Book Review: The Dark Side of the Mirror by Pat Herbert

Twins sometimes run in families; in the Fentimans’ case, they positively stampede.

In 1937, Robert Fentiman is hanged for the murder of a barmaid. Twenty years later his ghost claims his innocence, and Rev Bernard Paltoquet is called on to help clear his name by the dead man’s son, Carl.

As Bernard and his pal Robbie begin their investigations, by a cruel twist of fate, another barmaid is murdered, who turns out to be the daughter of the first barmaid. And, by another twist of fate, Carl Fentiman is the main suspect.

A professional medium, with an unconventional use for a crystal ball, is called in to help solve both crimes, but she is as baffled as Bernard and Robbie. Meanwhile Bernard’s housekeeper, Mrs Aitch, has deserted the vicarage for a mysterious suitor….

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My Review

This is the seventh book in the Reverend Paltoquet Supernatural Murder series. I’ve read them all and enjoy them. Most of them have a bit of a dark side and a touch of paranormal along with some quirky regular characters.

The regular characters: Bernie (Reverend Paltoquet) can be a bit selfish, but he usually realizes that and tries to change and be more Christian-like. Robbie is a good doctor and believes himself to be a ladies’ man. My favorite recurring character is Mrs. Aitch. She seems cantankerous, but those close to her know that she’s got a big heart. I love that she speaks her mind no matter the consequences. It was nice to see her over the moon happy for once while dating her new beau.

The other characters in The Dark Side of the Mirror are related in some way to a murder that occurred 20 years ago. It is eerie how the twins in the Fentiman family seem to always be one good twin and one bad twin. I thought it was interesting, and realistic, that the police tended to focus on the bad twin for murders because of their disagreeable personalities (and their opportunity, of course).

The ending had a twist that I didn’t see coming for most of the book. I did feel like The Dark Side of the Mirror ended too quickly. I thought it was just me, but when I looked, the other books are longer than this one. It was still good, though. I definitely recommend the Reverend Paltoquet books. Each one stands alone, but they do reference things that happened in previous books once in a while.

About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England, and works as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked previously as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin. Pat has written eighteen novels to date including:

Other novels in the Rev. Paltoquet series:

The Bockhampton Road Murders
Haunted Christmas
The Possession of November Jones
The Witches of Wandsworth
So Long at the Fair
The Man Who Was Death
Sleeping With the Dead
The Corpse Wore Red
Seeing Double

The Barney Carmichael Crime series:

Getting Away with Murder
The Murder in Weeping Lane
The Mop and Bucket Murders

Also by Pat Herbert:

Death Comes Gift Wrapped
The Long Shadow
Once You Kiss a Stranger
UnOriginal Sin

Press/media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Pat Herbert’s literary agent)
Tel. 0208 292 5163