Offstage in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries #3) by Harriet Steel @harrietsteel #Ceylon #1930s



In this third instalment of The Inspector de Silva Mysteries, there’s great excitement when a professional theatre company comes to Nuala. However matters take a dark turn when the company’s actor manager is murdered. Inspector de Silva has a new case to solve and he has to consider some very unpalatable motives for the crime. He will need all his persistence, coupled with his wife, Jane’s, invaluable help to unmask the villain of the piece. Set on the exotic island of Ceylon in the 1930s, The Inspector de Silva Mysteries provide a colourful and relaxing read spiced with humour and an engaging cast of characters.


I love these truly engaging stories and have already thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series. This one is no different as I began to read and drifted swiftly back to 1930’s Ceylon and Inspector Shanti de Silva and his lovely wife Jane, a former Governess before she married him. The Inspector and his wife had moved to Nuala so that they could enjoy the quieter life away from the cities but he still found himself spending hours on cases. Thorough he was and often with a helping hand and sound advice from Jane, who has a quick mind and a keen eye like him but from a woman’s point of view. His position in society and reputation was well-respected.

The Inspector and his wife were all set to enjoy a night at the theatre to watch a production of Hamlet when they were spotted by Shanti’s boss Archie Clutterbuck, Assistant Government Agent for the area, and his wife Florence. So it wasn’t going to be quite the relaxing evening that they had intended. Then things just went from bad to worst with the discovery of the body of Alexander Danforth, an Actor and head of the  travelling theatre company. There was no doubt that the man had been murdered so the Inspector went into investigation mode while Clutterbuck seemed to hinder his every move.

These books really are a must read. The murders that happen in them are more on the whodunit side then the gruesome which makes them pretty good reading for most people but it is the writing itself that I just love. The way in which Harriet Steel describes different scenes, from the land scape to this connection between Shanti and Jane are just beyond outstanding. You really won’t experience anything else like it, Harriet Steel just takes over your imagination and opens your eyes to seeing the world differently and it is awesome.

I love the two sides to Shanti from the gentle man that he is with Jane, who is a strong-willed woman who has a sensitive and delicate side to melt him at any time, to the determined and straight Inspector that seeks justice no matter who is involved. Then back home to ponder over the days events in a garden that I can smell with its fragrant descriptions.

Yet again a book that I put down with total satisfaction and a sigh but only till the next one.


Harriet Steel

Harriet Steel published four historical novels before turning to crime with the Inspector de Silva mysteries. Her work has also appeared in national newspapers and magazines. She is passionate about history and blogs about it at



4 thoughts on “Offstage in Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries #3) by Harriet Steel @harrietsteel #Ceylon #1930s

  1. I hadn’t heard of The Inspector de Silva Mysteries but after reading your review I will add to my tbr pile. I like the idea that the stories are set against the background of Ceylon. Thank you for the heads-up, Susan.

    Liked by 1 person

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