Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Bellingham Bloodbath - Historical Mystery Review

The Bellingham Bloodbath (Colin Pendragon #2) by Gregory Harris

Rating: DNF'd 65%
Source: NetGalley

Description:  After a captain in Her Majesty's Guard and his young wife are brutally murdered in their flat, master sleuth Colin Pendragon and his partner Ethan Pruitt are summoned to Buckingham Palace. Major Hampstead demands discretion at all costs to preserve the reputation of the Guard and insists Pendragon participate in the cover-up by misleading the press. In response, Pendragon makes the bold claim that he will solve the case in no more than three days' time or he will oblige the major and compromise himself.
Racing against the clock - and thwarted at every turn by their Scotland Yard nemesis Inspector Emmett Varcoe - Pendragon and Pruitt begin to assemble the clues around the grisly homicide, probing into private lives and uncovering closely guarded secrets. As the minutes tick away, the pressure - and the danger - mounts as Pendragon's integrity is on the line and a cold-blooded killer remains on the streets...

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I love a good historical mystery and this series was new to me.

My Impression:  Historical mysteries are really hit or miss for me.  When I love them they're my absolute favorite but when they don't work I tend to find them dry and tedious.  That unfortunately was the case with this mystery.  This takes place towards the end of Queen Victoria's reign which is a time period I haven't found very often in the mystery genre.  As well I was curious to see how Colin and Ethan's sexuality would affect their day to day life as it wasn't particularly socially acceptable at the time.  And I never can resist a nice bloody murder!

Unfortunately, it all fell about flat for me.  I didn't hate it - I just didn't care, which might be worse.  Ethan and Colin both seemed to speak in almost a presentation style.  I expect there was lots of throat clearing before they would make their paragraph length pronouncements.  I really couldn't tell the difference between the two men which made it hard to keep track of who was who.  Basically Colin seemed a little more arrogant and Ethan spent more time worrying about Colin and occasionally making foreshadowing statements.

For me this was one of those books that was completely out of mind as soon as I put the book down and it always took a minute to remember just what was happening and who everyone was when I picked up again.  So finally at about 65% when I realized I just didn't care who did what and why I called it quits.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Probably not.  While I like the time period the rest of the book just didn't work for me.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Probably not.  I mean it wasn't awful but if you want a historical mystery give Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series a try.


  1. That's a bummer. I do think the speaking style might irritate me too, if it feels too wooden. The era does sound interesting, sorry it didn't work out. :(

  2. That's a disappointment, but glad you didn't persevere to finish. Too many books we want to read!

  3. I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. Having well developed characters is really important. And from what you described about he dialogue, it sounds very awkward.

  4. Darn. It sure did sound good. Sorry it didn't work for you and thanks for sharing your review.

  5. I give you credit for hanging in there for so long - sorry it wasn't a better experience for you.

  6. Oh man. It stinks to just not care about any of it :/