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A Place of Confinement
The Examinations of Miss Dido Kent – Book IV
Anna Dean

Allison and Busby
27 August 2012/ ISBN 9780749012724
Historical Mystery / 1805 / Devon, England

Reviewed by
Rachel A Hyde

It isn’t just his whiskers that make Dr Prowdlee repulsive in Dido Kent’s eyes; more it is the fact of his pompous manners and the fact that half of the church he presides over is already full of his offspring. But her family wishes to see her married and off their hands, to punish her and make her see the error of her ways, she is packed off to Devon with the rich hypochondriac Aunt Manners. They are guests at Charcombe Manor, Aunt Manners’ childhood home, but immediately it is plain that something is wrong. Young heiress Letitia Verney has gone missing and could either be lying murdered or gone to Gretna Green. Even worse is the fact that the chief suspect is none other than the never-do-well son of Dido’s own unrequited love Mr Lomax…

Now read on! There is something delightfully gothic about Ms Dean’s tales of Dido Kent and her investigations. Throw in ghosts, secret rooms, the sins of the past, and at least one body, and you have a good mystery to read far into the night. Add in a little romance and a good underpinning of period knowledge and you have a well rounded novel that Jane Austen herself might have enjoyed, not to mention Georgette Heyer. Dido remains firmly of her time as do all the other characters, the victim of being an impoverished spinster with a family eager to be rid of her, and a talent for unwomanly investigations. It is not a short story, but it’s measured pace suits the period, and at times the book reads almost as though it could have been written in an earlier age. Highly recommended although you would do better to start with the first book, A Moment of Silence.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines. Her craft blog is Green Thoughts
Reviewed 2012