A Bloody Hot Summer

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
207 Pages
Reviewed on 02/21/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Trevor D’Silva has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, M.S. degrees in Engineering Management, and Environmental Engineering, and an Associates degree in Accounting. He has lectured in mechanical engineering and environmental science subjects at various colleges.

Fateful Decisions, his debut novel, encompassing history and fiction from WW I to the end of WW II was released in October 2017. It got a 5 Star review from Readers’ Favorite and was also a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Awards competition in the historical fiction category for 2018 for which he got a medal.

His second novel, A Bloody Hot Summer, a murder mystery set in England and Scotland during the 1920s came out on November 14, 2019.

Both novels have won the Silver Badge Recommended Read Award from Author Shout. They have also won the Coffee Pot Book Club Award. Five Stars for A Bloody Hot Summer and Four Stars for Fateful Decisions.

On May 27, 2020, his short story – The Joke, which is of the crime fiction genre was published by The Crime Readers’ Association on their website.

Even though he’s an engineer, his passion for history has never waned. He uses his free time to expand his knowledge in history and reading crime fiction, thrillers, and mystery novels. He has an avid love for nature and for animal rights. He also loves traveling, learning new languages and experiencing various cultures and cuisines.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite

Lady Doris Fitzhugh is celebrating her eightieth birthday, surrounded by friends, family, and important members of the English countryside where she lives in her inherited Fitzhugh Manor. The day is hot, bloody hot, but that doesn’t deter from the celebratory confusion of the day. As guests come and go, it is easy to be misplaced, but at the end of the day, no one expects to be murdered. There is no reason to expect foul play, even within a family of dark secrets. Fortunately, Inspector Dermot Lucian Carlyle is vacationing nearby. Surprised that anyone would want Her Ladyship dead as he remembered her as a harmless old lady from church, Dermot knew he had a true mystery on his hands. As he works through a series of complicated events leading up to the death of Lady Doris Fitzhugh, Dermot uncovers far too many hidden facts for the comfort of the occupant of Fitzhugh Manor.

A Bloody Hot Summer by Trevor D’Silva is written in the comfortable flavor of a stately British murder mystery. Set in a sprawling countryside manor complete with large rooms and darkened hallways, a riding stable, and plenty of hidey holes, any seasoned mystery lover will be cozy within the confine of D’Silva’s muted descriptions and shadowy characters. As the mystery draws to a conclusion, fresh questions emerge, adding to the atmosphere of intrigue and old-world drama. The author includes a glossary of Cockney terminology for those unfamiliar with that particular verbiage. Agatha Christie fans will love A Bloody Hot Summer.

Michael P. Hartnett

Trevor D’Silva’s A Bloody Hot Summer is an old-fashioned British mystery, marked by an ever-building body count and a delicious parade of clues. Yet the novel also serves as a penetrating commentary on the price of Empire with its enemies made near (Scotland and Germany) and far (India and South Africa). By interweaving the complex history of the Fitzhugh family from 1850s India to fin de siècle South Africa (during the Boer Wars) to the Great War right up to the story’s present day 1927, D’Silva delivers a narrative soiled by the undercurrents of violence and greed.
Yet the serious price of that brutal colonial history is given buoyancy by the author’s playful approach to the mystery genre. The author clearly is having fun here as he draws on the traditional tropes and hints with elements ranging from poisoned medicines to cut saddle straps to secret passageways to dull knives to evidence hidden behind paintings. The presence of the charming, unassuming detective Dermot Carlyle on the scene gives the novel a measure of British restraint that keeps the tone wry and pensive.
Plus, D’Silva’s assured pacing propels the story ahead so that the clues and deaths accumulate in intriguing ways. As I mentioned in the opening, all of this cultivated, amusing mayhem is offset by the darker legacies of British history, one for which the Fitzhugh family paid an extremely high price, even as it gained great fortune. Indeed, no fortune could be more unfortunate.
At one point Pippa says to her boyfriend Richard, “You will have to wash your shirt or the stain will never come off.” The stains are everywhere in this novel and they hurtle back to a dark past, most pointedly in the concentration camps during the Boer War. Through his weather motif, D’Silva slyly hints how the legacy of colonialism permeates every aspect of English life. As Major Havelock points out, “This heat reminds me of South Africa and India.” That heat bears down on the characters through A Bloody Hot Summer, an environment that can be withering. The atmosphere is one ripe for exposure and revelation.
Finally, the elaborate maneuvers Dermot employs to draw out the murderers are masterful and lead to a very satisfying climax. I highly recommend A Bloody Hot Summer since it serves as a fun, engaging mystery while unearthing a past the evokes both shame and the opportunity for redemption.

