The Secrets of Life and Death by Rebecca Alexander


In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret–She’s Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won’t rest until they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive….
In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady, is the magic that might be able to save her…
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I love Historical Fiction and I love Paranormal so this was my cup of tea. It was told through different narratives and different timelines,  I felt like the author did a good job balancing both timelines for most of the novel, but there were some places where I felt the pacing a bit slow but that quickly passed.

The characters in my opinion were nicely written, and they had different depths to them, drawing me into the story. I’m not going to say I couldn’t put it down, but it surely did keep my interest throughout most of it.

The different timelines from the late 1500’s to early 2000’s was fascinating to say the least. Some might not enjoy the time shifts, but i did. I always seem to enjoy them especially in tv shows.

I don’t usually read books that don’t fit in the ya range, but i really did enjoy this one.

The mystery aspects to it, the murders, the science, it all wrapped up nicely I’d recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of mystery, paranormal and historical fiction, and also if you don’t mind the past and present aspect of it.

overall, I really did enjoy this book, and you should probably give it a try as well, if you like those genres.


(I received this book for review from Blogging For Books. All opinions are my own )


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