Bad Penny Blues


I saw the cover of Cathi Unsworth‘s novel Bad Penny Blues a couple of years ago. This is a book I MUST read, I thought. For a while I forgot all about it but this spring I finally ordered it from an online bookstore. I’m so glad that I did. I loved it! First of all, the cover art rocks!! It’s so sixties inspired. And the story is set in swinging London and the paragraph headings are all titles of songs of the era! So cool. It is a mystery novel and the story is inspired by the Jack the Stripper case that took place in 1964-65.
The story is presented by two characters, a young newlywed fashion designer Stella and a young constable Pete just beginning his career with the police force. Pete is the one who finds the first victim of a gruesome serial killer. Pete continues to investigate the case later on. Stella has some supernatural ability to see and live through the murders in her dreams. These two characters never meet but their lives are intertwined.
To be honest, the novel has many characters and it is a bit hard to keep up with all of them. Also, the actual historical events (over)emphasize the fact that this is indeed The Sixties we’re talking about here. Some may find it a bit tiresome but not a sixties buff like me. Recommended to anyone who likes a murder mystery with a dash of supernatural, swinging London and/or 1960’s nostalgia.

Cover pic from

Cover pic from


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