The Cursed Baron – The Glorious Victories of Eleanor MacLeod Book One
The publisher’s note to the book says that The Cursed Baron fits in with other books Mayers has written like a puzzle. I’m glad I didn’t skip this note (as I do so often when reading for pleasure), because without it I would have assumed I was jumping into something I was wholly unprepared for, even with the assurance that it’s the first in a series. While enough information is provided that the reader can largely follow along, there’s still quite a bit to catch up on. There always is, when it comes to series set in an alternate universe. There’s far too much for me to sum up in a brief review, so I’ll get right to the meat of the matter.
This is a great book.
I will fully confess that I’m a sucker for anything set in an alternate universe. I love seeing how much things change and how much they stay the same. The Cursed Baron didn’t give me much of this, but since it’s only one piece in a much larger puzzle, I was perfectly willing to overlook that, especially as it also features two other genres I love: historical fiction and murder mystery.
The mystery takes place in the 1920s, with every character still reeling from the effects of World War I. The protagonist, Edmund Marriner, is suffering from shell shock and hesitant to visit an old friend of his, whose lungs were ruined during the war. In the end he is convinced, but this proves to be less a respite and more a new trial. Not long after he arrives, a young woman is found dead just after a sudden snowstorm cuts the manor off from the nearby town. The murderer is somewhere nearby, and it falls to Edmund and a strong-willed war nurse to solve the mystery before the guilty escape justice and an innocent man is hanged.
The mystery is well laid out, and I found myself trying to guess along with the protagonists, placing together what clues I was given. Mayers sets up the mystery well, hiding nothing the protagonists would know but still keeping enough details in the dark that I found myself falling for multiple red herrings. It was a thrilling read that I simply couldn’t put down, and once other readers get past the maze of introductions, they’ll find it just the same.
This specific series has five books, and it follows what is described as a seven-book epic. With this as a taster, I’m quite eager to dive into the others.
|Page Count||338 pages|
|Publisher||Grass Roof Publishing|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|