Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem

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Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem
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 an unusual murder mystery, framed in a cleverly conceived story featuring real historical characters, and set in a flawless 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 one of London’s most notorious murders. Karl Marx and George Gissing are connected to the same crime.


The Independent on Sunday said "Ackroyd has pulled off the greatest coup of all, a four square crime novel … as aesthetically pleasing as it is morally shocking". The Observer called it "a flawlessly good read".[3][4]

Film adaption[edit]

on 17 April 2015, it was announced a film adaption based on the book would be produced and star Olivia Cooke, Alan Rickman, and Douglas Booth, the script was written by Jane Goldman, and will be directed by Juan Carlos Medina, Lionsgate will release the film in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[5]