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A Moment of Silence Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 1 Oct 2008


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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Soundings Audio Books; Unabridged edition (1 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140790700X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407907000
  • Product Dimensions: 38.9 x 20.1 x 11.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

More About the Author

I live in the English Lake District with a husband and a cat. I write compulsively. It all started with a mistake. When I was taught to write at the age of five I assumed that I must write books. By the time I realised my mistake and understood that it was not actually compulsory to create stories - the habit was too deeply ingrained to give up.

My other interests include: reading old letters and journals in local archive collections, walking, visiting old houses, watching Star Trek and canoeing on very flat water.

The Dido Kent series of mystery novels has grown out of many things including my enjoyment of puzzles and word-play, my love of the English countryside in which I have always lived, my interest in old houses, my time spent reading eighteenth and nineteenth century documents and my affection for the work of Jane Austen. The books are not in any sense continuations or 'spinoffs' of Austen's work. But they are set in the same period and they tend to focus on '3 or 4 families in a country village' - the setting which Jane Austen once described as 'the delight of my life.'

There are also other influences and references, not only to the novels but also Jane Austen's own life. For example, the visit to Lyme in A Moment of Silence is influenced by Persuasion; there are parallels with Emma in A Gentleman of Fortune; and the ruined abbey in A Woman of Consequence owes much to Northanger Abbey. Readers unfamiliar with Austen's work need not worry about all this. These allusions and references are certainly not essential to understanding the stories. Sometimes though, there are extra clues which avid readers of Jane Austen may be able to pick up; but, beware, the references to her life and work are not always pointing you in the right direction...



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About the Author

'Beautifully written. Characters one cares about immediately and a mystery which becomes more urgent with every page' ANNE PERRY, author of the Inspector Pitt novels --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: My dear Eliza, I must begin another letter to you, although it is not six hours since I sent my last.

Catherine Kent is engaged to Richard Montague. During a special ball at Betsfield Hall, Richard reacts strongly to a red-headed man and then disappears.

Catherine's father sends for his spinster sister, Miss Dido Kent. The same day Dido arrives, the body of a murdered woman is found under a hedge on the property and Dido decides it's up to her to discover the killer.

Ms. Dean's writing is literate, intelligent, funny and completely captivating. I give her top marks for sense of time and place, as well as dialogue, which is delightfully appropriate to the period. Her observations on women, marriage and inheritance are done with a light, but informative, touch.

Dido Kent is a wonderful protagonist. She is smart and clever without being malicious; something of a Miss Marple of 1805, but better. I particularly enjoyed the letters to Dido's sister, which convey Dido's internal questions, observations and explorations. All the characters come to life under Ms. Dean's deft hand.

The story is very well plotted. Ms. Dean provides her readers all the clues as Dido uncovers them but, as one who let's the protagonist solve the crime, I was delighted watching the solution unfold.

Those who are fans of Jane Austin, traditional mysteries, and/or historical mysteries, should enjoy this book. Personally, I loved it!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 6 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an utterly delightful novel sure to engage fans of Jane Austen, Agatha Christie's spinster detective, or anyone who enjoys good writing.

Set in 1805, it takes a Jane Austen-alike plot (particularly, perhaps, Mansfield Park) and mixes it up with a murder mystery in a country house, complete with assortment of diverse characters. Why has Catherine's recent fiance, Richard Montague, suddenly broken off their engagement and disappeared? Who is the mysterious woman found shot in the shrubbery? What is the secret of the odd household in a nearby village?

The author cites Jane Austen as a favourite of hers, and the 'detective', Catherine's spinster Aunt (improbably named Dido!), bears more than a passing resemblance to Jane herself as she appears in her letters. In fact, the narrative alternates between a 3rd person and Dido's own letters to her sister Eliza, a reference to JA's own letters to her sister Cassandra.

My only quibble with this book (and it's a small one, but hence 4 stars) is that the relationship between the classes is all wrong: Dido mingles easily with the servants and they, too, are at home with her. Any reader of Jane Austen will know that servants were beneath even her upper-middle class notice (apart from the housekeeper of Pemberley, and even she couldn't ever be imagined sitting down and having a cosy chat with Elizabeth).

But small quibble aside, this is a delightful, amusing, vastly entertaining read, with some very sly humour (Colonel Walborough and his pursuit of the handsome servant Jack is priceless!). Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Goode on 10 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved every word of this. It's clever, funny, poetic... beautifully phrased and cunningly plotted. Anna Dean seems to be having great fun exploring the concerns and language of Jane Austen's world. But for me the affinity went deeper than that. In Austen's books, great sadness is faced with pragmatism, bravery, humour, sensitivity and curiosity. Dido is just such a heroine. This is a book which you can curl up with, as a friend, a comfort and a bracing restoration of your faith in life!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Helen S VINE VOICE on 6 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
A Moment of Silence is an entertaining murder mystery set in the early 19th century. It's the first in a series of novels featuring the wonderful Miss Dido Kent.

The story begins when Dido is summoned to Belsfield Hall, the country estate of the Montague family. Her niece Catherine is engaged to Sir Montague's son Richard - who has mysteriously disappeared during their engagement party. Dido agrees to help Catherine solve the mystery behind Richard's disappearance, but events soon take a more sinister turn when a dead body is found in the shrubbery...

This was a light, easy read which should appeal to fans of Jane Austen due to the setting and the elegant, witty writing style - although I'm not a huge Austen fan and I still loved it! A Moment of Silence has all the elements of a classic English country house mystery: clues, red herrings and lots of possible suspects, with almost every one of the guests and family members concealing a secret of some kind. Although some of the clues were quite obvious, there were others that I didn't figure out and the mystery was interesting enough to hold my attention right to the end.

But rather than the mystery itself, the main reason I loved this book was because of Miss Dido Kent, who is a wonderfully engaging character. She's intelligent, observant and always speaks her mind, though usually in a good-natured way. Although we're not told exactly how old she is (unless I missed it) she's unmarried and her 'spinster' status gives her the freedom to investigate and to wander around the estate asking questions and interfering - always with the best intentions of course!
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