Book Review | Death in the Sound by Rhen Garland

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog tour.

Book Description

Death in the Sound; The Versipellis Mystery Series Book Two.

The year is 1900, responding to a desperate plea from an old friend, Elliott, Giselle, and Thorne, accompanied by Veronique the Labrador, travel from England to New Zealand to unravel a new and complex mystery.

For his daughter’s twenty first birthday, Millionaire philanthropist Octavius Damant orchestrates a weekend party aboard the Taniwha, a luxurious paddle steamer moored in the primordial and isolated landscape of Milford Sound.

Several high society guests are invited to their remote home for the celebrations; Sir Wesley Eade, society lawyer and his beautiful but icy mistress Lady Leonora Carlton-Cayce, Dona Carla Riva, a flamboyant Brazilian dancer, and Carolyn Nolloth, O.D’s estranged sister-in-law who has a great love of other people’s money.

But O.D is the subject of persecution; a series of anonymous letters accuse him of past crimes and threaten the life of his daughter unless he gives in to their creator’s poisonous demands.

Elliott, Giselle, and Thorne discover the odds stacked against them when an unforeseen murder is committed, and they find themselves trapped aboard the Taniwha with a killer who will seemingly stop at nothing to achieve their ends.

As the body count rises, they must unravel the clues and piece together a devilish jigsaw that includes blackmail, extortion, desire, and the reappearance of the fabulous Larkspur Diamond, a gemstone with a past as murky and blood soaked as that of the relentless killer on board.

Set in the late Victorian era, with a touch of the odd, and a twist of the macabre, “Death in the Sound” continues the crime solving, paranormal escapades of Elliott Caine, Giselle Du’Lac, and Abernathy Thorne.

Book One, “A Portrait of Death” was released in 2018.

Kindle UK:
Paperback UK:
Amazon US:
I was provided with a copy of the book as part of
the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

My Review

Tessa Talks Books rating: Rave

Death in the Sound is a gruesome murder mystery with endless surprises and plenty of suspense.

Favorite character: Flatworld Witch, Madam Aquileia

Aquileia intrigues me.  I want to know more about her – her past and her powers.  I loved the mystery that shrouds her like a shield.  She is a psychic whose name means water diviner, which to me, implies that she has more powers than just being able to sense people’s emotions.

What I Liked

I loved the paranormal aspect very much.  The detectives and detectives’ partners are mysterious and powerful.  I only saw glimpses of their powers, but it was enough to make me want to know more.  I do know that there are skin changers and reborn as well as abilities such as being able to take over someone else’s body, moving in shadows, and divining.  The paranormal aspect is a complex subplot and adds a different type of mystery to this mystery series.

I love the setting of the Victoria era.  This era has always been one that interests me with its conventions and rules, beautiful dresses, and gallantry.  To see those conventions work within the gruesome murders added a dimension that I wouldn’t have noticed if set in current times.  And having the murderers, victims, and bystanders all trapped on one little boat made it feel, at times, like the group consisted of two small groups: murderers and victims. Because I was pretty sure the murders were going to make victims of everyone before they could find a way off the boat.

I also loved the format for solving the mystery.  The detectives, who were asked on board for a different though related reason, first go about searching everyone’s room, then call each person in for an interview. For the big reveal – everyone came together, and the detectives revealed the murderer.  There are plenty of actual clues and red herrings for puzzle lovers to solve the mystery before it is disclosed.

What I Wish

I wish I had made a glossary of names as I went.  I often became confused about who was who and that slowed down my reading quite a bit.

To Read or Not to Read

If you’d like a gruesome, game-of-clue-type mystery mixed with the paranormal – you’ll love this new book by Rhen Garland!

About the Author

Rhen Garland lives in Somerset, England with her folk-singing, book-illustrating husband, approximately 4000 books, an equal number of ancient movies, and a large collection of passive-aggressive Tomtes.

She enjoys the countryside, peace, and Prosecco and the works of Ngaio Marsh, Glady Mitchell, John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson, Agatha Christie, Simon R Green, and Terry Pratchett.

“I watch far too many old school murder mystery films, TV series, and 1980s action movies for it to be considered healthy.”

“Death in the Sound” is a murder mystery thriller with paranormal touches set in late Victorian England and is the second book in the Versipellis Mysteries Series, book one “A Portrait of Death” was released in 2018.

5 Replies to “Book Review | Death in the Sound by Rhen Garland”

  1. A Clue-type mystery? Isolated location? Victorian era? Paranormal aspects?
    What’s not to like, LOL!
    This is going on my wish list and TBR. Off to Amazon to check it out in more detail.
    Sounds like a great book!

    Liked by 1 person

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