When I met Colin Pendragon for the first time in the pages of The Arnifour Affair, I was impressed. The whole concept of a Victorian era detective was intriguing. At that time, I had no idea what I was in for.
Remember the Harry Potter books? How they got increasingly violent and ‘dark’ Book 5 onwards? Well, something similar is happening here. The Arnifour Affair was high on deduction, or so I thought. The Bellingham Bloodbath was exactly what the name suggests, a bloodbath! And The Connicle Curse is going to make you puke your guts out. Unless you relish the graphic and gory details. Or if gruesome is your middle name.
Edmond Connicle has disappeared! His wife hires Colin and Ethan to investigate. Their nemesis Inspector Varcoe is already on the case. A badly burned corpse is discovered on the estate, and there is also some voodoo stuff found. Well, guess what? The police arrests an African servant of the Connicles. After some time, the woman’s husband is found dead which further complicates the case.
As always, there is another mystery that Colin has taken on. A wealthy Indian man, jeweler to the crown, finds some jewels stolen from his house. He has three daughters and a wife who seem to be obviously involved. At least Colin thinks so and that is why, he employs some street urchins to keep an eye on them. His guess is proved right, so at least this mystery is simple enough.
The Connicle lady is immersed in grief. Their neighbors on both sides are quirky enough. Ethan struggles with his own demons as usual. The suspense is maintained well, but as I said before, the book is a bit too gory for my taste.
I wish Colin Pendragon continues to employ his genius mind to solve crime, but I hope the next books are less graphic. That is of course my personal opinion. I am not sure how eagerly I look forward to the next one, if they continue in this vein.