Blue Caldera – by V.S Velde
Original plot, beautifully written and with a definite ‘je ne sais quoi’!
Ettie deciphers codes on a daily basis, but never knows the significance of her work. She yearns for more, particularly to follow through on some of these mysterious messages, just as the male detectives do. Unfortunately, Ettie is a woman ahead of her time, in the 1850’s being a detective is not considered a suitable profession for a woman and Ettie grows increasingly frustrated. On a whim, she takes home one of the message reels, intending to better understand what it means. When she recognises that a meeting is planned, she cannot curb her curiosity and sets out to ‘just take a look’ at what might be happening. This is the beginning of her foray into crime solving and takes her to some less than salubrious locations. Whilst on the surface, she is fearless, she is also mindful of the preconceptions of others in her dabbling as a detective. Amateur sleuth by day, by night Ettie is drawn into a group of voyeurists, where her own insecurities and needs are brought to light.
This is a story with many subplots, all linked together remarkably well and the identity of the culprit is masterfully withheld from the reader. Ettie is a formidable young woman, seemingly fearless yet also vulnerable. Her relationships with the other characters are intricately drawn, however the reader will undoubtedly want more. Fortunately, Ettie may yet live on in further episodes that the author is planning.
We can only hope!