Book Review — Under A Veiled Moon

15 Dec

  • Title: Under a Veiled Moon 
  • Series: An Inspector Corravan Mystery (Book 2)
  • Author: Karen Odden
  • Genre: Historical Mystery, Detective Mystery, Victorian Mystery 
  • Publisher: ‎Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)
  • Length: (336) pages
  • Format: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook 
  • ISBN: 978-1639101191
  • Tour Dates: November 14 – December 19, 2022

In the tradition of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, a fatal disaster on the Thames and a roiling political conflict set the stage for Karen Odden’s second Inspector Corravan historical mystery.

September 1878. One night, as the pleasure boat the Princess Alice makes her daily trip up the Thames, she collides with the Bywell Castle, a huge iron-hulled collier. The Princess Alice shears apart, throwing all 600 passengers into the river; only 130 survive. It is the worst maritime disaster London has ever seen, and early clues point to sabotage by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, who believe violence is the path to restoring Irish Home Rule. 
For Scotland Yard Inspector Michael Corravan, born in Ireland and adopted by the Irish Doyle family, the case presents a challenge. Accused by the Home Office of willfully disregarding the obvious conclusion and berated by his Irish friends for bowing to prejudice, Corravan doggedly pursues the truth, knowing that if the Princess Alice disaster is pinned on the IRB, hopes for Home Rule could be dashed forever.

Corrovan’s dilemma is compounded by Colin, the youngest Doyle, who has joined James McCabe’s Irish gang. As violence in Whitechapel rises, Corravan strikes a deal with McCabe to get Colin out of harm’s way. But unbeknownst to Corravan, Colin bears longstanding resentments against his adopted brother and scorns his help.
As the newspapers link the IRB to further accidents, London threatens to devolve into terror and chaos. With the help of his young colleague, the loyal Mr. Stiles, and his friend Belinda Gale, Corravan uncovers the harrowing truth—one that will shake his faith in his countrymen, the law, and himself.


  • “[An] exceptional sequel . . . Fans of Lyndsay Faye’s Gods of Gotham trilogy will be enthralled.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • “Victorian skulduggery with a heaping side of Irish troubles.” —Kirkus Reviews
  • “Charismatic police superintendent Michael Corravan is back in a gripping sequel about the mysterious sinking of the Princess Alice. Odden deftly weaves together English and Irish history, along with her detective’s own story, in a way that will keep readers flipping pages long into the night.” —Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times bestselling author of Mother Daughter Traitor Spy and the Maggie Hope series.




Karen Odden earned her Ph.D. in English from New York University and subsequently taught literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays to numerous books and journals, written introductions for Victorian novels in the Barnes & Noble classics series and edited for the journal Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP). Her previous novels, also set in 1870s London, have won awards for historical fiction and mystery. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and the recipient of a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Karen lives in Arizona with her family and her rescue beagle Rosy.


My Impressions:

I am a big fan of mysteries in general and police procedurals in particular. Throw in an historical setting and I am hooked. And that’s just what Under A Veiled Moon by Karen Odden did — it drew me in and kept me turning the pages. Set in late 1800s London, the novel has a great sense of place. I felt the mean streets of Irish Whitechapel, the police offices of Wapping, and the genteel homes of Mayfair come to life, all within the astute descriptions given by the first person voice of Michael Corravan. Corravan is a very interesting and likable character. He successfully straddles the world in which he grew up and his position as a police detective. His insights and self-appraisal make him a very believable narrator in a story in which there is much deception and deceit. He is in on a number of investigations — murders, gang-related activity, and a ship accident. Are they related? You’ll have to read the book to find out! 😉 Corravan, one of the most well-drawn characters in a mystery that I have encountered in a long time, is thoughtful, intuitive, and struggles to remain impartial. The lack of high tech forensic science, this book is set in the 19th century after all, is very appealing. I love when a detective has to use his brain and instincts to solve a case. Under A Veiled Moon is the second of a series, but I didn’t have any trouble diving right in. It did make me want to go back and read book 1 though. I hope to do that soon. For those who read my blog regularly, this is a general market novel, but I found it generally a clean read. Corravan and his love interest, Belinda, have a bedroom scene, and there is a bit of language, mostly of the British slang and a few uses of God’s name as an oath. But I didn’t find any of that distracting from my enjoyment of the book. Overall, I would recommend Under A Veiled Moon for those who love a good mystery with some very interesting historical content.


Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to AustenProse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

One Response to “Book Review — Under A Veiled Moon”

  1. Laurel Ann Nattress December 18, 2022 at 4:30 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Beckie. Karen is an exceptional mystery writer. Wishing you a lovely holiday season.

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