A Taste for Monsters



IT’S LONDON 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain. When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares.

A Taste for Monsters is a terrifying and haunting tale of the monstrosity of men and the salvation one may find in the unlikeliest places, from Edgar Award–winning author Matthew J. Kirby.

From Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Evelyn—all grit, anger, and distrust—is a complex and engaging character, the slums and slang of Victorian-era London are carefully delineated, and the eventual revelation of Leather Apron’s identity and fate will leave readers gasping.

Publication Date: September 27, 2016

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14 Responses

  1. Devin

     /  November 3, 2016


  2. Lily

     /  November 18, 2016

    This was such a good book! Evelyn is an amazing character; I felt like I was holding my breath the entire story, waiting for the next plot twist. Great job, Matthew J. Kirby.


     /  February 16, 2017

    I absolutely love this book I read I every night before bed. Even though is scared me a little.

  4. Jamima

     /  June 12, 2017

    Hi Mr. Kirby! I’m a grade 10 student from canada. I’m doing a report about your book for my english class. I just wanted to know where you got the inspiration for this book, A taste for Monsters, and how does the book connect to you?
    PS: I LOVE YOUR BOOK ? I’m never really in to novels, but your book got me hyped up reading

    • Matthew

       /  January 31, 2018

      Sorry for being so slow in replying. I’m so happy you enjoyed A Taste for Monsters. The inspiration came from the moment I realized Joseph Merrick and Jack the Ripper were in the same part of London, at the same time. I knew I wanted to tell a story about that…

  5. Jeanette Brinkerhoff

     /  October 13, 2018

    I read this book in a matter of hours. I admit I was hesitant at first because one of the main characters was Joseph Merrick. He holds a special place in my heart. You did him justice as the beautiful soul that he was. I enjoyed the book thoroughly. Well written, kept my interest, and well rounded characters. I also enjoyed the idea that JtR was someone unexpected.

    I’m glad that this book was a Beehive book because I wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise.
    Well done!
    From a Utah Booklover

  6. Octiva Reilly

     /  October 21, 2018

    Please make a second one it was so good

  7. Octiva Reilly

     /  October 21, 2018

    Also I sent you an email

  8. Chris austin

     /  November 18, 2018

    Great book, very suspenseful and emotional. I felt I had a connection with Mr.Merrick and Evelyn.

  9. Chris austin

     /  November 18, 2018

    I am doing a book report right now on this book for 9th grade

  10. Gretchen A Van Lente

     /  January 17, 2020

    I just picked up The Taste of Monsters, the fabulous title drove me to it, and I read on because the language and story were both great, and now I am reading that it’s a children’s book? Is it a crossover?

  11. William Sullivan

     /  November 10, 2020

    We’ve chosen this as our Book Club book for this month. I already have students praising, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thank you, Mr. Kirby!

    Tooele County Schools


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