The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod (Her Majesty’s Psychic Service #1)


Original Title: The Hanged Man

Year Published: 2015

Published by: Tor Books (a copy was kindly provided via the Publisher)

Number of Pages: 336

First Sentence: When informed at the age of ten that she was likely to be queen of England, it was reported that Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandrina Victoria of Kent replied, ‘I will be good’.”

Goodreads Rating: 5/5


On a freezing Christmas Eve in 1879, a forensic psychic reader is summoned from her Baker Street lodgings to the scene of a questionable death. Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the current Queen of England) is adamant that the death in question is a magically compromised murder and not a suicide, as the police had assumed, after the shocking revelation contained by the body in question, Alex must put her personal loss aside to uncover the deeper issues at stake, before more bodies turn up.

Turning to some choice allies–the handsome, prescient Lieutenant Brooks, the brilliant, enigmatic Lord Desmond, and her rapscallion cousin James–Alex will have to marshal all of her magical and mental acumen to save Queen and Country from a shadowy threat. Our singular heroine is caught up in this rousing gaslamp adventure of cloaked assassins, meddlesome family, and dark magic.

My thoughts:

I first read the excerpt via Netgalley and fell in love. I gushed about it over there and through luck of fate I was offered a copy by the publisher. Thank you so much for that. This book is great (and I’m not saying that because it was given to me). It would have been anyway. It is fun, filled with action, has a hint of romance and is set in London. What more could you ask for? Oh, and there are badass psychics that are considered super valuable and employed by the equally badass queen.

Alex, our main character, is just amazing. She is tough and hides away from people, mostly due to her gift/curse. However, she doesn’t feel coldhearted and although she is a badass, she still gets scared. She is human through and through and I loved that.

We get to meet several strong female characters which were amazing, and also several gentlemen that were also fantastic and added so much to the story.

The alternated England we get to spend time in is very interesting. The Queen, although only mentioned, is amazeballs and is the type of ruler England should have. The feeling of London here is gritty yet elegant. I always had this image of mist swirling around people’s feet.

The mystery of the story was superb. Not in a million years could I have guessed who the guilty party was. It was cleverly built up and it never felt far fetched. I loved how the murder was a gateway and key into the rest of the plot which was very surprising and interesting to read.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, a million times yes! I absolutely loved it and I think everyone should read it.


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