It’s Halloween, 1934, and Olivia Watson is planning to attend a party with her detective friend, Steven Blackwell. There’s a catch though. Steven and Olivia both live in the same house, but nearly 100 years apart.
After the party, Olivia is standing at an upstairs window looking down at the darkened street when she sees slender young man in a cap and jacket approach the house directly opposite. He rings the bell, and when the rich merchant Ben Shipley opens the door, the young man pulls out a gun and shoots him, then runs off. Olivia shouts to Steven, who gives chase but to no avail. As an eyewitness to the crime, Olivia will now have to give evidence, which means she has to get even more involved in the events of 1934. Did the killer see her face?
Meanwhile, we are catching up on events that took place even earlier. We learn of a single mother struggling with tuberculosis, a sensitive and caring young boy, and a woman who wants to set all the wrongs of the world to right. But what can that have to do with this murder? As the clues add up and seem to point first one way and then another, Olivia and Steven need to keep their wits about them. And as their feelings for each other obviously deepen, they may need to figure out some of the “rules” of time travel.
The idea of time-travel is always fun, and although almost all the action of this book takes place in the 20s and 30s, I enjoyed the glimpses of Olivia carefully choosing clothes and language for the 30s to ensure her secret would stay hidden. The author has obviously done meticulous research into the fashions and culture of the times, although I have to admit I did wonder if everyone in 1934 really would have accepted the idea that Olivia was just staying with Steven.
This is the third book in the series and although it’s not completely necessary to have read the others, it would have been helpful to have a little more background. However, now I want to read the other two.
Death Rang the Bell is a police procedural that tries to capture another time. Seeing it through Olivia’s modern eyes really adds depth to this idea. An enjoyable read.
Carol Pouliot holds a BA in French and Spanish and an MA in French. She has taught French, Spanish, German, and English. She owned and operated a translating agency for 20 years. Her work has been published in Victoria magazine. Carol is the author of The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, which includes Doorway to Murder (book 1), Threshold of Deceit (book 2), and Death Rang the Bell (book 3). Carol is passionate about the world and other cultures. She has visited 5 continents thus far and always has her passport and suitcase at the ready.