Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem

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Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem
Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem.jpg
Author Peter Ackroyd
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Sinclair-Stevenson
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 282 pp
ISBN 1856195074
Preceded by The House of Doctor Dee
Followed by Blake

Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem is a 1994 novel by the English author Peter Ackroyd.[1] It is a murder mystery framed within a story featuring real historical characters, and set in a recreation of Victorian London.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

As Elizabeth Cree sits every day in a courtroom, on trial for the murder of her husband, the story moves from courthouse to music hall to the back alleys of Limehouse, a notorious district of Victorian London, teeming with the poorest of the poor, the most violent of criminals and helpless preyed-upon immigrants, following the trail of slaughter laid by the Golem, an almost mythical predecessor of Jack the Ripper. Fact and fiction blend as Dan Leno, king of the music-hall comedians, is dragged unwittingly into the investigation of some of London’s most notorious murders. Karl Marx and George Gissing are connected to the same crimes.


A review in The Independent on Sunday declared that "Ackroyd has pulled off the greatest coup of all, a foursquare crime novel as aesthetically pleasing as it is morally shocking". A review in The Observer called the novel "a flawlessly good read".[3][4]

Film adaptation[edit]

In 2015 it was announced that a film adaptation based on the book was planned, starring Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy and Douglas Booth, with a script written by Jane Goldman, to be directed by Juan Carlos Medina. The film was released in September 2017.