Friday, June 16, 2017

Sophia Rose Reviews - A Darker Shore by Malia Zaidi

It's time for Sophia Rose to take over the blog again, so sit back and enjoy her review of A Darker Shore.
Sophia Rose take it away!

A Darker Shore by Malia Zaidi
#2 Lady Evelyn Mystery
Historical Mystery
Publisher:  Bookbaby
Published: 12.13.16
Pages: 383
Rating: 4
Format: eARC
Source:  author

GoodReads Blurb:
1926: A year has passed since the events of "A Poisonous Journey" and Lady Evelyn has made a home for herself in Greece, living with her cousin, Briony, her husband, Jeffrey and Daniel Harper. Disturbing this island idyll is a letter, which arrives from France with troubling information about the Daniel’s long-believed-dead brother, Henry. A new journey awaits! With the shadows of the Great War reaching out, Lady Evelyn and Daniel voyage to Amiens in Northern France with the aim of discovering the truth behind the ominous letter. Upon their arrival, they are met not with clarity but rather with crime. Murder, to be precise. Is it linked to their presence in France, or even worse, to Henry himself? Evelyn and Daniel must confront their history as they try to make sense of the present before the killer can strike again, and the secrets of the past are lost forever.

Sophia's Review––

The world of the 1920's era is a fascinating time and I enjoy when I come across a book/series that takes me there while at the same time providing an engaging story and a cunning mystery.

A Darker Shore is the second in the Lady Evelyn mystery series behind A Poisonous Journey.  In a pinch, a reader could get by with skipping A Poisonous Journey, but I would caution against that since this very much felt like an ongoing story from the first one just with a new series of mysteries for Evelyn and Daniel to tackle.

A Darker Shore opens about a year after the events of the first book.  The first book was engaging and I enjoyed it, but it was this one that made me connect deeply with the story and the characters.  The story is told entirely first person point of view by Evelyn and so her thoughts and development is the deepest, but I found Daniel's story along with that a few others had me riveted.  The author does a great job of sketching in the minor characters so they have a personality and backstory of their own.

The mystery was good and twisting though happily I worked out a few pieces before the reveals and even nailed the killer well before the end and why.  That said, it didn't captivate me half as much as the personal struggles people encountered and had to work through.  Post-war PTSD trauma, survivors' guilt, and grief were a strong thematic element, but at the same time, it was balanced with recovery, treatment, and family all fitting in the historical and social climate at the time in that part of the world.  Good balance of historical with suspense and character plots.

I did have the urge to shake Evelyn until her teeth rattled the way she flutters back and forth in her head when it comes to Daniel and when it comes to her adult responsibilities back home that she was ignoring.  She loves him, but she has cold feet.  But, that was just a few moments.  For the most part, I was thrilled to see she has grown up a great deal from the immature, stubborn woman of the first book who charged right into the middle of everything because she thought she knew best.  She was out of her element completely in this one and it was good for her, I think, because then she saw herself and others in a way she hadn't before.

The mystery is solved along with a few other personal mysteries for side characters and the story ended on a high note.  Evelyn's life still has more room for mysteries and I will happily take the journey with her.

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author’s Bio:
I am the author of A Poisonous Journey and A Darker Shore, the first two novels in the new Lady Evelyn Mystery series.
I am a painter and enthusiastic traveler and have lived in Germany and the US, though my dream home is a cottage in the Cotswolds...
Check out my blog, The Princess and the Pen:
or get in touch here:

Sophia’s Bio:
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.
Sophia’s Social Media Links:

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