Cover Image: The Indigo Ghosts

The Indigo Ghosts

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Indigo Ghosts by Alys Clare from NetGalley and Severn House Publishers in order to read and give an honest review.
... intricately woven and well written plot contains twists and turns with intriguing historical details and authentic, multifaceted characters which make this a thoroughly enjoyable read... 
This is my first time reading Alys Clare's work and I have to say I loved it! The Indigo Ghosts is different as it mixes mystery and history with a touch of the supernatural and teeters on the edge of being in the vein of Gothic literature. Although the third book in the series, having not read the first two I found nothing lacking in it as a stand-alone and found it quite enjoyable.  
Set in Plymouth in the 1600’s When his former Captain, Captain Colt calls Dr. Gabriel Taverner in to investigate strange occurrences aboard the ship he used to serve on. Sailors have been experiencing strange things such as blue ghosts and whispers from a malicious spirit. The crew are terrified when it appears stowaways had once resided in a small hold on the ship and left something behind, and as Taverner and Captain Colt explore the holds they find a small hiding space in which a small desiccated adult body is found nailed through the chest to the ship's ribs.  When another body is found hidden in a waste barrel on the ship with his hands died blue the mystery takes off. There are intelligent arguments for and against the paranormal events melding science and mysticism and we go on a twisting journey with touches on vodou, trade routes, slavery and the Caribbean. 
 The intricately woven and well written plot contains twists and turns with intriguing historical details and authentic, multifaceted characters which make this a thoroughly enjoyable read.  I will definitely be reading more of Alys Clare's work! Entertaining read that I would highly recommend. 
Review posted Jun 2, 2020
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Dr. Gabriel Taverner in 1604 at the end of Elizabethan reign is called to an English ship which has been in the Caribbean challenging the Spaniards as a ship he sailed  on at the time of Drake had done.  The Indigo Ghosts  by Alys Clare follow his attempt to identify a corpse found on the ship and the uncanny events that are linked to it on the ship and ashore.  Voodoo and violence; ghosts and treasure follow the seamen onto the English countryside.  Are there ghosts? Is it simply a search for hidden riches?  Read on.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and finished it in one day. Well written with a great mystery and intriguing characters i recommend for any mystery lover.
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The Indigo Ghosts is the third Gabriel Taverner mystery in Alys Clare's series but it's the first one I've read. It's a well-written, engaging historical tale told from the Devon physician's point of view, with additional sections that feature other characters, such as coroner Theo Davy, vicar Jonathan Carew and Gabe's sister Celia.

The novel begins when Gabe is summoned to the docked ship of Captain Colt, whom he used to work for as a ship's physician. Colt and his crew have been thoroughly spooked on their return voyage from Hispaniola. Aside from the strange blue ghosts they've seen on deck at night, the men sense something truly evil has found its way onto the ship. Gabe considers himself a rational person, but even he picks up on the malevolence. He soon finds a body hidden deep in the hold of the ship and has a powerful cryptic vision when he's down there. The doctor doesn't believe in visions – at least not visions that have no obvious cause – so he pockets a scrap of fabric left at the scene. It seems innocuous but it does emit a strange fragrance. Surely that's the explanation for the spirit...or is it? As Gabe, along with his sister and his two friends, find themselves drawn into the search for the truth, more bodies appear. It would seem the dead all possessed a powerful secret, a secret that puts anyone who uncovers it in danger.

Though I've read lots of Victorian-era thrillers, this was one of the few that I've picked up that is set in Stuart England. I very much enjoyed the period detail, as well as the larger issues that Clare raises. I also liked the supernatural elements she introduces into the plot, which is convincing and nicely paced. I was familiar with some of the basics regarding trade with the Caribbean but the specifics were new to me and I found myself googling them after finishing the book. Gabe is an appealing character but I was even more drawn to the minor characters, especially his sister Celia and midwife Judyth Penwarden. In the future it would be interesting to see more of these women. I recommend this novel for fans of the series and also for readers of historical fiction. This was my first Taverner mystery but I had no problem following the story and gaining a sense of the characters.

