Title: The Campbell Curse
Series: DS Billings Victorian Mysteries: Book Three
Author: Olivier Bosman
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 135 Pages
Category: Historical Mystery
At a Glance: The Campbell Curse is absolutely entertaining and a page turner, an excellent addition to the series, and I’m looking forward to the next installment!
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: The year is 1892. While touring Britain with her production of Macbeth, the famous American actress, Carola LeFevre, receives an anonymous death threat . Detective Sergeant John Billings from Scotland Yard is appointed as her personal security guard. Billings is thrown into a theatrical world of gossip, intrigue and temper tantrums, but things take a darker turn when the tour heads for Edinburgh. A great tragedy befalls Miss LeFevre and Billings becomes embroiled in a horrific crime which appears to be the consequence of an ancient Scottish curse.
Blurring the line between reality and superstition, The Campbell Curse is a dark, gothic mystery which touches on our deepest fears. This is the third full length novel in the series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone story.
Review: Chief Inspector Flynt has just given Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant John Billings two tickets to a performance of Shakespeare’s MacBeth. Billings has been placed on assignment to protect American actress Carola LeFevre, who has received a death threat. Not only is Billings disappointed about the assignment, but he now has to find someone to accompany him to the theatre. If anyone were to find out he didn’t use the extra ticket, they would realize how alone and friendless he is, so he’s left with no choice but to invite Clarkson, with whom he has hopes of gaining a closer friendship. But things don’t turn out as planned.
Billings’ priority is to protect Carola, which is a headache in itself. Protecting the high-strung, snooty actress isn’t easy, and the assignment turns out to be even messier when Billings has to travel to Edinburgh with the production. There he meets Catherine “Kitty” LeFevre, Carola’s nine-year-old daughter and the cause of a domestic dispute, as well as Mary Wesley, understudy to Carola and Kitty’s caretaker, and the interesting Hal Westbrook, companion to Carola. Along with the curse of Megan Malone, ghosts, a séance and a few bothersome characters, Billings finds himself in the midst of murder and an abduction, which leads to his being suspended and under suspicion, but he’s bound and determined to connect clues to solve the twisted case.
I believe I mentioned this before, but Billings is not a Sherlock Holmes type character. He makes mistakes but is persistent in getting others to see his point. As part of being a detective, Billings begins to study Alphonse Bertillon’s book. Bertillon worked for the French police and studied biometrics and anthropometry, which led to an identification system based on physical measurements.
John Billings grows in this novel. He still has his addiction problem, and his sweet companion Tilly, and he also struggles with an unhealthy infatuation of sorts with Clarkson. It’s difficult at times to hide his feelings and the hurt that comes to the surface. Meeting Hal Westbrook, however, has Billings examining his life choices more closely, and he makes a very important decision. I’ve liked Billings from the very beginning of this series and always felt sad for him, but this novel sees a major change in him and brings him into the light.
Author Olivier Bosman claims it takes him a long time to write a novel. The Campbell Curse was worth the wait. It’s absolutely entertaining and a page turner, an excellent addition to the series, and I’m looking forward to the next installment! With the narrative descriptions and turns of phrase, he takes us back in time, to England in the late 1800s, and I like the way the story was constructed, with the Campbell diary coming into play at the right intervals. As for the mystery, the plot was excellent and has all the right elements and suspicious characters.
You can buy The Campbell Curse here:
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