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A Matter of Degree [Kindle Edition]

Beckie Henderson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 166 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

What the reviews say:

"light and witty", "beautifully described" - Miranda Stork Reviews

"This book had me laughing, crying and eager to read more." - Lisa Wood Reviews

"a relaxing and enjoyable read" - Indie E-books

Like a bit of romance? Like a bit of mystery? Then "A Matter of Degree" is for you!

When Katherine Valletta starts her new job at Deerhampton University, it’s clear that this is no normal workplace. Why has someone left an anonymous letter on her desk? Who is the arrogant woman who almost runs her down in that flashy sports car? And, most importantly, what is the story behind the handsome man whose arms she falls into on her way home?

As Katherine attempts to unravel these puzzles, her confidence and her self-knowledge grow, along with her relationships. She builds an unlikely friendship with Diana Woolf, Deerhampton’s tough new Professor of History. Fred Morris, the Admissions Tutor with a penchant for gaudy ties and knitted tank tops, seems like a useful ally. While in the midst of all the mayhem, Maddie Rose is a voice of reason, supporting her colleague Katherine all the way.

And in the background hovers sultry Biology Lecturer Chris Burberry. The more Katherine sees him, the more she likes him. But what does he want? What’s in his past? In fact, what does Katherine really know about him at all?

This witty, light-hearted novel is a great holiday read. Written in bite-sized chunks, it is also ideal for devouring on the move—while travelling to work, or when waiting for your kids to finish their swimming/piano/karate lessons, for example...

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Product details

More About the Author

I combine working as a university research manager with running my own writing and editorial business and raising my family. It's a very busy lifestyle, but I really enjoy the variety of experience that it gives me.

Over the years I've had all kinds of non-fiction published (a book, academic papers and magazine articles), as well as ghost writing two other books. Now I'm concentrating on fiction. I've published two novels to date: "A Matter of Degree" and "Travels on a Greyhound Bus". I'm currently working on a third. I've also recently started writing short stories and flash fiction.

Academically speaking, I hold a PhD and an MA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Law from the College of Law, York.

When I'm not working or spending time with my family, I really enjoy doing yoga (I've been practising for well over 20 years now, so am very flexible!) and swimming lengths at my local pool.

To find out more about me, please visit my website:, read my blog:, or follow me on Twitter: @BeckieHenderson.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light-hearted fun 14 Jun. 2012
By ditz68
Format:Kindle Edition
The heroine (or character) of this piece is Katherine Valletta, an Administrator who's just started work at Deerhampton University. In the style of what I would class `chick-lit' there's a broad mix of romance, mystery, humour and suspense. It's clear that the author has experience in the University setting - I found the description of the balance between academics/admin/students and broad swathes of incompetence from all sides as rather apt.

Overall this novel was a relaxing and enjoyable read (I, for example finished it during a particularly stressful weekend). If you check the blurb for this book on Amazon you have the line:

"This witty, light-hearted novel is a great holiday read. Written in bite-sized chunks, it is also ideal for devouring on the move--while travelling to work, or when waiting for your kids to finish their swimming/piano/karate lessons, for example... "

and you know what? I couldn't agree more.

Full review at [...]
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4.0 out of 5 stars An Intriguing Read! 2 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a wonderful romantic mystery that kept me hooked from the first page!

Katherine Valletta is a wonderful character. She is a smart and capable woman, who is starting her new job as Head of Administration at Deerhamption University in England. I liked her character a lot, but felt that she was not a strong enough character for the lead.

Diana Woolf had a stronger personality and basically took over the story. I didn't like her at first, but as the story continued, I grew to like this shrewd and forceful person.

I started to read this story and was quickly intrigued with the plot and the characters. I really did enjoy it! The story is told from four points of view: Katherine's, Diana's, Chris's and a fourth mystery person that kept things interesting. However, I felt that the mystery and suspense was a bit thin, and I guessed at the culprit long before they were revealed. But, there were a few twists that had me doubting my first instinctive guess. I'm glad my deductive reasoning was correct though, in the end!
The romance aspect between Katherine and Chris was not as passionate as I thought it could have been, but it was sweet and endearing. This book felt more like a Chic Lit novella rather than a mystery/romance, but it is a quick light read that one could pick up when travelling to work on public transport or whilst on holiday.

Beckie Henderson has written a wonderfully sweet romance. Her writing style is not particularly fast paced, but it flowed wonderfully. I would definitely read more of her books in the future.

I recommend this book if you love Chic Lit or Romance genres. - Lynn Worton
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Was Expecting! 17 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Good Points

Chick-lit romance is not normally my genre of choice when reading, but this one sounding so interesting, I thought I would give it a go. I found the writing flowed really well, and overall it was light and witty. The characters were vivid, and the dialogue between them was believable and fun. I especially liked Katherine, the main protagonist. In most romance novels, I end up wanting to slap the heroine at some point, but Katherine was amusing and sharp, and you could empathise easily with her. There is also an added mystery to this novel, which helped to move it along with something other than just the romance, which I found refreshing. I was kept guessing about `whodunnit' the whole way until it was all revealed later on. I also loved the University setting, I thought it was beautifully described.

Bad Points

Although it was enjoyable it was such a light read, I personally would have preferred a little more `weight' to the story. But that is just a personal preference, and I understand that people who read this genre regularly would probably like this. I also would have liked it to be a little longer, I thought parts of the mystery could have been built up more if this was the case.


I thought this was a perfect book for light reading, for example if you were on holiday or just chilling in the garden for the day. I did enjoy it, and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading contemporary women's fiction, but want the added twist of another genre mixed in. The writing was very good, and I can't wait to see what else this author comes out with!

I give this novel......4/5 Stars!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and easy reading 31 Aug. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A light read with a hint of mystery and Romance ideal for a holiday read or just to be transported away from whatever you are doing in your daily life.

The characters were believable and engaging Katherine was smart, witty and in control although not as in control as Diana although like most women she too as a vulnerable side. I enjoyed the friendship between these two women and would have liked to have seen more

Chris was instantly likeable and I loved the romance between him and Katherine.
I loved the who done it story line, I was kept guessing until the reveal although I had a couple of culprits in mind.

This book had me, laughing, crying and eager to read more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok Read
This was an ok read. Found it hard to get into. Once I did story was quite good. Characters were also ok. Not a book I would recommend though!
Published 16 months ago by Karen Gooderham
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, but plot not too exciting
It was ok, but felt the beginning development of the characters promised more plot than was delivered. Even the 'baddie' was a little tame.
Published on 26 July 2013 by RichardWales
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, entertaining book
An easy read which gives us a bubbling romance, nasty office politics and an insight into the world of university administration. Read more
Published on 23 Sept. 2012 by HorseVet
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it...
Wasn't sure what to expect, but I really enjoyed this book.

It's a lightweight and fun story set in a University. Read more
Published on 3 Aug. 2012 by Nic
4.0 out of 5 stars If only the reality of life in university admin was this interesting!
Mingling mystery, romance, the odd guilty secret, and a cast of supporting characters anyone who's ever worked in a university will recognise with a wry smile, this first novel by... Read more
Published on 27 July 2012 by Mrs Lou M Bell
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable
Full of intrigue and romance, I was hooked from the first page! It made a great holiday read and was a brilliant way to unwind after a day with an active three year old. Read more
Published on 8 July 2012 by Holiday girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday read
A rollicking good holiday read- a whodunnit in a contemporary university setting. Lively characters engage you, & you are kept guessing till the very end. Read more
Published on 6 Jun. 2012 by Liz Quintrell
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