FROM PUBLISHER: Set against the fog-shrouded backdrop of turn-of-the-century London, Gregory Harris’s new historical mystery series introduces tenacious sleuth Colin Pendragon, and a case that illuminates the darkness lurking in the heart of one of England’s most noble families.
When a carriage bearing the Arnifour family crest–a vulture devouring a slaughtered lamb–arrives at the Kensington home of Colin Pendragon, it is an ominous beginning to a perplexing new case. Lady Arnifour’s husband has been beaten to death and her niece, Elsbeth, left in a coma. Is the motive passion, revenge, or something even more sinister? Police suspicions have fallen on the groundskeeper and his son, yet the Earl’s widow is convinced of their innocence.
Even as Colin and his partner Ethan Pruitt delve into the muddy history of the Arnifour family, a young street urchin begs their help in finding his missing sister. Ethan, regrettably familiar with London’s underbelly, urges caution, yet Colin’s interest is piqued. And in a search that wends from the squalid opium dens of the East End to the salons of Embassy Row, the truth about these seemingly disparate cases will prove disquieting, dangerous, and profoundly unexpected. . .
MY THOUGHTS: This was a somewhat interesting mystery novel. It certainly was a family affair, in more ways than one. I like thirty-eight year old Ethan Pruitt, the narrator, business partner and lover to Colin. They’ve worked together as detectives for twelve years. We don’t have much backstory on either one. I really wanted to know more about Ethan since he’s a recovering opium addict who grew up on the streets and that I find interesting. They’re a gay couple who live together but who knows they’re gay? Is that known by everyone they’re close to, house servants included, or do people just assume they are? Those answers weren’t given. Since this is the first in a series I feel all of that should have been established.
As for the murder itself, very interesting. All the secrets and drama that ensued near the end, ridiculous, mostly, and slightly farfetched.
There was a subplot involving a young missing girl. I was initially interested but soon became bored with it. Looking back I’m not sure what the point of adding that to a relatively short novel was.
One thing that irritated me in this novel, and this happens in most of the historical mysteries that I’ve read, was how one person figured who the killer(s) was/were right at the end and told everyone, then the killer(s) confessed to it all with no remorse.
I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.