The House of Lost Horizons: A Sarah Jewell Mystery #5 Review

by Nick Devonald on September 14, 2021

Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Leila Del Duca
Colours: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Clem Robins

After the shocking revelation at the end of the previous issue that Arlen Whelstone was in fact still alive, it doesn’t take Sarah Jewell or Marie-Thérèse LaFleur long to put the final pieces together and finger the perpetrator. And of course, as with all murder mysteries in this vein, the answers aren’t quite as clear or obvious as readers might be expecting. There are a few red herrings designed to throw readers off, and then there is the question of how the teased supernatural elements manage to fit in, but Chris Roberson manages to bring all these disparate elements together elegantly.

It’s a satisfying ending to the story, it introduces new characters and creatures to the Mignolaverse, while further fleshing out the dynamic duo of Jewell and LaFleur. The villains get their comeuppance while readers get an entertaining murder mystery which will keep them guessing. Across the series Roberson has slowly introduced an intriguing cast of characters who have their own motivations, and while that has further fleshed out the story and made for entertaining reading, it feels like he has much grander plans for some of these characters, and it would be a shock not to see them reappearing in other titles within the Mignolaverse.

Leila Del Duca has been an excellent choice for artist on this comic, throughout the series she’s done an excellent job of portraying the characters, their faces betraying their emotions, and at times Del Duca has done all the heavy lifting when it comes to telling the story. She takes it to a whole other level here though, the emotion on Lilian’s face as she confronts Arlen, Arlens face wrought with emotion as he tells his story, those are just some of the standout pieces from this issue. And when the supernatural make an appearance, she manages to give them a suitably otherworldly aspect and feel.

Michelle Madsen is becoming a frequent collaborator as colourist within Mignola works and this series has given her a chance to use a much brighter and more vibrant palette than some of the other content has, which makes for a nice change. The colours look great throughout the issue.

Readers who have reached this point will find an great conclusion to the Mignolaverse take on the classic murder mystery, the series has been infused with tension and intrigue, and populated with interesting characters that extends beyond the titular Sarah Jewell and her partner Marie-Thérèse LaFleur, with a number of the characters sure to pop up in other titles. Once everything is laid bare the conclusion is swift and satisfying, and Chris Roberson manages to give things a distinctly Mignola flavour.

Our Score:


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