Doctor Who: The Ruby’s Curse (A River Song/Melody Malone Mystery) by Alex Kingston (book review).

May 28, 2021 | By | Reply More

River Song is bigger than life and that’s just her hair. She cannot be confined and travels the universe or maybe the multiverse, righting wrongs, going on a date night, visiting the aged parents and occasionally taking a break in prison. She’s a multi-media event and this novel opens another avenue.

‘The Ruby’s Curse’ by Alex Kingston with editorial assistance from Jac Rayner has two narrators. It opens as River is in the Storm cage prison again, temporarily off course. Where better to get some peace and quiet to write her latest novel about Earth’s 20 century detective Melody Malone. Through some complicated timey-wimey reason, River needs to write these even though her mother Amy Pond eventually becomes the author or vice versa don’t ask me.

The narrative continues with the novel itself as Melody receives some unexpected visit from Horace P. Wallace’s goons. It’s 1939 New York and no one expects a female P.I.. They receive a particularly warm welcome from Melody but, despite their injuries, she gets an assignment from Wallace. It’s her job to go to a recently docked transatlantic liner and take possession of a highly prized object recently purchase in England. Nothing goes to plan, of course, and the object is a ruby said to curse anyone who gains possession of it and certainly looks that way.

Meanwhile, River needs a rapid exit from the prison due to some more life threatening visitors. Nobody brings flowers and chocolates anymore. That’s when things get complicated and River needs an insight into her own heroine before she can save the day.

What a cappuccino with chocolate topping this is. It’s great fun and nicely put together. It’s a page-turner that keeps you guessing with a little Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie and some timey-wimey stuff put into the mix.

I was also getting a Jasper Fforde vibe at one point. It ticked a lot of boxes for me and it will be interesting to see if any more of these mash-up adventures are forthcoming.

Sue Davies

May 2021

(pub: BBC Books, Ebury. 288 page hardback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78594-713-1)

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Category: Books, Doctor Who

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