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The Devil and the Dark Water

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From Amazon : It's 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world's greatest detective, is being transported from the Dutch East Indies to Amsterdam, where he is set to face trial for a crime that no one dares speak of.

But no sooner is the ship out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. Strange symbols appear on the sails. A figure stalks the decks. Livestock are slaughtered. Passengers are plagued with ominous threats, promising them three unholy miracles. First: an impossible pursuit. Second: an impossible theft.

Then: an impossible murder.

With Pipps imprisoned in the depths of the ship, can his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes solve the mystery before the ship descends into anarchy?


Stuart does a good job of creating the atmosphere on board and capturing the characters in the book. It's also pretty much historically accurate but you read these for entertainment not historical accuracy. The plot does twist and turn and although I guessed the main protagonist I did not guess the rest, so the plot reamiend hidden until revealed. It's easy to read, well written and well plotted. 


I thorougly enjoyed this.

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1 hour ago, lunababymoonchild said:

About 4 pages before they were actually named. It's good isn't it?

(I hope you don’t mind, I did a tiny edit because there was a clue in your phrasing 😄


It was really good! I’ll post my review soon.

About half way through, I actually thought 



It was going to be Lia. Because she’s so clever, and loves the Pipps detective stories, I thought she might have managed to organise it as a way to free her mother and herself. It was only when she heard the tempting whispers too that I realised it couldn’t be her. 


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Actually I have a question for those who've read the book (it's about something that happens at the end, so big spoiler alert!)



When Creesjie wakes up (having been tied up by Isabel near the end of the book), she hears an agonising scream and tries to turn to see who it was - but she can't turn her head far enough. In the moment we're obviously meant to think that it's the first person Isabel has burned - but it was all an act. So... who was screaming?


I have a theory but I wonder whether I'm missing something!


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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/15/2024 at 1:18 PM, France said:

He's got a new book coming out this spring.


I just looked at it, it sounds really good! Not quite as ‘these are my sort of themes’ as The Devil and The Dark Water, but still a very intriguing concept!

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