Murder Out of the Blue, by Steve Turnbull, is a steampunk novella and the first in a series of detective stories chronicling the adventures of Maliha Anderson.
These tales are set in a version of Edwardian England where Faraday nullified gravity and the skies are ruled by vast voidships on which the wealthy travel. The is fitting as Murder out of The Blue is in line with the ‘golden age’ of British detective novels; playing on the British preoccupation with the hidden lives of the upper class.
Placing the novel on one of these voidships allows the reader to come to grips with the world Steve Turnbull has created without it ever distracting from the central detective story. This saves wonderfully on exposition. The reader catches glimpses of world below and by the end will be yearning to leave the voidship to explore. This setting also creates a sense of claustrophobic unease suitable to a detective story.
A good detective story should be concise and it’s language as taut as violin string. Murder Out of The Blue is written in this way and I’m sure readers will appreciate Steve Turnbull’s effective writing style.
Maliha Anderson is an engaging character with hidden depths. Like all quality literary detectives Mahila carries that sense of being above the maelstrom in which she moves. Readers see all she sees, even if they can’t perceive its significance. The supporting cast is well rounded and fleshed out clearly. Particularly engaging were the more obstreperous characters who blustered through the story.
All in all I enjoyed the first of this series and look forward to getting stuck into the rest.
Murder out of the Blue – futher infomation
You can buy Murder Out of The Blue by Steve Turnbull on Amazon.
If you like the sound of this you may want to check out the rest of Stranger Views book reviews. We also have a self published books section. If detective stories are your thing I’d also recommend Red Zone Plus.