Historical fiction, Mystery

A Portrait Of Death (The Versipellis Mysteries Book 1) by Rhen Garland

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I had this book with me for a while before I picked it up. Once I started, though, it was a surprisingly quick read. I say surprisingly because it is a historical mystery with heavy tones of espionage and treason mixed in.
It begins with a very dramatic murder but quickly moves on to a sedate house party in England. This select group of people are going to be shaken up plenty before the party is disbanded. We are introduced to all the people in the house, and for once, I have come across a book with strained relations between the downstairs staff (the ones I have read usually shows them as a team against the upstairs). There are harsh words exchanged, and many people show their ugly side before the actual incident(s) occur.
The detectives come into the picture quite late in the narrative and then move quickly to safeguard the people involved and wrap it all up in a day or two! The logical analysis and the characters introduced seemed very fleshed out and unique (from each other) given the short introductions we had to them all. Once the investigation began, I found it hard to find a point to set it aside and ended up reading it in longer sittings. There is a more subtle love story sort of thing in the background that seemed a little off for the theme here, but I think it would have been better brought into focus in the second book.
I must warn the reader that it is more graphic than others I have read based on that time (almost akin to the more contemporary thrillers) but other than that made for interesting reading. I wavered between making the right guess and the wrong but never settled on the culprit till the revelation.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley, the review is entirely based on my own reading experience of this book.

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