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R.J. Koreto's 'The Turnbull Murders': A Gripping Blend of History and Suspense
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
Montreal, QC
Monday, October 30, 2023

R.J. Koreto's 'The Turnbull Murders': A Gripping Blend of History and Suspense

Title: The Turnbull Murders: A Historic Homes Mystery

Author: R.J.Koreto

Publisher: Level Best Books 2023

ISBN: 978-1-68512-411-3

Nestled on a serene island, just a stone's throw from the bustling shores of New York City, stands an early 19th-century architectural masterpiece, its past shrouded in mystery, and which is at the heart of R.J. Koreto's latest novel, "The Turnbull Murders."

A spine-chilling connection unfolds as the house, which witnessed a murder in the early 1800s, becomes the backdrop for unsettling events during its modern-day restoration, once again serving as the scene of gruesome crimes.

The narrative unfolds as Wren Fontaine, a passionate architect, crosses paths with Nicky Tallon, a beloved movie star who recently acquired the historic house Turnbull House and the island it sits on from the City of New York.

Captain Turnbull, the individual behind the construction of the house, resided there alongside his wife, Katya Volkov, and his unmarried sister, Verity. As a thriving trader with ownership of multiple ships, the Captain mysteriously vanished one day, leaving his wife and sister to carry on living in the same house.

The meeting between Wren and Nicky occurs through Wren's partner, Hadley Vanderwerf, a talented caterer, who, while showcasing her culinary expertise at a social gathering attended by Nicky, discreetly divulges her connection to a skilled architect specializing in the meticulous restoration of historic homes.

Intrigued by the prospect of restoring the house to its original splendor, Nicky offers Wren the formidable renovation task while utilizing the location for a film shoot. He also confides his intention to reside in the house once the renovations are completed. Simultaneously, he enlists Hadley as the caterer for the film crew during the shoot.

In the initial pages of the narrative, Koreto introduces a pivotal character, Saffron Scott, whose presence has a profound impact on the story's themes and plot.


Saffron gives the impression of being Nicky's romantic partner, appearing to be nearly two decades younger than him and just out of high school. However, a surprising twist unfolds as we realize that Saffron is not Nicky's girlfriend but his daughter.


Koreto further introduces his readers to an even more diverse and captivating array of characters, each concealing their unique complexities and secrets.


In this ensemble, we encounter Veronica Selwyn, the celebrated actress who becomes entangled with Nicky. There is also Thalia, another one of Nicky's romantic interests. By the way, it's worth mentioning that Veronica is also entangled with Ezra, Wren's father, who is a highly regarded architect and Wren's boss.


As more of the yarn unravels, a persistent question nags at us. What's hidden beneath the surface of Nicky, the small-town boy from the middle of nowhere Idaho? Is the person we see genuinely the real him, or is it all just a façade?


The same curiosity extends to Saffron, who also comes from a small town and has led a life being tossed around from one relative to the next, ignored and abused. What drives her to want to reside in a house on an island, a place that's practically secluded from civilization?


Wren's mission during the house renovation involves delving into the history of the family that inhabited the residence during the early 19th century, with a particular focus on uncovering the mystery surrounding Captain Turnbull's disappearance and his family's subsequent actions.


To pursue this goal, Wren seeks assistance from her friend and former professor at Columbia University, Lavinia Suisse. The discoveries Lavinia makes during her investigation turn out to be genuinely astonishing and carry significant implications for the current occupants of the house, most notably Saffron.


The Turnbull Murders is a finely crafted historical mystery enriched with a contemporary twist. Koreto's meticulous attention to detail, adept character development, and seamless blending of the past and present make this book a captivating choice for mystery enthusiasts.

With its immersive narrative, evocative setting, and intricately woven plot, the novel is a testament to Koreto's storytelling prowess. It is essential reading for those who appreciate a meticulously crafted mystery that explores the complexities of human nature and unravels the mysteries of history.

Follow Here to read Norm's Interview with R.J. Koreto


 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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