Lady Evelyn Carlisle has returned home to England, where she is completing her degree at St. Hugh’s, a women’s college in Oxford. Her days are spent poring over ancient texts and rushing to tutorials. All is well until a fateful morning, when her peaceful student life is turned on its head. Stumbling upon the gruesome killing of someone she thought she knew, Evelyn is plunged into a murder investigation once more, much to the chagrin of her friends and family, as well as the intriguing Detective Lucas Stanton. The dreaming spires of Oxford begin to appear decidedly less romantic as she gathers clues, and learns far more than she ever wished to know about the darkness lurking beyond the polished veneer. Can she solve the crime before the killer strikes once more, this time to Evelyn’s own detriment?
About the Author
Malia Zaidi is a writer and painter, who grew up in Germany and lives in the US. An avid reader and traveler, she decided to combine these passions, and turn her long-time ambition of writing into a reality. The Study of Silence is the third book in The Lady Evelyn Mysteries.
What I thought
Despite being the third book in the Lady Evelyn series it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the previous two; author Malia does a good job of introducing all of the new and existing characters.
Told from Evelyn, or Evie’s perspective I immediately was drawn to her as a character. Like any murder mystery “detective” Evie has a knack of being around when someone is killed. In this book she has returned from Greece and is studying Classics at Oxford. I loved the inclusion of Greek myth and history and how Evie makes the link between that and the case in question. I also really enjoyed the period it was set in (1926) and the exploration of Women’s Suffrage and the Impact of The Great War (World War 1). Through Evie the reader gets a nuanced observation of the times. I like how she is struggling with the concept of being a ‘modern woman’ whilst still being shackled by traditional expectations – especially that of the ‘ever-present-in-her- head’ Aunt Agnes. Evie’s own upbringing is very interesting and she is haunted by the death of her parents when she was young. I do wonder whether reading the earlier books in the series would have shed further light on that, or whether the series is even building up to exploring her history in more detail. Author Malia is already at work on the sixth Lady Evelyn mystery.
I found it intriguing how the red herrings started even before the murder, with me mis-guessing who the victim was going to be. And as ever suspicion on who the murderer is switches repeatedly.
I loved the link to the title and the concept of silence is really well explored in both subtle and more explicit ways.
If you are after a fast paced murder mystery with a swift denouement then this isn’t quite that read. But don’t let that put you off. Instead it is a clever exploration of love and the human condition in general with a well plotted murder mystery added. As with any good murder mystery series the story of the “detective” is also paramount and Lady Evelyn is a great character.
I will definitely be picking up the first two stories and continuing to read as each new book is released. Fans of the middle grade series Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens or the young adult series Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco should enjoy this adult series too.
Thank you to Malia and Jenny of Neverland Blog Tours for the eARC of the book for the purpose of this honest review.
Questions are dangerous but answers can be deadly.
Callie’s world will be lost to war – unless she can unlock the magic of an ancient manuscript. She and her friends will be sent to the front line. Many of them won’t come back. When a secret order tells her she can bring peace by reading from a book, it seems an easy solution – too easy. Callie soon finds herself hunted, trapped between desperate allies and diabolical enemies. The Order is every bit as ruthless as the paranormal Cadaveri.
Callie can only trust two people – her best friend and her ex-marine bodyguard. And they are on different sides. She must decide: how far will she go to stop a war?
Dare she read this book? What’s the price – and who pays it?
Commended in the Yeovil Prize 2016, this is an action-packed blend of adventure, fantasy and love story.
Louise Cole has spent her life reading and writing. And very occasionally gardening. Sometimes she reads as she gardens. She can be seen walking her dogs around North Yorkshire – she’s the one with a couple of cocker spaniels and a Kindle. She read English at Oxford – read being the operative word – and hasn’t stopped reading since.
In her day-job she is an award-winning journalist, a former business magazine editor and director of a media agency. She writes about business but mainly the business of moving things around: transport, logistics, trucks, ships, and people.
Her fiction includes short stories, young adult thrillers, and other stuff which is still cooking.
Her YA and kids’ fiction is represented by Greenhouse Literary Agency and she is also published on Amazon as one of the Marisa Hayworth triumvirate.
What I thought
I loved the opening paragraph which was so evocative.
“I’d never realized war could be so quiet. The National Service letters had whispered through our doors that morning. It seemed such thin pages should have torn under the strain of such a heavy message.”
Initially because of this I thought this was going to be an historical novel – I’d read the synopsis ages before so went into it blind, but then the horror dawned. It was set now. In the days of Facebook and terrorism: National Service – Involuntary Conscription for those eighteen and above was back.
Callie is seventeen so it’s not her time yet but instead she has another battle to face. One night she is handed a book and told not to read it but keep it safe. Then the ‘men’ start coming for her. The Cadavari with haunted eyes.
This reminded me a little of Buffy which I love. There is definitely a chosen one vibe. The book switches between first person POV from Callie and third person exploring other character’s points of view from the Cadaveri to Jace Portman the man who mysteriously gave her the book, saved her life, disappeared, and then turned up at her school as a supply teacher. Callie has two close friends Amber and Gavin who are quickly pulled into the action and her ex Alec who she’d prefer to be far from it.
I really enjoyed Louise’s writing style and the book is quite fast paced. We get into the action quickly. I liked the mix of an almost dystopian near future with the threat of war and National Service with the Supernatural elements. As I said before fans of Buffy, and of Cassandra Clare should enjoy this. And it is great to see a UK based fantasy too.
Thank you to Louise and Faye for the e-copy for review. Opinions are my own. The follow up book ‘On Holy Ground’ will be going up on KDP Select shortly, I’ll definitely be ‘Reading’ it. I just hope the Cadavari don’t show up for me 😜.
Do check out the rest of the tour stops to see what everyone else thought.