Death Descends On Saturn Villa (The Gower Street Detective Series) by MRC Kasasian
|Death Descends On Saturn Villa (The Gower Street Detective Series) by MRC Kasasian|
|Category: Crime (Historical)|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: The third Gower Street Detective novel drops March into mortal danger when Sidney leaves her home alone. Not the best of the series but it's still good through to its heart-thumping climax.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: June 2015|
|Publisher: Head of Zeus|
While the best personal detective in the known Victorian world (in his opinion anyway) Sidney Grice is away on a case, his ward March is left to her own devices. As luck would have it, one of those devices is an invitation to meet a previously unknown relative. March visits Saturn Villa with a sense of curiosity and encounters Uncle Tolly whose afternoon tea is one she will never forget. Let's hope she knows a good detective!
MRC Kasasian is back with the third in the Gower Street Detective series that has introduced us to the wonderfully Holmes-esque Sidney Grice and his long suffering ward with a mysterious past, March Middleton. This time out we meet March's just as mysterious Uncle Tolly; a jolly, eccentrically inept kind of a bloke with a lot more to him than we – or March – sees at first.
Actually, this is very much March's novel. She narrates each of the novels but this is her starring moment, although perhaps not the sort of story she'd have chosen for her solo centre stage moments, considering where it goes.
Although the written accusation claiming that Grice killed March's mother we start the book with puts our senses on edge, by the end of the novel that's the least of her worries. Grice appears from time to time to try to dig her out of various holes but there are things that even he can't solve; things that will exceed even the horror of her recollections from youth, childhood and gradually revealed journals – and that's saying something!
As always with this series, the story rushes along at a ripping rate, embellished by Grice's wonderfully fierce wit and moments that make us wonder how it was all done. The novel itself may be a fast, easy read but the solution to the crime is complex and not as obvious as a couple of the twists. (I'm betting that I won't be the only who yells 'March, just say no!' at the unhearing pages during her almost Groundhog Day experiences.)
Martin Kasasian also adds some delicious literary devices, such as the explanatory publisher's notes during the story that remain completely in character with the novel.
For me the moment when this novel slides a little is when, for perfectly understandable reasons, we change from the narration voice to which we've become accustomed (March's) over to Grice's diary entries. I love the guy to bits and it does make a fascinating change at first, but he isn't a good a writer as March.
In Grice's hands detail becomes all important (occupational hazard!) and the momentum drops. To be honest it was only the connotations and possible outcomes his piece was leading to that kept me riveted. Having said that, MRC's 'not as good' equates to a lot of other writers' 'very good' so it's not a showstopper.
Will there be a book 4? The way that the story ends (no spoilers!) ties things up to a certain degree as if there won't be and I can't find any internet hints of the author's future intentions. Personally I hope there will as I'd miss the laughter (mine, not Grice's – obviously!) and the brain-turning plots, not to mention March's possible chap, the amazingly devoted DI Pound. Come to think of it perhaps there are still ends out there for the tying or if not, a spin off? Pound of Scotland Yard perhaps… please?
(Thank you Head of Zeus for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: Please do catch up with Grice and March if you haven’t read books 1 and/or 2. If you're already a fan, we just as highly recommend another of the best Holmes pastiches around at the moment Shadowfall: A Novel of Sherlock Holmes by Tracy Revels.
You can read more book reviews or buy Death Descends On Saturn Villa (The Gower Street Detective Series) by MRC Kasasian at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Death Descends On Saturn Villa (The Gower Street Detective Series) by MRC Kasasian at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.