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Hasty Death
Edwardian Murder Mystery Series – Book II

By M C Beaton / Marion Chesney

Lady Rose Summer has got her wish at last; her parents are fed up with her desire to earn her own living, so now she is. Rose and her maid Daisy are living in a women's hostel and working in a bank but all is not quite as it seems. Neither is it to last very long as society drone Freddy Pomfret gets himself murdered, and Rose can only aid and abet Captain Harry Cathcart if she is back in the bosom of society again.

After a somewhat bitty and sketchy start, this series appears to be well into its stride in this second entry. Rose and her friends have various adventures, and by the end of the book I was amazed to see how short it actually is as so much gets packed in. It is true that there are still some instances of characters that could use some more fleshing out in order to make a more involving story, but on the whole we get to know more of the people and none of the plot is superfluous. The author has researched her period, and there is plenty to mull over about the vast gap between high society and the teeming masses. There is a good dose of humor too, and we get to read about popular interests of the day such as vegetarianism, going to lectures and "nerve specialists" all of which show Ms Beaton's research into various aspects of Edwardian life. When the last page was read, I was conscious of having been treated to a surprisingly varied experience, and hope that this series continues to impress.

The Book

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
August 2010
1849012904 / 9781849012904
Historical Mystery / Edwardian London and environs
More at Amazon US || UK
NOTE: US edition is different, and listed under Marion Chesney

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010