High Wire in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva mysteries Book 9) by @harrietsteel1 #HistFic #BookReview for #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Harriet Steel

Kindle Edition

Category: Historical Fiction, Cosy Mystery, Book Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Much to the delight of the locals, a colourful Russian circus rolls into Nuala, but the fun ends abruptly when, on the opening night, a tragic accident takes place.

Shanti de Silva and his wife, Jane are among the crowd to witness the accident. Or was it an accident? Inspector de Silva senses murder, and soon, he’s juggling with the evidence. Will the trail lead to the circus’s dashing stunt rider and master of horse, Alexei Goncharov, or to Alexei’s brother Boris, its boisterous ringmaster?

The racecourse in Nuala was busy, but not for the racing. The Russian circus had come to town with its colourful wagons and big top. Excitement had built with the appearance of posters advertising trapeze artists, jugglers and high wire, even a snake charmer—de Silva’s dislike of the reptiles causing him to shudder at the thought—along with several other acts.

It was full house for opening night and all was going well with the dance troupe opening the show, followed by the rest of the acts, until there was what looked like a terrible accident during the high wire walk. Inspector Shanti de Silva was in the audience with his wife, Jane and their friends, Doctor and Mrs Hebden, so de Silva and Dr Hebden were able to be first on the scene.

So tense that you could almost touch it, a hush had fallen over the audience. The low, pulsing beat of the drums heightened the apprehension that filled the air. Every time Tatiana paused, there were gasps of alarm. A pain throbbed behind de Silva’s eyes. He felt as if he was making the slow walk with her. At last, the end of the wire was not far away. Tatiana turned her head a fraction towards the audience; he glimpsed a smile of mischievous triumph on her face. She took another step closer to the tower, and the audience exhaled a collective sigh of relief. Soon she would be safe. Clapping began to swell.

And then it died.

De Silva suspects this was no accident and that he was looking at a murder, but wonders if his hands are tied as his superior, Archie Clutterbuck, believes the suspicious death of a foreigner isn’t a matter for the Nuala police. But as de Silva was questioning the circus folk another body was discovered.

High Wire in Nuala is another enjoyable mystery, set in the evocatively described Ceylon of the 1930s, capturing the sense of place and the contrast between cultures. The rich, multicultural way of life is still evident but also with the possibility of changes on the horizon. It was lovely once again to get reacquainted with the engaging characters at the heart of the series.

The well thought through plot unfolds at a steady pace as de Silva’s investigation leads him to uncover much more than he initially expected.

I chose to read and review High Wire in Nuala for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

About the Author

Harriet Steel is a British author who writes a series of widely praised, atmospheric mysteries in a traditional style. A few years ago, she spent time on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka and this is where they are set, but in the 1930s rather than the modern day, when it was still the British colony of Ceylon. Her love of history, art, and travel influences her writing, and she also published four historical novels before turning to crime.
Born in London, her family then moved to a farm in the country where she grew up. She later studied law at Cambridge University and was a lawyer for many years before becoming a writer. She would love to go back in time and spend a day having lunch with Hercule Poirot, tea with Miss Marple, and dinner at the Ritz with Lord Peter Wimsey.
If you would like to get in touch with her or find out more about her work, here are her social media links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook

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