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Death in the Spires: A completely gripping…
Indlæser...

Death in the Spires: A completely gripping and addictive historical mystery (udgave 2024)

af KJ Charles (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
557473,146 (4.4)7
Medlem:Alexandra_book_life
Titel:Death in the Spires: A completely gripping and addictive historical mystery
Forfattere:KJ Charles (Forfatter)
Info:Storm Publishing (2024), 272 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:****
Nøgleord:detective-stories, fiction

Work Information

Death in the Spires af KJ Charles

Indlæser...

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This one's quite the page-turner! Unlike Charles's other works it's very light on romantic relationships, but it still has the same wonderfully written characters and attention to historical detail I've come to expect of her writing.

Received via NetGalley. ( )
  amanda4242 | May 17, 2024 |
“He was frightened, and, once he recognised that, he realised he’d been frightened for a very long time, at a level so deep he hadn’t known it. One of the people he most loved had become a murderer, and he’d never trusted anyone again.”

They were students at Oxford, they were shining bright, clever and brilliant. There was friendship, there was love and longing. (Of course, they staged a play. Of course, it was Shakespeare.) Everything was so lovely and beautiful – on the surface, that is.

“He’s determined to make a reputation as the rudest man in Oxford.”
“No determination required. It’s effortless.”

Then there was a murder that was never solved, a murder that destroyed lives and loves and friendships.

This book is not really about the whodunit, it’s about the trauma, about living with loss of many things, about grief and a web of secrets and lies. (It also has a bit of romance and a possibility of second chances.) There is a smooth readability to the writing, and something very humane between the lines.

Ten years after the murder, one of them decides to investigate. Jem is an unlikely amateur sleuth – poor and broken. But he is stubborn, he is still clever, he can see patterns and think. And he is tired of being frightened. “That was a foul thought, planning to trap his friends into admissions, but they weren’t his friends any more, and one of them had murdered Toby.”

Ugly, foul things come to the surface. Yes, of course they do. Everyone’s emotional turmoil was very well written, I flew and flew through the last chapters. I hope the characters will heal and find peace. I really liked Jem, I’d like him to have many more evenings by the fire with his rediscovered friends, making tea and toasted cheese. ( )
  Alexandra_book_life | Apr 15, 2024 |
I got this for free via NetGalley.

I really wanted to like this book more and once Jem returned to Oxford and was in the same place as Nicky, I did find myself enjoying the story. Unfortunately, the first half of the book was a bit of a slog for me as I kept accidentally comparing it to two books I'd read recenlty(ish) that made big impressions on me.

First - the flashback scenes reminded me of Maureen Johnson's Nine Liars and not in a good way as I did not like that book very much. Though Nine Liars takes place at Cambridge instead of Oxford, and in a modern setting, Death in the Spires shared the same feeling of someone who didn't quite fit in with their friends who were prettier than them, richer than them, and probably in love with someone else. All of these things were parts of Nine Liars that I did not care for.

Second - I had the misfortune of starting this book not long after I finished reading RF Kuang's Babel, which is set in Oxford, though not at quite the same time. I absolutely loved Babel and it wrecked me so completely (I ugly cried quite a lot toward the end) that Death in the Spires was never going to measure up.

However, once we got out of the flashbacks and the settings changed a bit, things improved. I really think the second half of the book shines and the way the mystery unfolds is pretty satisfying. I do think I would have liked this better if I hadn't read Babel so recently, but I did. I'd probably recommend this, though. ( )
  callmecayce | Apr 8, 2024 |
K.J. Charles' Death in the Spires offers a solid example of one of my favorite mystery sub-genres: a queer, Oxford-based mystery set in the early 1900s. It has an interesting mix of central characters: five men, two women. The men range from very wealthy children of the peerage to a scholarship student acutely aware of the many ways he doesn't meet privileged Oxford norms, and another wealthy student, this one black, who can't blend in despite his wealth. The women both attend one of the non-degree-granting female colleges affiliated with Oxford at that time. One is wealthy (the twin sister of one of the men); the other is not.

The narrative moves between two timelines. There's the past part of the plot: this interestingly mixed crew spending time together at Oxford until one of them is murdered. The death remains unsolved and has broken all ties among the remaining six. In the present, we learn that all of the remaining six are hounded by those obsessed with the unsolved murder. Letter writers have suggested solutionsand made accusations. For several of the six such letters have also been sent to those who have the power to quickly alter the survivors' live for the worse—employers and a fiancee to be specific.

The gay male romance at the center of the novel satisfies. It's of the X only has eyes for Z, who only has eyes for Y with a freighted sexual relationship developing between X and Z. And those who appear welcoming and those who appear condescending are not necessarily what they seem.

I am very much hoping that this will be the start of a series. I would love to spend more time with these characters—especially as their renewed present day relationships develop.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley; the opinions are my own. ( )
1 stem Sarah-Hope | Mar 28, 2024 |
1905. Ten years after the murder of Toby Feynsham, one of the 'Seven Wonders' of Oxford University, Jeremy Kite, receives another anonymous letter accusing him of the murder, resulting in losing his job. He decides to finally find out the truth of that night.
An entertaining and well-written historical mystery with its varied and interesting characters. ( )
  Vesper1931 | Mar 25, 2024 |
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