by toni brabender: Thank you to BrookBrowse.com for an ARC of this lovely book. “The House on Vesper Sands” by Paraic O’Donnell may just be one of the best books of 2021 and it is only January. What doesn’t it offer? It is Victorian supernatural with Gothic qualities with just enough humor to balance some of the darker material. The duo of Cutter and Bliss may be the best duo of thief-takers since Sherlock and Holmes. The epilogue seems to hint that there could be a sequel and I so hope that there is. I think that Octavia will be a welcome addition to make this a trio. The dialog among them is witty, clever and at times laugh out loud funny. Although her role was much smaller in this book, I believe that she could play a larger part in future installments in the story but also in illuminating more of Cutter’s personality. Each and every character is nuanced and multi-dimensional. Every word is pitch perfect whether it be caustic, tender, unsettling or funny. The descriptions of nighttime Victorian London provide a creepy atmosphere befitting the tale. I am in awe of the author’s inventiveness. His creativity has created possibly the best mystery of the year or at least the most enjoyable mystery that I have read in quite some time.