Much thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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In Stuart England time men were still looking for sailing routes and one of the most elusive was the Northwest Passage. Our mystery starts in the Caribbean where magic and voodoo was to follow our small group of men to hide in Captain Colt’s ship on its return to Plymouth. This is a terrible journey which would haunt the crew seeing visions and blue ghosts. Gabriel Taverner a physican and old friend of the Captain is called when a small skeleton is found. This was to lead to a baffling mystery with more blue bodies found and the horror of the Spanish Priests hanging over them. It will take all Gabriel strength to protect family and friends as he also sees the visions.
This is a good paced story with the horror of slavery and torture at its core.
I was given an arc of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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At first this book did not grab my attention except for the title and cover.
I started to read it.
I was thinking - perhaps it's not my type of book?
After chapter there, I was hooked!
I could not get enough paranormal and mystery plot in the book.
Total love from that point until the end of it! 
Loved it!
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This is one of those books that spoil you, it has believable, likeable, characters, it has an excellent plot and it's thoroughly engrossing. The story starts with Gabe being asked to go onboard his old ship to investigate an evil spirit on board the ship which has recently returned from the Caribbean . What he finds on board leads to Gabe solving a series of murders, uncovering a story of slavery and getting involved in powerful magic. Gabe's sister and his friends are skillfully drawn into the storyline and the book is just a joy to read (and has educated me a little as I'd never heard of Indigo Plantations before I read it).
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The year is 1604, and our physician, Gabriel Tavener finds himself called to his old ship “Falco” by the captain.  The man and his crew have seen things that they insist aren’t real, and since sailors are a very superstitious lot, the captain wants Gabe to help with ridding the ship of its ghostly inhabitants, which he is convinced are aboard.  The ship’s doctor has even killed himself because of it.  What evil is this, Gabe thinks, since he doesn’t believe in such things.  Thus begins “The Indigo Ghosts,” and a convoluted tale it is, stretching from the fetid jungles of the Caribbean to the docks of Plymouth, then to Gabe’s home and beyond.

Is there evil aboard this ship?  That is as may be, because a long dead body of a woman, a very old woman, is soon found aboard.  Followed soon by a body in a barrel.  There is rather unpleasant evidence that someone was hiding aboard the ship as it made its way across the Atlantic to home. The dead man’s skin is tinted blue – ah, our title is beginning to make sense.

Readers are treated to scenes from another’s perspective – warnings almost.  There’s definitely something going on here that we’re supposed to wonder about, obviously, but all it did for me was to slow the story down even more.   We also get scenes of the author’s research about hallucinatory drugs, about the slave trade, about life on a Caribbean indigo plantation which is frankly, horrific, about the Elizabethan “pirate kings” Richard Hawkins and Francis Drake, all interspersed with darkly foreboding scenes of magic and as I mentioned, the supernatural.  Certainly, a reader will get a sense of what was going on at the time, but for me, there was just too much thrown into this book to make it enjoyable reading.

So, Gabriel and his friend Jonathan Carew set about to sort out all of it, and they do. It’s too late for some, unfortunately.  And at our end the “big secret” is revealed, which seemed sort of anti-climactic.  Alys Clare’s Gabriel Taverner book #3 is a study in the supernatural, and it wasn’t to my liking, sad to say, because I have enjoyed the others in the series very well.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for a copy of this book, in exchange for this review.
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Indigo Ghosts! 1604 Historical mystery!

An astonishing tale that relates to a dead body found in an unexpected place aboard a ship Gabriel Tavener had once sailed on' currently moored a  Plymouth.
Taverner receives a request from an old friend, Captain Zeke in charge of the Falco, a ship he'd been the doctor on. The crew is on edge. A small body has been discovered in a minuscule space in the lowest deck. When Tavener enters the wretched space he bangs his head, feels overwhelmed by evil, and has a strange vision.
This is just the beginning for this man of science.
We learn more about Jonathan Carew, the local vicar. Taverner realises during this time that Jonathan "is proving to be a good village priest."
But more than that, these are "deep matters of great antiquity" requiring "a lifetime’s study." And in this investigation Gabriel saw in Jonathan, "a hunger for knowledge, for knowing, a fierce desire to pore over abstruse writings and ancient texts, devouring them, taking them inside his own soul, using the sparkling intelligence and the keen insight that his Maker had bestowed upon him."
With these insights my appreciation of both Gabriel and Jonathan quadrupled.
All the other central characters make an appearance:
Celia, Gabriel's sister
Judith Penwarden, the midwife and healer
 Black Carlotta, the local wise woman (and more)
What they are dealing with comes straight from the island of Hispaniola, near Dominica in the West Indies, a secret that involves superstitions, benign and not so well disposed spirits, evil, and men who'd survived unspeakable lives.
Then there's the 'triangular' trade!
This is a most satisfying if not downright compelling Jacobean mystery! After reading, I really appreciated the title' particularly as it added to my knowledge.

