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A Venomous Love (The Bloodstone Series) by Chris Karlsen
The killer whispered- “A pretty damsel…worth a pretty risk.
“It’s 1890. A veteran, Detective Rudyard Bloodstone has fought a brutal battle and witnessed war horrors that haunt his nightmares. Now one of those horrors has followed him home from Africa.
A vicious predator, the Cape cobra, can kill a man in thirty minutes. A suspect using the snake as a weapon in robberies is terrorizing London. When the crimes escalate into murder, a victim’s daughter, Honoria Underhill, becomes the focus of the killer.
After several attempts on her life, Scotland Yard threatens to take over the high-profile case. With few leads to follow, Bloodstone and his partner must now fight department politics and catch the killer before Underhill becomes another murder victim.
5 Star Review: ‘A Venomous Love’ is book three in The Bloodstone Series. Each book stands alone, so I invite you to begin reading.
One appealing nature of ‘A Venomous Love’ is the historical snapshots of the Victorian period, where main character Detective Rudyard Bloodstone conducts his investigations. The book opens in London, April 1890.
This period in history finds Detective Rudyard Bloodstone severely limited in his ability to solve crimes. No fancy labs or DNA testing. The perplexing case of a thief using an extremely deadly method to steal valuables from his victims, has Detective Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner Detective Archie Holbrook putting their collective, raw detective skills to the test. With Scotland Yard breathing down their necks, the clock is ticking, and another murder is simply a matter of time.
Author Chris Karlsen (retired police detective) gives us an excerpt from ‘A Venomous Love’:
Puzzled, Ruddy asked, “You say the body is still in the chapel?
Couldn’t the nurse bring an exam table to put him on and start treatment?”
“She did. Young and I attempted to help but he suffered violent convulsions. Because the hospital is for children, they don’t have restraints. The head nurse instructed us to leave him back on the floor. She was afraid he’d fall off the table.”
“Makes sense.” The timeframe of Underhill’s death didn’t make sense. At minimum it usually took an hour and more often, hours for the venom to kill. A horrible thought occurred to Ruddy. What if it was a different suspect with a different lethal snake? “But he died while you were still here?”
“Yes. He convulsed brutally hard a few more times and an excessive amount of drool came out his mouth. Then he lost consciousness. A nurse put a blanket over him and a pillow under his head. He died as she was making him comfortable.”
“Strange. This is abnormally fast even for cobra venom.” Flanders stepped up on Ruddy’s right. “What is it, constable?”
“Shall I leave you to start my search?” Flanders asked.
“Yes. Collect anything, and I mean anything, you find that looks out of the ordinary,” Archie told him. “This case is so unusual we can’t be sure what is important and what isn’t.”
The nurse led them to the curtained-off bed. Honoria Underhill lay on her side softly sobbing. Her legs were curled up so she fit on the short bed meant for a child. The nurses had covered her with a blanket. When she saw Ruddy and Archie, she sat up and swung her legs down to the side of the bed.
“Yes. We know this is traumatic for you but we need to ask you to repeat what happened with as much detail as you can recall,” Ruddy told her.
“I understand.” Her shoulders trembled. She buried her fists in her skirt and kept her head down as she fought to control her emotions.
Ruddy brought the conversation back to the crime. “Did the suspect say anything when he attacked?”
“’A pretty little damsel, worth a pretty risk,’ he said as he rushed toward us. Then he leapt at me with the snake in hand inches from my face. Father pushed me out of the man’s reach and stepped be- tween us. My father tried to knock the man’s hand away and swatted at the animal.”
She dabbed at her nose again and then offered the handkerchief back to Archie who waved off the return. “It happened so fast,” Honoria continued. “In the time it took me to blink, the snake’s throat blew outward, like a fan opening.” She demonstrated the action with her hands. “A second later it lunged and struck.”
If you enjoy crime mysteries, this book should be your next read. ‘A Venomous Love’ has a unique twist and the thought-out plot with interesting characters, will keep you turning the page. I encourage you to purchase all the books in ‘The Bloodstone Series’.
Review by Theodocia McLean (Book Marketing Global Network).
Series: The Bloodstone Series (Book 3)
Genre: Mysteries (Historical)
About Chris Karlsen: Chris Karlsen is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love of history and books.
An internationally published author, Chris has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa satisfying her need to visit the places she read about. Having spent a great deal of time in England and Turkey, she has used her love of both places as settings for her books. “Heroes Live Forever,” which is her debut book, is set in England as is the sequel, “Journey in Time,” the third is “Knight Blindness.” They are part of her Knights in Time series. All three are available as a boxed set on Kindle. She is currently working on the fourth in the “Knights in Time,” series. “Golden Chariot,” is set in Turkey and the sequel, “Byzantine Gold” is set Turkey, Paris and Cyprus. They are part of her Dangerous Waters series.
Her most recent release is called, “Silk” and is book one of a new series, The Bloodstone Series. It is a suspense set in Victorian London.
Published by Books to Go Now, her novels are available in digital, ebook, and Android App. and in paperback. “Heroes Live Forever” is also in audio format.
A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris and Los Angeles and now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and four rescue dogs. A city girl all her life, living in a small village on a bay was a interesting adjustment. She’d never lived anywhere so quiet at night and traffic wasn’t bumper to bumper 24/7.
Some of Chris’s favorite authors are: Michael Connolly, John Sandford, Joseph Wambaugh, Stephen Coonts, Bernard Cornwell, Julia Quinn, Julie Anne Long, Deanna Raybourne and Steve Berry.
The Bloodstone Series
Snifter of Death
Silk Choosing Heart or Home
Knights in Time Series
Heroes Live Forever
Journey in Time
In Time for You
Dangerous Waters Series
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