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Publisher's Summary

With all the wit of a Jane Austen novel and a case as beguiling as any in Sherlock Holmes' casebook, Paraic O'Donnell introduces a detective duo for the ages and slowly unlocks the secrets of a startling Victorian mystery.

London, 1893: High up in a house on a dark, snowy night, a lone seamstress stands by a window. So begins the swirling, serpentine world of Paraic O'Donnell's Victorian-inspired mystery, the story of a city cloaked in shadow but burning with questions: Why does the seamstress choose to jump out of that window? Why is there a cryptic message sewn into her skin? And how is she connected to a rash of missing girls, all of whom seem to have disappeared under similar circumstances?

On the case is Gideon Bliss, a young Cambridge dropout who is in love with one of the missing girls, and his partner, Inspector Cutter, a detective as sharp and committed to his work as he is wryly hilarious. There's also Octavia Hillingdon, a young reporter determined to tell stories that feel important despite her employer's preference that she write a women's society column. 

By turns clever, surprising, and impossible to pause, The House on Vesper Sands peels back the mystery layer by layer, offering in the strange undertow of late 19th-century London a startling glimpse at the secrets we all hold inside us.

©2018 Paraic O'Donnell (P)2021 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The House on Vesper Sands

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Overall a very good book. Narrator excellent

The reference to Sherlock and Jane Austin are a very big stretch. This novel takes place in the early 1800’s and there are sinister goings on, but those do not a Sherlock make.
The novel overall is very good and worth a credit. Interesting characters and I particularly like the Scotland Yard detective. Most were well drawn. The author captures the mood and appearance of London very well.
I could almost smell the mud and filth. The author has an outstanding ability to use the English language and I was captured many times by evocative sentences and descriptions.
The narrator is outstanding and voices are varied and easy to identify when he reads conversations.
The book could be a chapter or two shorter if much of the explanations and back ground story were better told, without as much explanation.
I have not researched the author yet however I will seriously consider their next novel.
I’m getting older and words don’t come to me as easily. I hope this review is useful even tho it’s a bit clumsy.

37 people found this helpful

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What a grand surprise.

I got this ether from audible plus or a 2 for 1. I enjoy the Victorian crime novels. I was about half way through this when I looked for the next installments to find this was the only one. Wonderful narrator. Intriguing story and all around enjoyable. I can’t wait for what I hope will be the 2nd installment in a new series.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely fantastic

Such a talented narrator and a surprisingly wonderful story. I just loved every part and it’s laugh out loud funny in parts.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Excellent performance

This was a fun read, full of quirky characters. Narrator did an amazing job with the different voices!

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastical Mystery! Absolutely Captivating!

Absolutely captivating! The narration was fabulous and the story and dialog impeccable! I just could not put it down.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Silly narration, will read instead

I had to stop listening to this book at 1 hour 19 minutes in--even though I find the plot intriguing. Nearly every character is given a sort of squeaky, Cockney-ish accent that is downright distracting.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

Loved the prologue / first chapter, but the story got distracted with the alternating POWs 😟. The character of Octavia was unnessecary. Narrator was excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not Interesting

Overly dramatic narrating. Wandering, boring plot. Many characters, but only one, the seamstress, had a intriguing story.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Was expecting a mystery

I was expecting a mystery but got a paranormal something. I’m not into ghostly appearances in my mystery novels.

1 person found this helpful

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Plot Difficult to Follow

The first few chapters move between several different settings and characters without any explanation as to how they are related to each other. By the time the narrative returns to the first character introduced, I had forgotten most of the first chapter. Additionally, the narrator, though good at doing character voices, generally reads too quickly for comfort. I gave up after about 5 chapters and returned it.

1 person found this helpful