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The Deadly Hours

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  167 reviews
A stellar line-up of historical mystery novelists weaves the tale of a priceless and cursed gold watch as it passes through time wreaking havoc from one owner to another. The characters are irrevocably linked by fate, each playing a key role in breaking the curse and destroying the watch once and for all.

From 1733 Italy to Edinburgh in 1831 to a series of chilling murders
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by Poisoned Pen Press
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This anthology of four novellas by popular historical authors, based around a cursed watch, La Sirène as it travels through history, makes for a very entertaining read.

Starting in 1733 ('Weapon of Choice' by Susanna Kearsley), a young Jacobite and his wife are travelling to Genoa by sea to meet the Duke of Ormonde and protect him from an assassin while escorting him to King James' court in Rome. When a storm forces them to seek harbour at Portofino, they are forced into company with a dangerous
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an advanced copy of this book from Net Galley and Poison Pen Press in return for an honest review. The release date for this book was 1 Sept 2020

I really enjoyed this anthology surrounding a cursed pocket watch. The four authors stories woven together made a riveting tale. The stories themselves could stand on their own but when brought together made for great entertainment. With romance and mystery combined in each story this book has a lot of breath and depth to it. I highly recomme
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh my, some of my favorite historical mystery authors joined up to write a novel together. The authors include Christine Trent, Anna Lee Huber, C.S. Harris, and Susanna Kearsley. At the heart of the novel is a priceless gold watch passing through time and place and leaving its mark along the way.

It begins in Italy in 1733 and eventually lands in 1944. Deadly Hours reads like four historical mystery stories tied together by the cursed watch. It was a unique way to read a historical mystery, and I
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: published-2020, arc
Overall, four solid novellas in this cohesive anthology explore a cursed gold watch traveling through Europe over a period of several hundred years, bringing death and destruction to nearly everyone unfortunate enough to cross its path. Each of the four writers here picks up the story in a new era with a new set of characters and develops an entirely new and unique mystery around the watch's ghastly ability to wreak havoc.

There are enough commonalities among the stories to render the curse plau

Four fabulous historical mystery writers have banded together to beguile us with the ominous story of a gold pocket watch. A mesmerizing piece with a siren engraved on it. Down through the ages it has garnered the name, La Sirène. This legendary object made from cursed gold can apparently affect many things including the weather. Greed, obsessiveness, maleficence and death on both a narrow and wide scale follow in its wake.
It was reputedly "first cursed by God when French buccaneers st
This is a collection of 4 novellas, each by a different author. The stories, which extend from the 18th to the 20th century, are linked by an allegedly cursed watch and those who possess it. I was interested in reading the book because I am a fan of Anna Lee Huber's Lady Darby mysteries, and her story and the third one by Christine Trent were my favorites. Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Thanks to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

Four short stories set in different time periods that are all interconnected by a timepiece( Le Sirene) that is rumored to be cursed. The historical mystery novelists in this anthology are Susanna Kearsley, Anna Lee Huber, Christine Trent, and C.S. Harris. As is my practice when it comes to these collections, I do like to discuss and rate each story separately.

Weapon of Choice
Barb in Maryland
At least 4.5 stars.

I had so much fun reading this! The idea for the anthology is so clever--a gold pocket watch, believed to be cursed, is the link between each of the four stories. It appears that the watch brings death to those who possess it, but does it truly do that? Or is that just superstition?
We first encounter the watch in Susanna Kearsley's 'Weapon of Choice', set in Italy in 1733. Long time fans of Ms. Kearsley's work will be happy to meet up again with Hugh MacPherson and Mary from
Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
“Je suis le seul maître de mon temps”; “I am the only master of my time”

Weapon Of Choice by Susanna Kearsley

Hugh and Mary are travelling to Genoa on a mission for their king. En route, they encounter a storm and are forced to take shelter at Portofino. It is the year 1733 and the Jacobites are facing trouble in Rome and all the court of King James is under heavy guard. There are also other visitors in the inn, Anna and Edmund who have their own secrets to carry and who warns Hugh of an assas
Mick Dubois
This is a hard book to review as it is made up of 4 shortish stories, each by a different author that describes the journey through time of a cursed timepiece/watch. Each story is told by a female private detective who also features in her own series (apart from the last one). And there’s a cat hidden in the last three. Although every story features a completely different period, characters and setting, the authors managed to bring us an interesting and well-co
What a powerhouse group of historical suspense and mystery authors! I took one look at the author line up and it was a done deal, but then to see that a few of the novellas were for favorite series made it an even more exquisite anticipation.

