Snifter of Death
The Bloodstone Series Book 2
The summer of 1889 was proving to be a strange one for Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner.
They had a sexual pervert loose. The man didn’t actually harm women but threatened them at knife point, fondling them, and ultimately stealing their stockings.
Far more serious were the murders of influential men, which appeared random other than they were all killed by arsenic poison. Never had he and his partner had cases with so little workable evidence.
Also, the rivalry between him and his detective nemesis at London’s other police department was intensifying. That
nemesis was the boxing champion of their department and looking to challenge Rudyard, who never trained as a
Besides Rudyard’s pride being at stake, and the pride of his station, his nemesis also had in his possession a scandalous photograph of the woman Rudyard cares very much for. The new lady in Rudyard’s life had captured his heart and he’d fight the devil himself to save her reputation.
The author does a brilliant job of capturing this era in history. The way the characters interact, their dialogue, and the descriptions of places all combined perfectly to place me within the story. I felt what it was like to live in 1889.
Thank you, Ms Karlsen, for sucking me into a book I couldn’t lay down. This is the first Chris Karlsen book I’ve read. Now I have to go back and read Book 1 of the Bloodstone series while I impatiently wait for Book 3.
“You were here yesterday. You sat there.” She pointed to a table for two in the front row.
Ruddy had never seen his brother at a loss for words. If only a moment could be bronzed in time.
“I’m gobsmacked you remember me,” Will said at last.
“What lady doesn’t remember a fine example of a man in service to her majesty?”
“You flatter me.”
“Are you with the Queen’s Guards here at the palace?” she asked.
“No. I’m just on leave in London. I’m deployed in India.”
Honeysuckle turned to Ruddy. She looked from him back to Will and then to Ruddy again. “You’re brothers?”
“Yes. And he does live here in London,” Will rushed to add.
She peered over her shoulder in a coquettish way that women do. “Is he mute?”
Ruddy hoped Will read his I’m going to kill you look. “No, he is not,” Ruddy jumped in with. “But he does have an irksome brother who blathers on unnecessarily before I can get a word out. I know from your poster outside that you’re the star, Honeysuckle Flowers. I’m Rudyard Bloodstone and the vexing man to your right is my brother Will.”
She gave each a warm smile accompanied by a slight feminine tip of her head. When she smiled and tipped her head Ruddy’s way, she kept her eyes up and on him. If he knew her even a little better, he’d have pulled her behind the curtain and kissed her. He knew a little about heat between a man and a woman and there was heat in those pretty green eyes she’d locked on him.
“May I buy you a drink?” he asked.
“No thank you, detective. Not before the show. But afterward, I’d love to share a bottle of champagne with your brother and you.”
A stunned Ruddy asked, “How did you know I was a detective?”
She put her forefingers to her temples. “Read it in the leaves of my afternoon tea.”
She’d said it with a straight face. Ruddy’s heart sank. The woman was mad as Mr. Carroll’s hatter. Or worse, she was part gypsy. He hated dealing with gypsies and their alleged metaphysical abilities. Whether it was reading tea leaves, or the Tarot, or crystal balls, they were all nothing but tricks to part a hard working person from their money.
Flowers burst into a laugh and then said with a tiny push to his chest, “You should see your face. You believed every word.” She turned to Will. “You did too, didn’t you?”
“In our defense you said it with such a serious face,” Will said, sounding haughtier than their upbringing justified.
“I am an actress.” She turned back to Ruddy. “I saw you and another gentleman this afternoon looking at the theatre posters. You pointed to something and your jacket moved and exposed your shield. I’m not one to delve into fortune telling of any kind.”
“That’s a relief,” Ruddy said and meant it.