Daughters of Doubt and Eyerolling

Tag: mystery

News from the Belvedere

Or, the sixth book about the sleuthing adventures of Veronica Speedwell and Revelstoke Templeton-Vane. At the beginning of An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn, published 02 March 2021, Veronica and Stoker are helping setting up an exhibition in honour of a female mountaineer who died in an accident climbing the legendary ‘Teufelstreppe’ [fictitious mountain in a fictitious Alpine country].

As can be expected, they find evidence for the mountaineer’s death having been murder. Trying to investigate this, at Stoker’s loud refusal, leads the two of them down a very interesting path indeed; Veronica has to impersonate a head of state, while Stoker has to try and keep her alive as death threats arrive.

If you’ve read the previous five books, you know what happened at the end of book five, A Murderous Relation. If you further think that those events, which I am not going to spoil here, might influence the dynamic between the duo, you are wrong. The two of them still banter, the air between them still crackles, and it’s still great fun to read.

Okay, I’m going to say it, I love Veronica and Stoker. But I didn’t love this story as much as the ones before. For the main part, the twists were very predictable. When the previous books mentioned to surprise me here and there and I couldn’t put them away until I had read the story, this instalment I kept putting away for other books.

Anyway, the last lines hint at another story for Veronica and Stoker, and I will gladly come back to Victorian London to investigate whatever Deanna Raybourn has thought up for them.

March Buddyread Reveal

Our trusted booksellers at Otherland Berlin chose The Absolute Book by Elisabeth Knox as the March Buddyread.

While I have heard the name of the book, I knew next to nothing about it. After some googling, it seems to fall into the Mystery and Magical Realism genres, which the cover absolutely resembles.

Also, it is a book about books, and who doesn’t like that?

Female Journalist hunts Jewellery Thief

Deception by Gaslight (A Gilded Gotham Mystery) by Kate Belli, publishing date 6 October 2020.

The first book in a promising new mystery series. Set in New York in 1888, the year of Jack the Ripper. I actually expected at least a Ripper reference, but, although there was no such reference, the story did not disappoint. The journalist and socialite Genevieve tries to persuade her editor that she is the best reporter on the team to write about the infamous Robin Hood burglaries; jewellery has been stolen from the rich and famous and donations to the poor have been made. Since her editor doesn’t think so, and Robin Hood strikes very close to home, Genevieve teams up with Daniel, the broodingly handsome heir to a fortune. A man with a mysterious past, who might actually be Robin Hood himself.

Together the pair has to find out who Robin Hood is; why he suddenly started to murder people in addition to stealing their gems; how a secret business venture the rich are talking about behind closed doors fits into the story; and whether or not the two of them have feelings for each other.

The book wraps up nearly all of the questions, though the epilogue hints at another adventure of the two protagonists. Let’s hope I won’t have to wait too long to find out what the two have to uncover next.

3.5/5 Goodreads stars (that’s 4/5)

Solving Mysteries with a young ACD

The House of Hidden Wonders by Sharon Gosling, published April 2, 2020.

It’s the year 1870. We’re in Edinburgh, Arthur Conan Doyle is a medical student, but he’s not our main character. Our MC is Zinnie, a fierce young girl, trying to keep a roof over the heads of her sisters Sadie and Nell, and some sort of food on their table. This is how Doyle and Zinnie cross paths, Doyle pays Zinnie for small jobs – like recovering a pocket watch – which soon turns into solving mysteries.

Zinnie is a wonderful character, she’s loyal to her family and friends, she’s headstrong and intelligent. You know that she’ll prevail against all odds and that you can count on her to protect her siblings.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes their stories a little on the dark side, though not that dark, it’s a middle-grade after all. The historical figures included in the story don’t distract from Zinnie’s story or the mystery, they add to it.

The Palace of Lost Memories

The Palace of Lost Memories, After the Rift book 1, by C J Archer.

This is the third series by Archer that I am reading. The story follows Josie, a 24 y/o midwife and apothecary, also assistant to her father, the local doctor. She lives in a seaside town on the Fist Peninsula that has recently seen an influx of people due to the new king’s palace near the town that was build within mere weeks.

After having met some of the palace guards, Josie is hoping to get a chance to visit the palace and marvel at its beauty. That chance soon arrives when a female visitor to the palace is poisoned and her father is summoned to help.

Of course, Josie, together with the palace guards, tries to find out who poisoned the lady. She also wants to find out some of the other mysteries (no spoilers) that surround the palace and its inhabitants.

Worldbuilding: The Fist Peninsula is a fictional place that sounds very much like Britain in the 18th or 19th century; Josie has learned a lot about medicine as her father’s assistant, but is not allowed to go to university, no woman is. The possible magic that is hiding in the palace is not further explained, but Josie and her friends hint at magic at play.

Characters: Josie is a young woman who knows what she wants. She can stand her ground, has brains to use and isn’t easily intimidated; still, she has to obey the written and unwritten rules of her time, but she pushes the boundaries whenever it seems in order. Hammer, the handsome captain of the guards, is the possible love interest. We don’t know much about Hammer, for a reason (spoiler), but he seems to be a trustworthy fellow, even if he keeps telling Josie she shouldn’t trust him. The secondary characters are fleshed out convincingly and round up the narrative.

Overall: I listened to the audiobook narrated by Marian Hussy. It was a good narration and I enjoyed my time spent at the Palace of Lost Memories. CJ Archer’s books are my brain candy, if you want.

3.89 stars out of 5.0 (Glass and Steele will always be my favourite, sorry-not-sorry)

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