My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
4.5 stars! A Darker Shore is the second book in ‘The Lady Evelyn Mysteries’ written by Malia Zaidi. I was first introduced to this series through the author’s blog last year. I followed for months, then decided to read the first book. I added the rest to my TBR, and when I saw the latest one available on NetGalley, I quickly purchased the middles ones so that I could catch up. The books are part historical fiction, part mystery, but more a study of life nearly one century ago on a different continent. It filled a lot of the check marks on things I like in books, which meant I was bound to enjoy the series… and enjoy it, I do!
In this caper, Lady Evelyn is living in Crete with her cousin, debating when to return to England to deal with everything she left behind earlier that year when the first book / murder took place. She and Daniel have continued dating, but Evelyn isn’t sure if he’s the right man for her. It’s 1926, and there are a lot of changes occurring for women in that part of the century. Luckily, Daniel is a very modern-thinking man, so she can rely on him to help her figure out what she wants. Then he gets a letter that one of his two brothers might not have died in France during the war. They decide to travel together to Amiens to search for his kin, and along the way, they discover the woman who told them Daniel’s brother might still be alive, has died. It appears like a suicide, but once the facts come out, it’s ruled a murder. Was it a neighbor? A friend in her church group? One of several family members with secrets worth keeping?
Zaidi transports you to another place and another time in this series. From the apropos use of language to the general approach and attitudes about life, you will feel the weight of a remarkable woman heavily tugging at your heart and mind. The war was horrific, and we see how it continues to impact several people nearly ten years later. Daniel must find out the truth, and Zaidi clearly shows us why he is so distraught and hopeful. Balanced equally well is Evelyn’s desire to find herself not through being Daniel’s girlfriend, but by being his equal on all levels.
I enjoyed meeting all the characters, some evil and some generous… but we don’t know which one might be lying to poor Evelyn. She’s generally a good judge of others, but this killer has a lot of history that (s)he can’t let go of with the victim. Seeing the painful choices made throughout the main characters’ lives, we understand why the murder happened. We may not like it, but it’s necessary. What’s even more compelling is that we never had a chance to meet the victim. Zaidi has shown us who she was through the memories of all the people surrounding her. What a fun way to unravel a mystery. I can’t wait to dive into the third book, which is on my schedule for the last week of April.
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.