Mark Schultz

This story is so delightful, I loved it! An English murder-mystery in the tradition of one of the finest authors in the genre. I can’t imagine any person who enjoys this type of reading being disappointed in the least.
The author has proven his journeyman status as a writer in all accounts. His handling of important aspects such as plotting, action and dialogue are masterful. His scene-setting and narration is elegant. I find nothing to complain about. Not even a single spelling error popped up to irritate me as I read.
I award 5 stars to “A Bloody Hot Summer”!


The story reminded me of Agatha Christie's novels. The setting, the manor house and also the detective, made me fell like it was a combination of Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie. Hope to read more from this author and for those who do not know British English, there is a glossary at the end of the novel, to understand the words and slang used in the UK.


The characters were described such that I could visualize them as the mystery unfolded. I enjoy history being a part of the story and I got that here. Hope d'silva gives us a sequel.

William H. Hendry

I enjoyed following the case with Detective Dermot. There were lots of twist and turns. I also enjoyed visiting India, London and Scotland plus the small village were most of the novel took place.


I was invited by the author, Trevor D’Silva, to read his second novel, A Bloody Hot Summer, in exchange for an honest review. The book is set in early 20th century England, and covers the time from the Boer Wars to The Great War, and examines much of the greed and abuses of that time in both India and South Africa under British rule. It is written, of course, in British English. This is a saga of an aristocratic English family whose greed still exists, but within the family rather than being visited upon those in other countries.

There are many twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. I actually recognized the killer early on, but began doubting myself as several equally likely candidates for blame rose to my attention. There is a large cast of life-like characters — so many, in fact, I had a little trouble keeping them all straight, but they were needed to be able to tell this delightful story. For anyone who loves a good murder mystery, I recommend A Bloody Hot Summer.

What made The Grumpy Book Reviewer grumpy?

The story itself is wonderful, and almost seems to be in the spirit and style of Agatha Christie. Unfortunately, the writing needs work, as there are distractions such as:
• the voice of the narrator often sounds as if he is listing activities rather than describing action;
• there are multiple missing commas, which can change the meaning of a sentence, or at least, confuse the meaning;
• there are a couple of redundancies;
• there is excessive and unnecessary use of the word “that”.

Sublime Book Review

Overall Rating = 4.88
Storyline & Concept = 5
Writing & Delivery = 5
Cover Marketability = 5
Editorial = 4.5

A Bloody Hot Summer offers a fine influential mix and feel of two of England’s most famous literary giants. The Dickens-like introduction immediately releases mystery and flashes the twists to come. An intricately laid out cast of characters is introduced with purpose and the flavor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fitting each one into the puzzle. Classic storyline points are used in a learned and sharp approach and are mixed with circumstantial origins and family history that helps to shift speeds in well-pace moments. This book brings the reader back to a time when intrigue and crime were fresh subjects for consumption.
Sublime Line: “A Bloody Hot Summer is a fantastic visit home to the style and genre that made mysteries ever so intriguing.