A Severn House ARC via NetGalley
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Blue ghosts?  That's what Dr. Gabriel Taverner is brought in by Captain Ezekial Colt to investigate on his old ship the Falco.  It's 1604 and Gabriel, along with his friend Theo, a coroner,  go through the ship without the benefit of any of the forensic tools which would have made this easy and they find a body.  A dessicated body.  There's also evidence that men have been hidden in spots.  This blends a bit of a ghost story (duh) with cultural influences from the Caribbean with history.  No spoilers but know that you might find yourself doing a bit of research on the period  if only to enhance your understanding of events.  This is a unique series with a good protagonist in Gabriel.  The other characters, including his sister, are also well drawn.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  For fans of historical mysteries.
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Would give this a 3.5 out of 5, plot seemed somewhat forced, there seemed to be more 'filler' than is usual for this author.  Wanted to see more character development for Gabriel and his sister. The Aelf Fen series remains superior.
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1604 Gabriel Taverner is summoned by Ezekiel Colt, captain of his old ship, the Falco currently docked in Plymouth, having just returned from the Caribbean. Colt has a tale to tell his old ship's surgean, a tale of a crew including him, frightened, seeing and hearing things in the bowles of the ship. They all believe that the ship is haunted. Taverner is determined to find a logical explanation to the events but then he and the captain discover a body. It will not be the last.
An enjoyable and well-written historical mystery, another interesting story with its likeable characters in this series. A book which can easily be read as a standalone story but having enjoyed the first two I would recommend reading them in order.
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Alys Clare's The Indigo Ghosts is a read that's an unusual combination of both fun and haunting. It deftly straddles the line between historical mystery and gothic (though not actually ocurring in the Gothic historical period—it's set during the reign of King James I). Dr. Gabriel Taverner is called in to investigate hauntings aboard a ship he used to serve on. Sailors have been seeing blue ghosts, and as Taverner and his former captain explore the holds they find a claustrophobic space in which stowaways have hidden and have left behind a desiccated, long-dead body nailed to one of the ship's ribs. That's where the mystery begins.

What I most enjoyed about this book was the way it both considers and questions the possibility of paranormal explanations for some of the events Taverner is investigating. This balance gives readers interesting insights into the inner lives of characters, the differences between what they want to believe and what they do (or may?) believe. The characters are well fleshed-out with strong relationships among them. They all have their own mix of quirks—none is a stock character. I also appreciate that the female characters in this book are presented as strong and independent.

If you enjoy historical mysteries, this is one you'll want to pick up right away.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from Severn House via NetGalley. The opinions are my own.
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Set in Stuart, England, Dr. Gabriel Taverner is asked by his former naval captain, Ezekiel Colt, to investigate his crew's strange claims of blue-skinned ghosts in his ship. This puzzles Taverner and to complicate things further, a tiny body is discovered in a secret space in the ship. With the help of his friend, Coroner Theophilus Davey, they will soon unravel a dark mystery with shocking and terrifying secrets.

The Indigo Ghosts is the third book in the Gabriel Taverner Mystery series and I actually prefered this more than the previous book - The Angel In The Glass. It's a historical forensic mystery (definitely my kind of thing!) and I am glad that the forensic elements was better and slightly more in this book. It is a plot driven story with some surprise twists and predictable ones too. I do wish that there are more depth in the characters as I still struggle to connect with them and they still feel like strangers to me, even in this third book. Overall, this is quite an enjoyable fast-paced, quick read and the series is pretty interesting so far. 


***Thank you Severn House Publishers and NetGalley for this gifted review copy in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed in this review are my own and was not influenced by the author, publisher or any third party.***
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Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House Publishing for an e-galley of this novel.

The setting is 1604, the small villages around Plymouth, England. Gabriel Taverner is summoned to the sailing ship Falco by the captain to help figure out what has made their last passage a complete nightmare. Surely every member of the crew can't be imagining the presence of a blue ghost. Gabe and Theophilus Davey, the Coroner, begin their investigation when a body is found in a stow away hiding place on the Falco. Dark matters happened on the island of Hispaniola and the danger is now loose in Plymouth.

