Review: Snap Shot by Marilyn Todd

The year is 1895, and the only way Julia McAllister can retain her business, and her independence as a young widow in London, is by taking risqué photographs. But, one by one, her models are being murdered, and the murderer is determined to frame Julia for the crimes.

With the relentless Inspector Collingwood on the case, watching her every move, young women still dying, and her life at stake, Julia must unmask the real killer and prove her innocence before it is too late… Can she do it? or will her dark past come back to haunt her?


The cover for Snap Shot instantly caught my eye, while scrolling through NetGalley. I found that it was a combination of two of my favourite genres: historical fiction, and thriller, so I knew I had to give it a read.

I had quite high expectations for this book. I wouldn’t say that I was disappointed, but I definitely set my expectations higher than I should have. At times, I found the writing style a little confusing, especially in the first few chapters. However, I did enjoy reading the opening chapters quite a lot. The introductions of each character were not too detailed, which left a lot of mystery surrounding them and their pasts, and I feel that this really helped while moving forward in the story.

Although there wasn’t a huge amount of action, the storyline held strong, and I didn’t feel like I was losing interest at any point. I think it helped that I actually liked the characters, and that Todd threw some humour into the story. I do feel that more detail could have been added in regards to the time period that the book was set, to give a more historical feel and to really bring it to life.

I liked that Todd included characters that would not have conformed to the society of that time. During this period of time, women were seen to be inferior, and were supposed to be the traditional housewife, but Julia is a strong, fiery, female character, who ran her own business, and ignored everything that a woman “should” be in 1895. Todd also included homosexual characters, who at that time would have been imprisoned for their sexuality. It was great to see these characters included, to show that it is always good to be yourself.

This book wasn’t as thrilling, and intense as I had hoped for, but I definitely didn’t see the twist coming, and didn’t suspect the real killer at all during the story. I did felt that the end chapter was a little rushed, and could have been written much better. Overall, it is a nice, fast read, which is perfect if you’re looking for something to chill out and pass the time with.

Snap Shot is the first book in the Julia McAllister Victorian Mystery series, and although I had a couple of complaints for this one, I will be giving the next one a read when it is released, as I’m intrigued to see how Julia’s story will continue.


Thank you to NetGalley and Sapere Books for my copy, in exchange for an honest review.
I give Snap Shot a 3/5 rating.

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