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Friday, December 4, 2015

Blackstone and the Balloon of Death by Sally Spencer

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: London, England at the start of the Twentieth Century.

First Sentence:  Lady Eustacia Wilton looked down at the letter she was holding in her trembling hands, and read it through once more.

The fifth novel in Spencer's Investigator Blackstone Series.

A murder is committed in front of a theater audience.  The lead actor is stabbed in the neck and falls to his death.  The lead actress holds the knife in her hands and screams.  That's how the play was written.  That's how the play has been performed.

But, tonight, the actor really does die.  And the knife is truly a murder weapon.

In the audience are Inspector Sam Blackstone and his friend Dr. Ellie Carr.  Blackstone begins investigating the death from a police detective's point of view.  While Dr. Carr (a practitioner of the new science of forensics) begins to study the actual cause of death.

In his investigations Blackstone unravels the intricate relationships between the actors, the theater owner, and an influential member of the aristocracy (Blackstone's particular nemeses).

Dr. Ellie becomes engrossed in the actual cause of the actors death.  She quickly realizes that she is faced with finking an extremely lethal form of poison.

Although both Sam and Ellie are working on the same case, they are not working together.  This fact takes its toll on their budding relationship.

Will Blackstone and Ellie discover the clues which will point the finger at the culprit?

Once again the author has penned an engrossing mystery tale.  I enjoyed it.

This novel has been republished with a new title.  I have included links for both versions of the book.


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