This third book in the Gabriel Taverner series is every bit as good as the previous two stories. Gabe is a man of science; he is a trained physician so he has a problem with understanding what the crew and captain of the Falco are practically frightened to death over. I understand his feelings but this novel is so well written that I began to cast a wary eye at shadows in the rooms of my home as I was reading this story. The novel centers around actions that took place during the Francis Drake landing on Hispaniola in the Caribbean and how those events have now continued to the port of Plymouth. There is a strong sense of mysticism and "vodou" driving the story as the reader watches while Gabe, a man of science, finds himself as susceptible as anyone else to the atmosphere that accompanies that oddity found aboard the ship. This one is good for some shivers and tingles down your spine regardless of how rational you think yourself to be. Well, it will if you are at all sensitive to atmosphere.

Another very good reading experience with a book written by Alys Clare. These characters seem to flow effortlessly from Ms. Clare's pen/keyboard. I never, ever would have figured out the reason for the book title and I sincerely hope book reviewers will leave that little secret alone and allow each reader to understand where Ms. Clare is leading and what she is revealing. Some good stuff here!
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Gabriel has been summoned to the ship he used to work on.  His captain tells him the crew is spooked.  They think they are seeing ghosts...

Severn House and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published Hune 2nd.

He can feel the odd sensations the sailors are talking about.  So he searches the ship and finds a small room way up at the end of the boat in the storage compartment.  They also find a body...

The body is very old and while they debate what to do with it, it disappears.

Then more bodies show up.  They all have blue hands, which is a mystery.

This historical novel is set at a bad time in history.  The Spanish makes slaves of anyone they find.  They treat the negro slaves better than the white slaves.  It's no wonder they tried to escape.

They are hiding in England now but the Spaniards are still looking for them. Will Gabriel and his friends find them before the Spaniards do?
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This is the third book in the series and whilst it can be read as a standalone I would recommend reading the previous books to give the characters a better place in the times and setting .

We return to the life of Dr Gabriel Taverner - asked by a friend to investigate deeply troubling events on a ship
he travels to Devon .
The sailors believe their ship , Falco , haunted , with several men reported as seeing blue ghosts and the ship's Doctor overcome by apparent madness jumping to his death overboard .
After his visit to the ship Gabriel is left feeling very uneasy and determines to call upon the services of his friends Theo, a Coroner, and Jonathon, a Minister to help him solve the puzzle .
They discover a secret area within the hold where several men had clearly been hidden but most disturbingly a body of an old women , long dead . Who were these men ? Where were they now ? and what was the purpose of bringing the dead woman with them ?
The journey to discover the truth is met with many trials and tribulations but tempered by the budding romance between Gabriel and the local healer .

The book is full of information about the slave trade, herbal remedies and the medical practices of the day - the sounds and sights brought to the fore , enhancing the readers enjoyment .
I would thoroughly recommend this book to all readers who enjoy historical , crime thrillers and look forward to the next book in the series .

I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
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An enjoyable historical thriller with a touch of the supernatural from start to finish. Easy to read with likeable characters, particularly the lead Dr Gabriel Taverner, I eagerly await the next chapter in this wonderful series.
Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for giving me the opportunity to read this.
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This was the best in the series so far, in my opinion. As the series develops, the reader gains the benefit of knowing the main characters more deeply and watching their relationships change and deepen. The mystery centred around the slave trade and the Spanish Inquisition, voodoo and stowaways. Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
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Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for the eARC.
It's 1604 and in Devon Dr. Gabriel Taverner is asked to visit the ship Falco by his former Naval Captain who is deeply worried by suspicious events on his ship.  There is a feeling of dread among the crew, they believe the Falco is haunted and several men have seen what looked like blue ghosts.  Gabriel doesn't believe in the supernatural, but leaves the ship feeling uneasy.
The book is crammed with information about the slave trade, herbal remedies and the medical practices of the day.  Gabriel is determined to disprove the paranormal and brings in his good friends, Theo, a Coroner, and Jonathon, a Minister, who ends up blessing the ship and crew.  Gabriel is a great protagonist, a level headed, good man who lives with his feisty sister and their housekeeper and works hard for his patients.
An excellent, fascinating read which I enjoyed a lot.  Definitely recommended.
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