Dark Clouds Over Nuala by Harriet Steele (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries Book #2) @harrietsteele1



Set in Ceylon in the 1930s, this second book in the Inspector de Silva Mysteries offers another colourful, relaxing read as the arrival in the hill town of Nuala of the heir to an English earldom signals more trouble for the hapless Inspector de Silva and a new mystery to solve. Throw in a mega-rich Romanian count, his glamorous countess and an enigmatic British army officer and the scene is set for an entertaining mystery.

Praise for Trouble in Nuala: The Inspector de Silva Mysteries #1

“This is an unexpected treasure. Set in 1930s Ceylon. It is an interesting look at colonialism from the colonial side. I was engaged from the first page and kept in thrall until the end. Inspector DeSilva and Jane are well drawn characters and I plan on following them through further adventures.”

“The sweltering heat and dazzling light of Ceylon in the 1930s pour out from the pages of “Trouble in Nuala”. Shanti de Silva, Nuala’s police inspector, navigates the complexities of colonial society under British Imperial rule even as he unpicks the threads of a classic murder mystery. First-class entertainment, with a memorable mix of characters.”

“A captivating, relaxed read which was thoroughly enjoyable to the last page, set in a charming era, with an endearing lead character and in an interesting location.”

“Clever plotting, sharply defined characters and luscious description make this a hugely enjoyable read. I look forward to volume 2”.



This is the second book in the Inspector De Silva mysteries series and it just felt like coming home. This story is set in Ceylon 1935 in the beautiful and normally tranquil hill town of Nuala. I can imagine sitting out on the veranda sipping ice tea in the sweltering heat but with a constant reminder of the wilder side of Ceylon just over the other side of the high garden fence. Just stunning!

Inspector Shanti De Silva is very happily married to Jane an English lady and ex governess to a colonial family in Ceylon, so they come from very different cultural backgrounds. Jane often teaches cook English recipes for her husband to try and although he eats them I love how he is thinking the best ways that he could spice things up by adding a little bit or this and that, he would of course never suggest this to Jane. He really worships Jane and Jane him. De Silva’s position through his work allows them to brush shoulders with the upper classes of Nuala, They fit into this role perfectly.

There is quite a buzz in town when a very handsome and potentially wealthy couple come to visit Lady Caroline Petrie from Australia on route to England. Ralph Wynne Talbot claims to be the lost heir of the Earl of Axford and so he and his wife are returning to England to claim his inheritance.  It isn’t very long before tragedy strikes and a missing person soon turns into a death that has to be investigated. Is it suicide or something more sinister?

I love how De Silva keeps his lovely wife up to date with all the investigating that he does and how she makes little suggestions to help him. De Silva is a very laid back character. Don’t get me wrong he will keep at something until he solves it but it certainly has a very different pace in Ceylon.  There is a bit of a romance brewing too with Sgt. Prasanna, a very handsome and polite young man that is forced into making a life changing decision that Jane has to get involved with. She is so sweet and a sucker for romance.

This is turning out to be a lovely laid back murder mystery series. Hope the next book won’t be too long.



Harriet Steel grew up in London and Wiltshire but now lives in Surrey. Married with two daughters, she has worked in fields from law to libraries. Her interests are travel, history and art, all of which have inspired the four historical novels she wrote before turning to crime with The Inspector de Silva Mysteries. She reads widely, but in the mystery genre is particularly fond of vintage mysteries. She would love to go back in time for a day and have lunch with Hercule Poirot, tea with Miss Marple, and dinner at the Ritz with Lord Peter Wimsey.



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