Detective Sergeant John Billings is a Quaker. He sees God in everyone and takes other people's suffering to heart. He is an honest and hard working man who has risen swiftly through the ranks to become one of Scotland Yard's youngest detectives. But in his private life he struggles with the demons of loneliness, morphine addiction and homosexuality.
The Campbell Curse #3
The year is 1892. While touring Britain with her production of Macbeth, the famous American actress, Carola LeFevre, receives an anonymous death threat . Detective Sergeant John Billings from Scotland Yard is appointed as her personal security guard. Billings is thrown into a theatrical world of gossip, intrigue and temper tantrums, but things take a darker turn when the tour heads for Edinburgh. A great tragedy befalls Miss LeFevre and Billings becomes embroiled in a horrific crime which appears to be the consequence of an ancient Scottish curse.
Blurring the line between reality and superstition, The Campbell Curse is a dark, gothic mystery which touches on our deepest fears. This is the third full length novel in the series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone story.
After receiving dangerous death threat, American actress Carola LeFevre on tour doing Macbeth is provided security in the form of Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant John Billings. Billings finds himself in a world unfamiliar to him with the theater people but when the tour goes to Edinburgh a tragedy occurs. Tragedy, Scottish curse, theater, and John Billings finds himself smack in the middle of it all.
Once again we have an author who obviously has tremendous respect for the past. This respect shows in both little and big ways as we are thrown into a world of Victorian crime. Whether its the high end, "I'm above you" actress Carola LeFevre or the common man DS John Billings or the dozens of characters in between, the attention to detail is what really makes them come alive. Sometimes an author can spend too much time on the little nuances of the era and the story can become cluttered but this is not one of those authors. The Campbell Curse is a lovely blend of drama, mystery, and historical accuracy that makes a very entertaining experience.
If you are expecting a lot of M/M romance than you will be disappointed, there are a few hints of it but Curse is another leg of John Billings' journey of accepting who he is but considering its 1892, he fights his inner desires but perhaps he's not too old to learn or then again maybe he is(you know me I won't give any spoilers😉). I will say that I loved his interactions with everyone in this entry as well as his determination to discover the truth even if at times it seems he is the only one wanting to do so.
If you are wondering if The Campbell Curse can be read as a standalone, yes technically it can be as the mystery is new and there is no connection to previous cases other than John Billings and his fellow Scotland Yard detectives. However, personally I would highly recommend reading this series in order for a couple of reasons: 1. I just don't like jumping into a series in the middle whether there is any connection between the installments or not, its just not "how I roll" and 2. in the case of DS Billings Victorian Mysteries, even though each entry is a separate case there are recurring characters and especially John Billings, watching him grow towards acceptance is an important part of the story which for me just makes each entry flow better having ridden along with him on his journey from the beginning.
So if you love historicals, mystery, character growth, and just an overall intriguing story than The Campbell Curse and the DS Billings Victorian Mysteries series as a whole is definitely worth reading.
Saturday's Series Spotlight: DS Billings Victorian Mysteries
Born to Dutch parents and raised in Colombia and England, I am a rootless wanderer with itchy feet. I've spent the last few years living and working in The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Sudan and Bulgaria, but I have every confidence that I will now finally be able to settle down among the olive groves of Andalucia.
I'm an avid reader and film fan and I have an MA in creative writing for film and television.
The Campbell Curse #3