Title: Death descends on Saturn Villa
Author: M.R.C. Kasasian
Review: Death Descends On Saturn Villa is the third novel in The Gower Street Detectives series by author MRC Kasasian. While Sydney Grice is away in Yorkshire investigating a murder March Middleton is invited to Saturn Villa to meet her long lost Uncle. While there she witnesses his murder but when she returns with Grice and Inspector Pound there seems to be no trace of anything untoward and her Uncle seems alive and well. Then he turns up dead and she is arrested for his murder.
One of the major problems MRC Kasasian has, as indeed any author writing books in this period does have, is distinguishing their main character from the legacy of Sherlock Holmes. Kasasian manages this by making his lead detective much more of a hateful gruff character than Sherlock was but otherwise they are very similar.
The other way he does it, particularly in this novel, is to focus on the sidekick. March Middleton takes much more of a lead in this novel becoming the focus of the story line as she is variously and often arrested for murder.
What really marks Kasasian’s work out though is the great sense of humour that perpetuates the novel. It is often saracastic in tone and is well worked into the novel. The literary air of the novel is also greatly improved and, apart from the section told from Grice’s point of view is quite readable.
The only real disappointment is that the crime element sometimes gets lost in the daily lives of the characters in what is quite a long novel but otherwise is well worth the read.
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