Trouble in Nuala Audiobook by Harriet Steel

Posted by on Nov 29, 2018 in Reviews | 10 comments

Review of: Trouble in Nuala Audiobook
Harriet Steel

Reviewed by:
On November 29, 2018
Last modified:November 27, 2018


Trouble in Nuala Audiobook

By: Harriet Steel

Narrated by: Mathew Lloyd Davies

Published by Tantor Audio 11/13/2018

Trouble in Nuala Audiobook

4 Hearts rating image Hot Listens

Inspector de Silva Series #1

4 hrs and 42 mins

Genre: Historical Mystery

Trouble in Nuala Audiobook Sample

Trouble in Nuala Audiobook

4.0 Hearts

A murder mystery set in 1930’s Ceylon with a Sinhalese detective and his English wife was just the right thing to suit my fancy.

Trouble in Nuala takes place on the island that is modern day Sri Lanka during the time of British Colonialism in the ’30’s. Ceylon was a melting pot of people, politics, social strata, and religion during that time when tea plantations were the main producer in a land seeped in much history and simmering with nationalism rising against colonialism.

The prosperity of the tea plantations was bringing in people from all over, mostly from southern India. I loved that the author pulled in the rich, colorful details of the historical backdrop and setting whether it was Sinhalese and Tamal family picnics at the lake, Sunday Cricket matches, dinners and soirees, treks to jungle village and time on a tea plantation or in the city market.

I confess the interracial marriage of Shanti and Jane was even more interesting to me than the murder mystery. This was a time when it would have been so much harder for such a marriage pair. The book begins after they are already an established married pair who have left the big city of Colombo to a smaller city, Nuala, in the hill country near Kandy so that Shanti can get a break from big city crime and enjoy some quiet in his garden. I liked how the author didn’t gloss over how they worked a little harder than some couples to understand their cultural, religious, status, and even dietary differences. There are humorous moments like when Shanti forces himself to appreciate bland English food and both he and Jane take turns trying to avoid the district deputy’s wife and her smug superior ways. But, there are thoughtful moments particularly during his investigation when Shanti looks about him and has to quell his anger about the superior attitudes of some Brits and the system he must work within.

The mystery was a good one involving the murder of a little liked tea plantation owner. It’s slower paced and would fall into the armchair or cozy mystery category of the mystery spectrum. Shanti has to tread carefully because he’s the only one who suspects its murder. I loved the old-fashioned detecting he had to do since it was back country and when forensics were first coming into play. His sergeant and officer are fun assistants.

All in all, I had a good time with my first opportunity to listen to this author’s work and be introduced to the series. Those who enjoy exotic locations and older eras for their murder mysteries should definitely give this one a try.

Trouble in Nuala Audiobook Narration

4.5 Hearts

Matthew Lloyd Davies did a good job of voicing the impressive cast of characters who ranged from British to Sinahalese to Tamil to other Asians, male and female. He didn’t fumble the cultural words and names, but did give them distinction. This could have been a difficult story to listen to on audio because of those challenges, but I never got confused or distracted. I hope he continues to be the narrator for the series even if at first I was disappointed that a person from that part of the world wasn’t doing the narration. He did splendid.

Harriet SteelHarriet Steel wrote four historical novels before turning to crime with the Inspector de Silva mysteries, inspired by time spent in Sri Lanka (the former Ceylon)). Her work has also appeared in national newspapers and magazines. Visit her blog to sign up to her monthly newsletter for news of new releases and great offers,
She’s married with two daughters and lives in Surrey. When she’s not writing, she likes reading, long walks and visiting art galleries and museums.

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Matthew Loyd DaviesMatthew Lloyd Davies‘ acting career spans over three decades. Starting on the Stage Crew at Chichester Festival Theatre and learning the ropes as an Assistant Stage Manager (Acting/ASM) he went on the train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and on leaving found himself very much in demand as the young and handsome Juve Lead!!!.
His career spans all genre’s and media. From TIE through Rep and  UK Tours, to International Tours, West End Theatre and Musicals, Award Winning Television Drama and Oscar Winning Film.
Recent work includes productions of Three Days In The Country and A
Small Family Business at The NATIONAL THEATRE and Offie Nominated for Best Actor in a Musical: ‘Man in Chair’ in The Drowsy Chaperone at The Gatehouse Theatre and Ivan in The Acedian Pirates at Theatre 503.
Career highlights include appearing alongside Nigel Hawthorne in the NATIONAL THEATRE production and OSCAR winning film of The Madness of King George, and playing Amos Hart in Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre.
Matthew has recorded over 130 audiobooks and is AUDIE nominated twice.
Matthew is represented by Alexandra McLean Williams.

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My thanks to Tantor Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by

Sophia Rose Signature

  • 4
    editor rating
Sophia Rose
Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.


  1. Oh I always have such a great time with books set at this period.

  2. So I’m reading the comments and I’m saying to myself, wow this sounds like a Sophia Rose review LOL
    just like my fave authors I can now tell who is reviewing too it seems.
    Sounds lovely Sophia Rose

  3. I love these type of reads so this is definitely something I need to look into more. Wonderful review!

    • I can’t wait for the next installment after really enjoying this one.

      Yes, I agree. Back then interracial marriages were so not the thing so I was glad the author didn’t gloss over it and made it just enough without going overboard.
      Sophia Rose recently posted…Trouble in Nuala Audiobook by Harriet SteelMy Profile

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