Book Review: Murder Out of the Blue

Once I was an avid reader. There was a time when I could sit on a rainy day and read for hours. Life gets in the way, however, and the last couple of years has seen me unable to spend more than a few minutes reading or writing. Between a massive move, to having up my education, and looking for work, I was busy. But now things seem to have evened out, and I am starting to find stretches of time where I can read and write. This is helping to relieve much of the tension that accumulates throughout the day. With the increased reading, I made a promise to myself: write a review.

As a writer, I know that reviews, no matter how much we may disagree with some them, ultimately do help is to become better writers. Seeing the world you’ve created through your reader’s eyes can help you to see what works for your readers,as well as what needs to be fixed or better explained.
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Last night I finished reading Murder Out of the Blue, by Steve Turnbull. The rave reviews I’d been reading made me curious, so I decided to give it a read.

Last night I finished reading Murder Out of the Blue, by Steve Turnbull. The rave reviews I’d been reading made me curious, so I decided to give it a read.

Last night I finished reading Murder Out of the Blue, by Steve Turnbull. The rave reviews I’d been reading made me curious, so I decided to give it a read. I was happy to learn that the story was deserving of every bit of praise it has received.

Let’s start with the setting. A Steampunk setting, which I love. But instead of Victorian England, we are given a peek into a Victorian era British-occupied India.the change of pace, although only glimpsed through the windows of an airship, is an exciting change of pace. Through this locale, we are given a glimpse into the mindset of those that lived under the rule of the monarchy in the colonies

The main technology referenced is the Faraday device.while the concept was unfamiliar, the author did a wonderful job explaining its purpose without  making it sound like a user’s manual.

The main Character, Maliha Anderson is an interesting character, that Mr. Turnbull walks a very fine line in developing. Miss Anderson is a private character, with a mysterious and troubling past. Being biracial, in a time when anyone not born of two white parents was, at best, treated as a second-class citizen, allows Maliha a surprising amount of freedom to move between both groups – as to both groups, she is an outsider,never truly belonging on either side.

Her reserved character could have made Maliha come across as unsympathetic, but Mr. Turnbull did an excellent job of showing us her vulnerability. All this poor young woman wants is to be left at peace and return home. Of course, as this is a mystery, it won’t be quite that simple.

Without giving away the details if the plot, there were several twists and turns to the story. Some of them were truly surprising. In a short work, Mr. Turnbull had me guessing up until the reveal (I admit I did guess the identity of the culprit at one point, but quickly decided that it couldn’t possibly be them!)

All in all, I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. If I had one complaint, it would be that the story was too short. I will be reading the rest of the books in the series, so that I can revisit this interesting place and time.

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