The Connicle Curse

Written by Gregory Harris
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In the late 19th century, Mrs. Connicle asks Private Detective Colin Pendragon and his partner Ethan Pruitt to investigate the murder of her husband at the Connicle Estate. She is distraught, and they later learn she has a history of mental instability. Scotland Yard, under Senior Inspector Emmitt Varcoe, is already on the case. The inspector has had an extreme dislike of Pendragon and initially refuses to cooperate with him, leaving him to ask for help from his father, Sir Atherton Rentcliff Pendragon. Upon receiving a permit allowing them to assist Scotland Yard, the murder soon turns into a missing person case. Soon two more bodies are found near the estate: the first is the black landscaper, and then a neighbor of the Connicles. The investigation soon leads Pendragon into a potential voodoo-related killing with a possible serial killer on the loose.

In this latest in the Colin Pendragon series, the author has developed interesting but unusual main characters – both Pendragon and his assistant are gay men living in Victorian England. Of course they have to keep their relationship secret from the public, but it does add to an interesting character study. I found the book an interesting blend of mystery and English history, as the cost of living a wealthy lifestyle in 19th-century England can have its downside. The action is solidly paced throughout, providing for an exciting and satisfying climax.

This is a fine mystery series, and I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy a good mystery.