Rated 4.14/5 based on 7 reviews
Octavius Guy and the Case of the Thieving Maharajah. The fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective’s first big case. Based on characters from Wilkie Collins’s “The Moonstone”. More
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About Michael Gallagher

Michael Gallagher is the author of two series of novels set in Victorian times. “Send for Octavius Guy” chronicles the attempts of fourteen-year-old Gooseberry—reformed master pickpocket—to become a detective, aided and abetted by his ragtag bunch of friends. “The Involuntary Medium” follows the fortunes of young Lizzie Blaylock, a girl who can materialize the spirits of the dead, as she strives to come to terms with her unique gift.
For twenty-five years Michael taught adults with learning disabilities at Bede, a London-based charity that works with the local community. He now writes full time. Follow Octavius Guy @sendforOctavius. Author photo courtesy of Elaine Jeffs.

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Send For Octavius Guy
John Thomson’s images from “Street Life in London” (1876-77) courtesy of the London School of Economics Digital Library. Used under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 licence. Featuring John Harrison on violin with Robert Turizziani conducting the Wichita State University Chamber Players © John Harrison. Edited version used under a CC-BY-SA 1.0 Generic licence.

About the Series: Send for Octavius Guy
The fourteen-year-old Victorian boy detective's first big cases. Based on the character of Gooseberry (real name Octavius Guy) from Wilkie Collin's Victorian classic The Moonstone.

Also in Series: Send for Octavius Guy

Also by This Author

Reviews of Gooseberry by Michael Gallagher

ASA4 reviewed on March 3, 2022

I read it all the way through as I was interested enough to see how it would end. The historic element - Victorian London - appears accurate and well researched. Some characters - including Bertha, perhaps surprisingly - work but others don’t chime quite right; Gooseberry at times seems too educated for his character. Overall, I quite enjoyed it but I’m not sure that I would rush out to buy others in the series.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
G Leigh reviewed on Sep. 7, 2021

I just finished this lovely book by Michael Gallagher and thoroughly enjoyed it. I deliberately read it slowly, in order to saver the atmospheric details.
Set in early 1852, Gallagher has done his period research. He presents characters who fit well in the time period, and engage my interest. The settings in London are described with great details.
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Master Light James reviewed on Oct. 2, 2020

Not a bad story at all, but certainly not the kind I like. It started quite well and drew me in with appropriate humor and good balance, but the author, like many other normal authors, couldn't hold it all to the end. Things slowly fell apart as the story progressed. It became less original/real, the narration became poorer and the historical edge got a little blunt. In fact, it reminded me very much of Agatha Christie's The Secret Adversary which I started out loving and ended up disliking. I know how difficult it is to keep up the tempo to the very end in mystery books, so I'm not trying to make the author or the book look bad or anything like that. As someone who has been there, done that and seen much greater writers do the same, I'll readily say that the author tried his best in this case while also admitting that my review is quite strict and blunt which hopefully will have no negative effect on an already much liked series. I wish you best of luck, Michael, and happy writing!
(reviewed 28 days after purchase)
Anup reviewed on Sep. 26, 2020

What a delightful book this was to read! Taking off from the great Wilkie Collins and in a similar style of writing but completely original, the author has done justice to bringing characters to life. Everything was fast pacing, every moment was adventurous and has an exciting ending. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I will definitely have to read more from this author and this series! Well done.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)
Anita Dow reviewed on July 15, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in the 'Send For Octavius Guy' series. The main character, Octavius, is an engaging 14 year old ex-pickpocket turned solicitor's investigator. His former life in the Victorian underworld provides a rich background of potential storylines and characters. I found his unusual family set up endearing and completely believable; clearly the author has researched the lives of a broad spectrum of people living in 1850's Victorian London. The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing and I greatly appreciated the subtle, humorous asides.

Author Michael Gallagher has used some of the characters from Wilkie Collins' 'The Moonstone' and created a believable and 'cosy' mystery. I was unfamiliar with 'The Moonstone' so I found an online summary in order to understand more about the Octavius Guy character but it's not necessary to know Collins' story to appreciate and enjoy this well crafted story. The descriptions and characterisations are very visual and beautifully done. This is a wonderful, wholesome and satisfying read and I am already enjoying book two, with book 3 lined up and ready to start. What better indication of a 'must read' series is there?
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
bontheia richardson reviewed on May 2, 2019

A delightful and beautifully written mystery, Gooseberry is a witty and lighthearted read with plenty of twists. A pick-pocket turned teenaged sleuth, Octavious is as good at crime solving as he is at relieving people of their valuables. I was hooked from the start and spent as much time trying to guess the outcome as I did laughing out loud. Not only is it an engrossing read, but it's also full of historical facts. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and can't wait to read another of Mr. Gallagher's mysteries. Forget Sherlock Holmes, send for Octavious Guy!
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
Barbara Heckendorn reviewed on Nov. 30, 2014

This is a lovely cosy mystery which is set in the Victorian age. The main character who was himself once a pickpocket and now is working as a detective for a lawyer is draw back to work underground and is faced by his old nemeses as well as old friends. He has to solve a mystery which includes not only the underworld but also the upper-class as well the Queen and her husband. The spelling style is absolutely gorgeous because there are parts of street language as well as the proper English.
(4 1/2 stars)
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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