Colin Benbow

A book with lots of twists in the plot which includes historical fact as pert of the story. Following the twisting plot tests the brain at times though satisfying when you grasp the relationship.
Felt at times the detective a little slow in picking up the clues. His age and rank make the reader wonder why the older higher ranked inspector didn’t take more of a leading role. Enjoyed The adventure. A reminder the Norman governing class have not been perfect in treatment of other cultures.

Mary Yarde

“Her screams reverberated throughout the mansion as the tray fell, scattering its contents on the bedroom floor…”

The Fitzhugh family had congregated at Fitzhugh Manor in the village of Meadowford, to celebrate Lady Doris Fitzhugh’s eightieth birthday. But the tranquillity of this small family union was shattered when Alice entered her mistresses’ bedroom the following morning, for Alice had unwittingly stumbled upon a gruesome discovery. Lady Doris’s throat had been slit, and her emerald jewelled necklace had been stolen.

Detective Dermot Carlyle was on leave when he was called in to help with the case. Young, though he may be, Dermot has a quick wit and a sharp intelligence, and this was the kind of case he had been waiting for to prove his worth. However, it soon becomes clear that this was not a simple robbery that had gone wrong — this was premeditated murder.

From a family celebration to the discovery of a shameful family secret that had remained hidden for three generations, A Bloody Hot Summer by Trevor D’Silva is an utterly enthralling murder mystery that will leave the reader guessing right up until the very last minute.

With an exceptional eye on the historical detail and a keen understanding of what makes an entertaining read, D’Silva has penned a truly wonderful book. The narrative is rich, vibrant, and utterly irresistible. D’Silva has captured the very essence of what Britain was like in the 1920s. His attention to the language, along with all its glorious slang, and the richness of the local dialects have all been wonderfully explored and skilfully executed.

A Bloody Hot Summer isn’t just set in the 1920s. It also touches upon the Indian Rebellion of 1857 as well as the “Scorched Earth” policy applied by the British and the subsequent imprisonment of tens of thousands of men, women and children. These terrible camps were poorly administered, and conditions were horrendous. Many died. I thought D’Silva depicted this shameful and sinister era of British history with great skill and diligence. Kudos, Mr D’Silva.

A Bloody Hot Summer is both exciting and dark in almost equal measures. It is also incredibly fast-paced and immensely readable. As with all good murder mysteries, I put on my amateur detective hat and tried to piece the clues together to come up with a culprit as well as a motive. However, D’Silva is the king of plot twists, and I found myself dismissing my own theories more than once as to who the killer was. A Bloody Hot Summer is undoubtedly a book that captured my imagination. The Fitzhugh family is suffocating in secrets and lies, which made for a cracking read. Just one more page became one more chapter. This is the kind of book that a reader will forgo sleep to finish!

Detective Dermot Carlyle was the ideal protagonist. He is an intelligent man who does not take things at face value. He is always looking for a motive, and he finds himself entangled in this web of egotistic individuals who all have a motive for murder. The more Dermot uncovers, the more there is to learn. I thought Dermot’s depiction was fabulous, and he was by far my favourite character in this book — and the most honest. Dermot reminded me at times of Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes — he is always thinking, he always sees the bigger picture. Dermot is certainly the eponymous hero of this novel.

I also thought the portrayal of young Hector was fabulous. This young thirteen-year-old boy is the heir to the Fitzhugh estate, and he is the only member of the Fitzhugh family whom I did not suspect of foul play. He has an air of innocence about him, and the thought that someone was trying to kill him, made me even more compelled to read on. I thought Hector’s depiction was brilliant.

Another character who piqued my interest was the dismissed servant, Irene Shaw. Irene’s character has been maligned by the Fitzhugh’s, without having had the chance to defend herself of what she had been accused of. Through Irene, D’Silva has demonstrated just how superior the Fitzhugh family thinks they are when compared with everyone else, which says more about them than Irene.

I enjoyed every minute of A Bloody Hot Summer by Trevor D’Silva. It is a book worthy of any bookshelf.

I Highly Recommend.