The Deadly Hours is an anthology of four separate stories down through time that all focus on a legendary cursed watch, Le Sirene. Each author wove a tale around the watch and even referenced the history told in the earlier stories to add to the watch's lore
Marta Cox
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fabulous idea and I'd certainly like to read more books that travel through time. This book contains four stories from four different authors and each one charts the journey of a cursed watch. We might begin the journey in the seventeen hundreds but we end up most definitely in the twentieth century. Fans of mysteries and romance will be enthralled with the way these authors entertain the reader and this anthology is a good way to try new authors.
This voluntary take is of a copy I req
Barbara Rogers
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Series: Standalone Anthology
Publication Date: 9/1/20
Number of Pages: 352

Deadly Hours contains four novellas by four exceptional authors. Each tale deals with the curse placed on gold stolen from a church in 1697. Some of that gold is made into a beautiful watch called La Sirene. Each person who owns the watch, even temporarily, comes to a terrible end. The stories take you from the watch’s creation to its final destruction a couple of centuries later. Or, is it really destroyed and the curse bro
Sep 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Very uneven stuff. In addition to being poorly written, the middle two stories didn’t work for me at all. But even the first and last, which were noticeably better, had their share of sloppy writing.
Hugh said nothing. Stepped up to the rail. “Tell me why we’ve changed course.”
You really can’t be described as saying nothing and then talk.

The second story was notable for misplaced commas and that awkward historical tone you come across every once in a while; it was meant to sound period but only
Sep 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixed bag historical mystery anthology of novellas connected by a cursed gold watch that keeps reappearing throughout the different periods the stories are set in. I was mostly interested in CS Harris's (not a Sebastian St. Cyr story, sadly) and Susanna Kearsley's (a revisit of some of her characters from the novels I liked), and those are the ones I enjoyed. The other two were okay.
4.5 stars to WEAPON OF CHOICE by Susanna Kearsley:

MY HEART. What a perfectly paced and satisfying novella. It is 100% fan service and it is glorious. The entire novella is from Hugh’s POV and the couples we see are Hugh/Mary (A DESPERATE FORTUNE), Edmund/Anna (THE FIREBIRD), and Daniel/Eva (THE ROSE GARDEN). It definitely works as a stand-alone (I’ve only read A DESPERATE FORTUNE and was able to follow along easily).

Longer review to come near release date and after I’ve read the other novellas.
Judy Lesley
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella, historical
I will admit right up front that I approached this book with mixed feelings. I was curious to see how four authors could write novella length stories and keep the connection with an inanimate object, in this case a pocket watch. The watch is cursed and the curse follows the watch through time; 1733, (Weapon of Choice by Susanna Kearsley); 1831, (In a Fevered Hour: A Lady Darby Novella by Anna Lee Huber); 1870, (A Pocketful of Death by Christine Trent); 1944, (Siren's Call by C. S. Harris). I nee ...more
I liked certain stories in this better than others, namely the Kearsley and the Harris, but I thought this was an interesting way to put a novella collection together. Very readable on the whole.
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's not a secret that I am a bit of a Susanna Kearsley fangirl, and I have been for a long time. It was therefore inevitable that when I saw that there was going to be a short story collection that included one of her stories, of course I was going to want to read it. It didn't matter that I hadn't read any of the other authors.

It was only until later that I actually realised that this story includes characters from The Firebird, A Desperate Fortune and also The Rose Garden, which means that it
This collection of novellas was okay and I think enjoyment of certain novellas will really depend on whether or not you're a reader of the author already. For me, Susanna Kearsley and C.S. Harris' contributions were the strongest and the most able to stand from their other work. While Kearsley's novella is tied to another one of her novels, I thought she did a excellent job of making this novella wholly independent. I was also surprised that C.S. Harris opted not to connect her mystery to the Se ...more
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love the concept of this historical mystery story collection!! A cursed gold watch causes trouble as it passes from owner to owner over more than a century. Four owners -- four outstanding stories!

