While my TOP favorite genres of books belong to fantasy and classics, I occasionally love to read mysteries. The book, House of Vesper Sands, is a gothic mystery and my 11th finished book of the year.
London, 1893; high up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O’Donnell’s Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow, but with questions: why does the seamstress jump from the window? Why is a cryptic message stitched into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of who seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances?
On the case is Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. Gideon Bliss, a Cambridge dropout in love with one of the missing girls, stumbles into a role as Cutter’s sidekick. And clever young journalist, Octavia Hillingdon sees the case as a chance to tell a story that matters- despite her employer’s preference that she stick to a women’s society column. As Inspector Cutter peels back the mystery layer by layer, he leads them all, at last, to the secrets that lie hidden at house on Vesper Sands.
By turns smart, surprising, and impossible to put down, The House on Vesper Sands offers a glimpse into the strange undertow of late nineteenth-century London and the secrets we all hold inside us
I bought this book at one of my favorite events at church. Once a year, a speaker from Park Road Books comes to Darrow Owens (a women’s group), and recommends a collection of books brought to church. House on Vesper Sands was one of them, and as she was talking about the book, I was reminded of my favorite mystery author——Agatha Christie, but been a while since I read her.
When it comes to mystery, you want to have fun being the detective. Plus, it has to be a page turner due to the kind of suspense that usually comes with the genre. “House on Vesper Sands” was a page-turner——I couldn’t put it down. It comes with different POVS, which eventually come together. You have three major character- that of Cutter, Bliss, and Octavia. Even though Cutter and Bliss are a team, in a way Octavia is acting like the detective as well. You have Cutter and Bliss’ POV and Octavia’s.
Octavia is also trying to figure out what happened- especially one specific case- that of Angela Tatton (who is also the girl Gideson Bliss is in love with). She actually figures out “who did it” first. Eventually, all three characters have to come together- as in ALL meet at Vesper Sands. There were multiple questions to ask—–“who were the Spiriters”, who did it”, what happened to (said character- not saying due to spoilers)
Yes, it is a gothic mystery—–that were several locations that were dark and barley any light. It did take a while till the characters finally came to Vesper Sands. As a matter of fact, so much was found out before going there- yes, there was some ghost-like stuff going on. It does have a haunting feeling at times.