Stardust in Nuala (An Inspector de Silva Mystery) by Harriet Steel #HistoricalFiction @harrietsteel1 #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

63313332._SY475_Author: Harriet Steel

Independently Published: November 2022

Category: Historical, Murder, Mystery


A celebrated Indian film company comes to Nuala, sprinkling its stardust over the quiet little town and keeping Inspector de Silva busy. With the end of the visit at last in sight, he looks forward to returning to a more peaceful existence, but a sudden death dashes his hopes. With Jane’s help and that of a new ally, he’s drawn into the turbulent affairs of a warring family.


A Bombay film company is shooting a drama, based on a Ceylonese legend, in Nuala and it’s up to Inspector Shanti de Silva to make sure all runs smoothly. As some scenes are bing filmed outside, reinforcements were brought in to make sure the fascinated crowds were kept under control. 

The well known film star, Dev Khan, owns the company which also includes members of his family. The final scenes have been shot and de Silva is looking forward to peace reigning once again in his normally sleepy town. Unfortunately a suspicious death puts paid to his hopes.

‘Don’t you see,’ a man was saying in a low, urgent tone. ‘If we do nothing, he’ll never let us be free to make a life of our own.’

A woman’s voice answered but her words were too muffled for de Silva to make them out. He watched as the shadows the couple cast on the side of the tent drew closer to each other and merged in an embrace.

There also seems to be something of a disturbance at the Residence, the home of Archie Clutterbuck, assistant government agent and de Silva’s superior. Small items are mysteriously disappearing and Clutterbuck’s dog is acting strangely. 

The murder investigation throws up complications as the victim was known for being conceited and self centred by those who knew him. His relationship with those people close to him was difficult, and his marriage seemed to have been a turbulent one. De Silva is informed he needs to tread carefully with his investigation as news of the death would no doubt provoke much speculation and more than likely a public outcry.

Set in 1941, the war hasn’t yet affected Ceylon and life in the hill town of Nuala goes on as usual. I enjoy revisiting the characters in this series, also the wonderfully atmospheric setting. De Silva and his wife, Jane, have a lovely relationship and she enjoys throwing ideas back and forth with her husband when he’s working on a case.

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


HarrietSteelHarriet Steel grew up in London and Wiltshire but now lives in Surrey. Married with two daughters, she has worked in fields from law to libraries. Her interests are travel, history and art, all of which have inspired the four historical novels she wrote before turning to crime with The Inspector de Silva Mysteries. She reads widely, but in the mystery genre is particularly fond of vintage mysteries. She would love to go back in time for a day and have lunch with Hercule Poirot, tea with Miss Marple, and dinner at the Ritz with Lord Peter Wimsey.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook


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