All of these writers (Susanna Kearsley, C.S. Harris, Anna Lee Huber and Christine Trent) were new-to-me authors. Not new as in I haven't heard of them...but new as in I haven't read anything by them. I have books from all four on my TBR list, but haven't gotten to them yet. This collection
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, arc
The Deadly Hours is a fantastic anthology by some of today's leading historical mystery writers. I knew by name three of the four authors; I wasn't familiar with Christine Trent. The only one I've actually ready anything by was Anna Lee Huber. I loved her last Verity Kent book. I now have some new favorite authors! Though some of these stories contain characters from previous books, all four stood alone just perfectly.

"I am the only master of my time." This is the engraving on the cursed watch w
Four novellas by four different authors with a cursed pocket watch connecting them all? Sign me up. I was fascinated by the plot summary and jumped right in. Although I read quite a bit of historical fiction, I was not familiar with any of the authors. Another good reason to jump into this book. It was a good book, but not great for me. Perhaps if I had been a fan of one or more of the authors I would have felt more of a connection to the book as some of the material is linked to ongoing series. ...more
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
I only read the first and last novellas - Susanna Kearsley's and CS Harris's.

The other two I started but did not finish. I wasn't familiar with the series' and they weren't really my cup of tea.

The Kearsley is fantastic - 4.5 stars and the CS Harris is really good but there were a few things I struggled with so I've revised my initial 4 stars to 3 stars. If I get time I may do a more detailed review of either/both.

Here is a more detailed review of the CS Harris story, "Siren's Call":

CW: tortur
Tammy Buchli
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining omnibus of four novellas linked by the story of a cursed pocket watch. The first three segments featured protagonists of ongoing series. This was a little problematic for me, personally, as I have a pathological distaste for reading series out of order. This wrong-footed me a bit, but that was my only complaint. It was an excellent book (and gave me several ideas for new series to explore!)

Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy for my review.
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I was drawn to this ARC because one of the stories is by Susanna Kearsley, and I’ve really enjoyed a couple of her novels. While I struggled a bit to engage with this collection, I ended up loving the last story by C.S. Harris, an author I’ve never read before, the most.

I find it hard to review collections of stories like this overall, especially when different authors contribute, so I’m going to review each story individually first.

Weapon of Choice by Susanna Kearsley

In the first story, it’s 17
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Each story in this collection has a unique mystery and voice thanks to each writer. The stories play well together as readers follow a cursed pocket watch through time from 1733 to the second world war.

Weapon of Choice follows Highlander Hugh MacPherson as he learns about a watch made of gold with a legendary curse surrounding it as he works to stop an assassin. In a Fevered Hour explores a mysterious illness that may be related to the watch as Lady Darby searches for the cause. In A Pocketful
gwendalyn _books_
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

The watch is engraved with a french saying...
“Je suis le seul maître de mon temps”; “
I am the only master of my time”

Each novella is by one of the finest historical mystery writers.

A delicately designed cursed gold pocket watch that comes with a terrible curse to all those that encounter it leaving mayhem and death. The watch surfaces and
First of all, a big thank you to NetGalley and Poisoned Pen Press for the ARC of this title. An honest review was requested but not required.

I was drawn to this title because of Anna Lee Huber (whose Lady Darby series I enjoy very much) and C.S. Harris, whose Sebastian St. Cyr series I adore. Specifically, this was a historical mystery anthology with a slightly paranormal touch (centering on a cursed gold watch). The novellas are each set during a different time period, with different character
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Billed as an anthology, at its center is a cursed pocket watch of unimaginable beauty and workmanship. Is it cursed or are the people coveting it just that evil or ill fated? Do they deserve ownership and thereby whatever may befall them? Spanning several centuries from February 10, 1733 to the Second World War, each of the four novellas weaves a mysterious tale with historical accuracy. Portofino, Italy where an assassin is trying to make his way to Rome and the deposed King James, then Scotlan ...more
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New York Times, USA Today, and Globe and Mail bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator who loves restoring the lost voices of real people to the page, interweaving romance and historical intrigue with modern adventure.

Her books, published in translation in more than 20 countries, have won the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, a RITA Award, and Nat

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