I feel like I have found a gold mine myself! This historical mystery series by Canadian writer Sharon Rowse shows great development. While I am eagerly awaiting the third book in the series, I am also wishing I hadn’t found the series so early on – then I could sit down and devour them one after another.
The first book, The Silk Train Murder, came out in 2012 and has the best of all possible lines for a series set in the Klondike ~ “Shut the door! It’s bleedin’ cold out there.” This historical mystery is set in the late 1800s in Vancouver, BC, Canada. John Lansdowne Granville undertakes to clear his friend, Scott, of murder; gets a client who will pay for him to do so (making him a private detective even though detectives probably weren’t licensed at that time); gets beaten up as private detectives are prone to do and at the end forms a private detective agency.
This book’s strongest feature is not historical atmosphere, but this is Rowse’s first book and as such it was quite strong. Strong enough to be a nominee for the Arthur Ellis award. The book is notable for its interesting characters that make you want to know more about them.
The second book, The Lost Mine Murders (2013), was much stronger. Granville and Scott formed their detective agency in The Silk Train Murder and are now in need of a client. In walks Cole, with a map to a gold mine and a cache of gold, and hires them to help him get to the mine and bring out the gold. It’s the middle of winter and not a good time to take to the mountains.
Rowse’s characters are still strong, the historical atmosphere and the plot is better than her first. This is a series to enjoy. Bring on the third one, Ms. Rowse!