Book Review: Vasa and Ypres: A Mayfair Conundrum by J.B. Chisholm


ashley | Everything about Vasa & Ypres: A Mayfair Conundrum by J.B. Chisholm was a strange kind of mystery to me. When I was pitched for a review from the author, it was signed Vasa & Ypres, there was a short description and no links to social media or a website. I found a blog, but that failed to provide any additional information about the author or the book, other than posts with chapters. And when I finished the book, there was a note at the end stating that even the name J.B. Chisholm was a pen name. Who is this person? Where did this book come from? All of this created a strange air of mystery and intrigue, so obviously I had to know what these adventures of Vasa & Ypres entailed.

This is a super short and witty romp through London, following the snobby and unpleasant Vasa, who thinks her observations are the keenest in the world, and her assistant Ypres, who is by far more in tune with the real world. They encounter a acquaintance with a conundrum and Vasa makes it her business to solve this situation for her friend. The situation itself ends up being quite strange in its own right and left me with a bit of my own conundrum.

The story itself is told by Vasa, explaining what had happened, with references to conversations and input from Ypres as she was writing it. The voice is pretty casual and jets off on tangents quite often and interrupts itself with additional thoughts or additional context that is necessary to catch the reader up.

It’s very heavy on the British humour, very satirical and basically kind of poking fun of a day in the life of these characters, talking about crass subject manner, but kind of with that British elegance that doesn’t make it seem so inappropriate.

I will admit, I’m sure half of what was said was lost on me. I’m sure one more attuned to British humour would have appreciated some of the text a bit more deeply, but I certainly appreciated the kind of strange and offbeat look into the lives of these ladies and definitely appreciated the opportunity to check this little gem out.

I really enjoyed the way it was all presented to me, it was definitely a breath of fresh air and really caught my interest. If you’re looking for a witty little read, definitely check it out.


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march 31, 2016

copy provided for honest review by