Review extracts – Historical Novel Society
“This well-constructed 19th-century tale is set in Gold Rush Australia, in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, and on ships plying between various ports. All these locations are expertly woven into the development of the solid plot and the characters’ storylines. Melbourne, particularly, is brought vividly to life as a burgeoning metropolis, struggling to transform from the chaos of the exploitation of the goldfields into one of Australia’s great cities.”
“The style of this novel has more in common with Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone than with a 21st-century publication……It is hard to believe that David Cairns has written this book now, as it is so thoroughly immersed in the period and the locations in which it is set … I relished and found (his infinite attention to meticulous detail) enchanting.”
Injured at the start of the Indian mutiny in 1858, Scotsman Findo Gask finds himself in Melbourne during the fabled Gold Rush where he stumbles across the mystery of a stolen inheritance. Captivated by the pretty heiress, together with his new idiosyncratic friend, Erroll Rait he begins to investigate for her, travelling back to London, Edinburgh, the Scottish highlands and then to Melbourne again, uncovering multiple murders before falling foul of a sinister plot to add himself and his client to the list of victims.
Taking readers back to the days of steam trains and clipper ships, gas-lit Edinburgh streets and the goldfields of Australia with the unravelling of a mystery and the discovery of a relentless murderer, The Case of the Emigrant Niece is a spellbinding novel that captures the imagination and transports you back to a different age.