Tuesday, August 25, 2020

ARC Review: The Deadly Hours by Susanna Kearsley et al.

The Deadly Hours
Author: Susanna Kearsley, C. S. Harris. Anna Lee Huber, Christine Trent
Publication: Poisoned Pen Press (September 1, 2020)

Description: A stellar line-up of historical mystery novelists weaves the tale of a priceless and cursed gold watch as it passes through time wreaking havoc from one owner to another. The characters are irrevocably linked by fate, each playing a key role in breaking the curse and destroying the watch once and for all.

From 1733 Italy to Edinburgh in 1831 to a series of chilling murders in 1870 London, and a lethal game of revenge decades later, the watch touches lives with misfortune, until it comes into the reach of one young woman who might be able to stop it for good.

My Thoughts: This is a collection of four novellas by well-known authors of historical mysteries all featuring a cursed pocket watch.

In "Weapon of Choice" by Susanna Kearsley, the pocket watch finds itself in a supporting role in a plot to murder a relative of the exiled King James. The story is also a romance between recently married Hugh MacPherson and Mary Dundas who are apparently characters featured in another of the author's stories.

"In a Fevered Hour" by Anna Lee Huber moves the story one hundred years to 1831 and brings the cursed watch to Edinburgh where Lady Darby and her new husband Simon Gage are tasked with finding it by Bonnie Brock Kincaid since it seems to be causing problems for him. 

"A Pocket Full of Death" by Christine Trent takes place in 1870 where Violet Harper is an undertaker who is reburying a newly made Viscount's ancestors into a new family graveyard and discovers the pocket watch in the grave of the man being moved. 

"Siren's Call" by C. S. Harris moves the story to 1944 and brings the story of the cursed watch to a conclusion. It also tells the story of life in wartime Britain and the search for possible German spies. There is also a romance in this one.

I enjoyed all of the stories but liked "Weapon of Choice" the least probably because I felt like I should have known more about the main characters in the story. I've solved that one by purchasing A Desperate Fortune which tells the fuller story of those characters. I liked "Siren's Call" the best both because of the time period and because of the strength of the mystery.

Favorite Quote:
This was what he'd been trained to do, after all: peer at the mangled bodies of the dead and chase down their killers.

It had always struck Jude as a damned unpleasant way to spend your life.

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.


  1. The other couple in the Susanna Kearsley story come from another one of her books too!

  2. I've got this down on my Kindle so looking forward to reading it.


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