Thursday, September 03, 2020

The Deadly Hours by Kearsley, Harris, Huber & Trent


First Line: (from "Weapon of Choice") He would never tire of watching her sleep.

Four interconnected stories trace the journey of  a cursed and priceless watch from 1733 to 1944. From Italy to Scotland to England, the watch touches each of its owners with misfortune. 

Readers first see the watch, called La Sirène by its French pirate owner, in Susanna Kearsley's "Weapon of Choice," my pick of the stories. The travels continue in 1831's Edinburgh in Anna Lee Huber's "In a Fevered Hour" then Christine Trent's "A Pocketful of Death" finds readers in the streets of London during a series of chilling murders. The anthology ends with C.S. Harris's "Siren's Call" in 1944.

The owners were told what needed to be done in order to break the curse, but you know what happens when someone possesses something rare, priceless, and beautiful. From the description of the timepiece, I would have had a difficult time parting with it myself.

I enjoyed seeing how these four authors took an idea and ran with it. The only thing I didn't particularly care for was the acknowledgments at the end of each story. They were repetitive and really intruded on the flow of the narrative. It would have been much better if they'd all been relegated to the end of the book.

The Deadly Hours by

Susanna Kearsley, C.S. Harris

Anna Lee Huber & Christine Trent

eISBN: 9781492664451

Poisoned Pen Press © 2020

eBook, 352 pages


Short Story Anthology

Rating: B+

Source: Net Galley


  1. What an interesting concept for a set of stories, Cathy! I think it'd find it hard to give up such a valuable watch, myself, even if there were a good reason to do that. The stories themselves sound solid, too. It's not easy to pull stories together like that, especially when they're from different authors. Glad you found a lot to like about this.

    1. Anthologies of interconnected stories seem to be all the rage now. This one is very well done.

  2. I'm planning on trying this one. I noticed that all 4 authors had an event with Barbara Peters. Want to watch that too.

  3. I'm always looking for new information about Lincoln, so the two Lincoln links you included jumped right out at me. Can't wait to sample all those new letter transcriptions...and that bit about the Lincoln Memorial undercroft. Wow, never heard that in my life.

    1. Neither had I. Being from Illinois, it was a natural for me to have the Lincoln Memorial on my Must-See list when Denis and I were in Washington, DC. Didn't hear a peep about that undercroft, though!


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