Have you ever taken a
cruise? If so, where have you gone? I have never been on an ocean cruise, and
with a husband that gets seasick, I don’t think it’s in my future. I have been across Lake Michigan many times on
the SS Badger and that is a fun cruise.
Under a Veiled Moon by
Karen Odden is a historical mystery novel set in 1878. The wooden pleasure craft Princess Alice has
collided with an iron-hulled collier, the Bywell Castle, on the River Thames. This disaster killed hundreds of people and
was the worst maritime disaster in London history. Was this truly an accident or
was it a sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood? Scotland Yard Inspector, Michael Corravan in
on the case. His investigation is made
more difficult by the fact that he is Irish born himself and the newspapers
have whipped up a frenzy of anti-Irish sentiment.
I greatly enjoyed this historical
mystery. I thought Michael Corravan was
an intriguing character and I loved learning more about him and his world. The novel does a great job of world building in
Victorian London, giving the reader a sense of walking through the streets and
seeing the City as it once was. It also
gave a good description of politics and prejudices at the time. I found the mystery to be intriguing and read
through this relatively quickly as I wanted to know what would happen next. The
writing was very compelling.
Under a Veiled Moon is
the second novel in the Inspector Corravan Mystery series with the first novel
being Down at a Dark River. I read this
as a stand alone novel and it worked. I do want to go back now and read Down at
a Dark River.
The ending was good and
left me intrigued to find out more about Inspector Corravan’s past. The author also had a great note explaining the
real history of the events in the novel.
There are also great questions for a book club to use.
Long time readers of my
blog will know that I am always looking for wastewater or water treatment in
books I read as I am an environmental engineer and I focus on wastewater compliance
with my job. I was interested in this
novel that they referenced Erith as London’s sewage treatment plant and the
Crossness Pumping Station. I took a look
on Wikipedia and found a beautiful picture of this pumping station. It is much more architecturally beautiful
than the wastewater plants I usually visit.
Edward, the Prince of Wales, opened this pumping station. Why did it stink so much in the novel when
they pass by in the river in 1878?
Pumping stations were used by big cities at the time to pump wastewater
out in the waterways away from the city.
Positive, it’s out of the city, but negative, it’s now in your river,
lake, estuary, or ocean. This was the
start of wastewater treatment, but many advancements would take place of the
next fifty years including at this particular pumping station. I was intrigued to see it’s now a museum so I’m
adding to my list of things I want to see in London. My wastewater sidebar is now over . . .
“We all carry pieces of
our past with us. Sometimes they’re
shiny and worthy as new half crowns in our pockets. Sometimes they’re bits of lint or scraps of
paper shredded beyond use. Plenty of my
memories carry a stab of regret or a burn of shame with them, and honestly,
there are times when I wonder how we all bloody well live with the fool things
we’ve done.” – Great opening paragraph.
“I hadn’t meant
that. But there was no point in
speaking. I’d felt loss like his before,
a loss that shredded all reason, a loss that tore language from its meaning, so
that nothing anyone said made a whit of difference.”
Overall, Under a Veiled
Moon by Karen Odden is one of the best historical mysteries I’ve read this year
and I am eager to read more by this author.
Review Copy from author
Karen Odden as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you! I received a complimentary copy of
this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Title: Under a Veiled Moon
Series: An Inspector Corravan
Mystery (Book 2)
Genre: Historical Mystery, Detective Mystery,
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
(October 11, 2022)
Length: (336) pages
· Format: Hardcover,
eBook, & audiobook
· ISBN: 978-1639101191
Tour Dates: November 14 – December 19,
tradition of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, a fatal disaster on the Thames and a
roiling political conflict set the stage for Karen Odden’s second Inspector
Corravan historical mystery.
September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess
Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell
Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears
apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the
worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage
by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to
restoring Irish Home Rule.
For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by
the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. Accused by the Home
Office of willfully disregarding the obvious conclusion and berated by his
Irish friends for bowing to prejudice, Corravan doggedly pursues the truth,
knowing that if the Princess Alice disaster is pinned on the IRB, hopes for
Home Rule could be dashed forever.
Corrovan’s dilemma is compounded by Colin, the youngest Doyle, who has joined
James McCabe’s Irish gang. As violence in Whitechapel rises, Corravan strikes a
deal with McCabe to get Colin out of harm’s way. But unbeknownst to Corravan,
Colin bears longstanding resentments against his adopted brother and scorns his
As the newspapers link the IRB to further accidents, London threatens to
devolve into terror and chaos. With the help of his young colleague, the loyal
Mr. Stiles, and his friend Belinda Gale, Corravan uncovers the harrowing
truth—one that will shake his faith in his countrymen, the law, and himself.
exceptional sequel . . . Fans of Lyndsay Faye’s Gods of Gotham trilogy
will be enthralled.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
skulduggery with a heaping side of Irish troubles.” —Kirkus Reviews
police superintendent Michael Corravan is back in a gripping sequel about
the mysterious sinking of the Princess Alice. Odden deftly weaves together
English and Irish history, along with her detective's own story, in a way
that will keep readers flipping pages long into the night.” —Susan Elia
MacNeal, New York Times bestselling author of Mother
Daughter Traitor Spy and the Maggie Hope series.
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her Ph.D. in English from New York University and subsequently taught
literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays
to numerous books and journals, written introductions for Victorian novels in
the Barnes & Noble classics series and edited for the journal Victorian
Literature and Culture
(Cambridge UP). Her previous novels, also set
in 1870s London, have won awards for historical fiction and mystery. A member
of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and the recipient of a grant
from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Karen lives in Arizona with her family
and her rescue beagle Rosy.
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