DEATH DESCENDS ON SATURN VILLA
By M.R.C. Kasasian
Publisher: Pegasus Crime ( c.2015 – “First Pegasus Books hardcover edition 2016”)
Kindle edition: $9.99
The Gower Street Detective series (Book 3)
Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel
Personal Detective Sidney Grice is as content as it is possible for him to be. Although his last case (THE CURSE OF THE HOUSE OF FOSKETT) had racked up quite a few murders, he is not dismayed. He was hired to investigate any suspicious murders of members of a last death club, not to protect the potential victims, and he achieved that goal. His success at solving the crimes netted him a hefty payment, and that was all that mattered. His ward, March Middleton, proved her worth as a detective during that investigation. He has begun to have some respect for her talents, and perhaps a bit of fondness: not that he’d ever tell her so.
Grice is pressured into taking a case outside his comfort zone, at a monastery north of London. While he is gone, March gets an unexpected, almost unbelievable letter from a man who claims to be her long-lost uncle. She wants to believe it, however, so she accepts his invitation to his palatial home. It is a night she will never forget, although she tries. Her purported uncle, Ptolemy Traver Smyth “call me Uncle Tolly,” is charming, likable, and convincing. His valet, Colwyn, is not as welcoming. In fact, he gives March the creeps. Uncle Tolly tells her that since she is his only living relative, and, since he has decided he likes her, he wants to leave his estate to her. She signs papers acknowledging his gift. They share a pleasant meal, good food, fine wine. She retires to her bedchamber, a little tipsy, to sleep. The next thing she knows, she’s in a living nightmare. She’s holding a knife, and she’s stabbing her uncle in a grisly frenzy. Fade to black.
March wakes up in the morning, not knowing if what she witnessed at Saturn Villa was real or a terrible nightmare. In the weeks to come, she is involved in three brutal murders, is arrested, kidnapped, beaten, and incarcerated in a mental institution. Those closest to her seem to have abandoned her. She is strong, resourceful, and brave, but can she survive these terrible blows?
This is the third in the highly engaging Gower Street Detective series, and it does not disappoint. The characters are fully rounded and delightful. The settings are vivid, revealing the Victorian world in all its smelly, noisy, crowded, enchanting glory. This book is highly recommended, as is the series.
Would you like to read our review of THE CURSE OF THE HOUSE OF FOSKETT? If so, please click here.
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