Book Review: The Rose Petal Killer by Marc Everitt

Lord Sebastopol is in trouble again!  Arrested in relation to a murder he supposedly solved years before, Victorian England’s finest amateur detective has to persuade the police that he didn’t falsely accuse the wrong person.  Relating the tale of how he identified the Rose Petal Killer, Sebastopol and his faithful colleague, Bryers, find themselves caught up in a fresh wave of murders. The Rose Petal Killer might be a figure from his past, but Sebastopol is about to find out that buried secrets have a way of resurfacing, and they’re clawing their way into the present to threaten his credibility, and perhaps his life.

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My Review

I didn’t read the first Lord Sebastopol novel, but this one stands on its own. The police accuse him of misleading them in a previous investigation and are talking about charging him for causing recent murders through negligence. He has to explain his reasoning when solving a previous murder attributed the the Rose Petal Killer when there are more murders appearing.

As an American, I found Lord Sebastopol a bit off-putting. He was funny at times but downright cruel at other times; and he was so entitled!

Lord Sebastopol’s explanation of his deductions seems sound, and close to the end of the story, the police and the reader are convinced that he correctly solved the murder. Could he have actually been wrong? Is his logic infallible? The reader is left to wonder.

The Rose Petal Killer is a murder mystery that’s a quick and enjoyable read.

Excerpt

“Lord Sebastopol,” said the commissioner, sounding contrite and almost humble despite his status. “You are right that we perhaps reacted rashly in the way in which we brought you here. That could have been handled better on our part, but the fact remains that this is a dire situation, and we are in a lot of trouble. Heads will roll, and I am afraid that mine will be one of them. Not to put too fine a point on this, I would be surprised if yours were not to follow. If punitive legal means are not applied to you for your part in this matter, then at the very least, you can expect the newspapers to run with it and make such a fuss about what happened that you will effectively find that your career as a detective will swiftly come to an end. It is in all of our interests to get to the bottom of this and try to prepare a coherent argument as to what went wrong and what could have been done to prevent it.”

“Commissioner,” Sebastopol said patiently as if talking to a backwards child, “nothing went wrong, save of course, for the death of Lady Wolstencroft and the unforgiveable time it took me to get to the heart of the matter. The man we apprehended was the Rose Petal Killer; I am convinced of that.”

“But…”

“I am not denying that there is someone out there who is a dangerous killer, and one that has a similar sickness of mind to the Rose Petal Killer, maybe even someone who venerates the killer and wants to follow in his footsteps. No doubt that we need to catch this blackguard and that this matter is exigent, but to say that they are somehow connected to the Rose Petal Killer themselves is sheer folly, I can assure you.”

About the Author

Marc Everitt has written and published 10 books including 2 standalone science fiction novels, a haunted house book, a race against time contagion thriller, 2 short stories and the stunning space opera trilogy ‘Days of Entropy’. 6 of these are also available as audiobooks. Most recently, he has gathered the suspects in the drawing room for the dramatic reveal in a murder mystery. Marc lives in Wiltshire, England with his wife, three children, two dogs and a bossy cat. Marc has a degree in English Literature & Philosophy from the University of Hertfordshire and is a ltd co director in financial services.