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Snobbery With Violence
Edwardian Murder Mystery Series – Book I

By M C Beaton / Marion Chesney

Lady Rose Summer might be the daughter of an Earl, but her involvement with the Suffragettes has made her unpopular during her London Season. It is not surprising therefore that her parents jump at the chance of a house party at nearby Telby Castle held by the Marquess and Marchioness of Hedley. But Lady Rose hasn’t been there very long before one of the guests is murdered. Perhaps it is time for a little sleuthing to allay the boredom, in the more lively company of her unconventional maid Daisy and private detective Captain Harry Cathcart.

As can easily be expected from this author, here is a novel that is hard to put down, easy to read and replete with incidents. There are plenty of asides about the decadence of the aristocracy that will have most readers nodding their heads in agreement, and the rather empty, pointless lives they lead. Captain Harry makes a good detective, and it is easy to sympathize with Rose, keen to be a modern woman but prevented to do so by the rules of society. To its detriment the actual house party murder is a long time coming, and much time is spent introducing the main characters (mainly Harry and Rose) and detailing the various things they get up to beforehand. This leaves less time for the actual crime to be solved, and many of the people at the house party are mere ciphers, including the murder victims which makes it less of a classic puzzle whodunit than is presumably intended. I was left with the feeling that this is a series that needs to find its own uniqueness, and that now we know the protagonists better future novels will be 100% the case they are working on.


The Book

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
August 2010
184901289X / 9781849012898
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