LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Black Midnight by Kathleen Y’Barbo (Historical Mystery)

Kathleen Y’Barbo

Genre: Fiction / Historical Mystery / True Crime  
Publisher: Barbour Books 
Publication Date: August 1, 2020 
Number of Pages: 257

 Scroll down for the giveaway!

Two killers, two detectives, and a menace called The Black Midnight may be the death of both of them.

Three years before Jack the Ripper began his murderous spree on the streets of London, a killer struck fear into the hearts of the citizens of Austin, Texas. Some believe one man is responsible for both, while others lay the blame at the feet of someone close to the queen herself. With suspicion falling on Her Majesty’s family and Scotland Yard at a loss as to who the Ripper might be, Queen Victoria summons her great-granddaughter, Alice Anne von Wettin, a former Pinkerton agent who worked the unsolved Austin murders case, and orders her to discreetly form a team to look into the London matter. One man is essential to her team, and she doesn’t want to consider taking on this challenge without his expertise. Unfortunately, he’s back in Texas, with a bad attitude and a new profession.

The prospect of a second chance at catching the man who terrorized Austin three years ago just might entice Isaiah Joplin out of his comfortable life as an Austin lawyer, even if it does mean working with the Queen’s great-granddaughter again. If his theories are right, they’ll find the Midnight Assassin and, by default, the Ripper. If they’re wrong, he and Annie are in a bigger mess than the one the lady detective left behind when she departed Austin under cover of darkness three years ago.

Can the unlikely pair find the truth of who is behind the murders before they are drawn into the killer’s deadly game? From Texas to London, the story navigates the fine line between truth and fiction as Annie and Isaiah ultimately find the hunters have become the hunted.

PRAISE for The Black Midnight!

“Warning! Don’t read this historical romantic suspense at night!” DiAnn Mills, Expect an Adventure 

“Impeccably researched with sparkling dialogue and riveting history, Kathleen Y’Barbo’s The Black Midnight puts a pair of star-crossed Pinkerton detectives on the trail of a Texas killer who may also be the notorious Jack the Ripper. Very highly recommended and sure to keep you reading well past your bedtime!!” Colleen Thompson, RITA-nominated author of Deadly Texas Summer 

“You’re in for a wild ride as Kathleen Y’Barbo takes you on a story through some of America and Britain’s grisliest murders and somehow manages to weave in a delicious romance. From Texas to London, the ties that bind may be more linked than you previously believed. Settle in for a novel of suspense and romancejust be sure to look over your shoulder every now and then!” Jaime Jo Wright, 2018 Christy Award-winning author of The House on Foster Hill and 2020 Inspy Award-nominated The Curse of Misty Wayfair


While I am not as familiar with the case of Jack the Ripper as I am with modern day serial killers, as a true crime fan, this book instantly demanded my attention! I had never heard of the Midnight Assassin nor the possible connections to Jack the Ripper, but the author’s knowledge and extensive research was seamlessly interwoven into the mystery elements to craft a richly drawn work of historical fiction. You don’t need to know anything about either of those cases to appreciate how well the author has bent the truth ever so slightly to tell a completely riveting piece of fiction that showcases the terror such killers wreck on communities.
I’m not always sure how I feel about romance within a story that centers on so much violence and death; however, it is this very romantic aura that works so well in creating a more ethereal tale rather than the creepy and larger than life drama it is loosely based on. Ike and Annie’s feelings develop from the mutual respect and admiration they have for one another. Each is competent, trustworthy, and values a sense of duty to solving the crimes. Their interactions with one another speak volumes to the high regard they hold for the other, and blending touches of romance into the story added so much to their characterization. They are both multi-dimensional and complicated, torn between their obligation to others and the love they wish to share. At times, their romance seemed to overshadow the actual mystery, but their bantering wit demonstrated such a unique crime-fighting duo, while also providing a glimpse into the police procedures of the time. This love story requires patience, but it is very much worth the wait.

“Her family would heartily disapprove, not because of his reputation or character – both of which were stellar – but because he was American. And worse, Texan.”

Not only is the secondary cast filled with highly suspicious characters that added some interesting twists and turns, the inclusion of the Royal family was an unexpected and charming surprise. What at first seems worlds apart is brought closer together by the most unlikely of sources! 

As part of the True Colors series, this concept of exploring criminal activity through stories of historical romantic suspense was incredibly intriguing, and I can’t wait to read more! What a fantastic way to integrate such captivating and atmospheric fiction into the truth that was surprisingly so hopeful!

Many thanks to the author and Lone Star Book Blog Tours for providing me with a free copy of the book. This is my honest and thoughtful opinion.

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee and author of more than eighty books, with almost two million in print. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and several Top Picks by Romantic Times magazine. Kathleen celebrated her fifteenth year as a published author by receiving the Romantic Times Inspirational Romance Book of the Year Award for Sadie’s Secret, a Secret Lives of Will Tucker novel. Her novels celebrate life, love, and the Lord—and whenever she can manage it, her home state of Texas. Recent releases include The Pirate Bride, River of Life, and My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas.

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One Winner: Signed copy of The Black Midnight + $20 Amazon gift card 

Four Winners: Signed copy of The Black Midnight 
AUGUST 6-16, 2020 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  BEST OF LUCK!

Many thanks again to the author and Lone Star Book Blog Tours! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

or visit the blogs directly:

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