good at her job. When she’s tasked with finding a young girl who has been kidnapped, a bizarre journey begins that takes her through the grim world of black market London. With ghosts, murder, and supernatural creatures, Things in Jars is equal parts murder mystery, historical fiction, and magical realism.

Content Warning

Please take caution while reading Things in Jars if any of the following topics may trigger you:

  • Sexual assault
  • Abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Violence
  • Death / dying
  • Blood

My Thoughts

Things in Jars is one of the most unique, curious books I have ever laid my eyes on. From the start, you just know that you’ve never read anything like this. The writing style is, perplexingly, both literary and somewhat casual. The book is written in a Victorian style, which can be difficult to get into and feel comfortable with.

The characters in Things in Jars are just as curious as the book itself. Bridie is a badass woman with some unique quirks, and a very dapper and polite ghost as her constant companion. The young girl who’s been kidnapped may or may not have magical, albeit evil, powers. I felt deep affection for Bridie and her ghostly friend throughout the story; a high-point in the book for me.

Things in Jars is equal parts fun and paranormal. I’ve read very little historical fiction or magical realism, so I knew I was in for a treat with this book, and I wasn’t wrong. While it didn’t blow me away, I had a blast reading it and encountering the dark work of Victorian London’s paranormal and macabre. Deeply atmospheric and wonderfully quirky, I definitely recommend Things in Jars to lovers of very-historical historical fiction and of darker magical realism.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Things in Jars. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!

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