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Death on a Silver Tray (Beau Brummell Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – May 2001

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; Reissue edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042517946X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425179468
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,922,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The boredom that so frequently troubles me was, for the moment, joyously at bay. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautifully written and meticulously researched portrayal of the Beau himself and a superb reconstruction of his era as well as an intriguing mystery complete with multiple suspects and red herrings galore.
There are many historical personages featuring as amateut sleuths in mystery fiction, some work- viz Gyles Brandreth's Oscar Wilde series, some, I will not mention them for I'm sure they have their fans, are I think not quite so successfully portrayed. This is not the case with this series.
Here we meet the true essence of the Beau, generous, kind, intelligent, principled, ironic and self-deprecating. The sense of his times is immaculately portrayed without being too over-powering and every character- even the minor ones- emerges fully fledged.
I am sure that if the doyenne of the Regency period fiction - Georgette Heyer, who also wrote detective fiction, - had read this she would have applauded the style the writing and the mystery.
What a find this series is. I found it while Kindle surfing and am now about to download the rest of the series immediately--- that's how good I think it is.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Aug. 2000
Format: Hardcover
We should all be grateful to Rosemary Stevens for one thing, at least. She has proven, without doubt, the existence of time-travel. To be sure, we don't know which direction works best -- from here to there, or there to here -- but how else do we explain the absolutely perfect rendition of Beau Brummell in this, his first published exploit as a detective?
But if not time-travel, then by whatever means Ms. Stevens has discovered, and that has allowed her to set down on paper the life and times and adventures of the Beau, we can only be grateful for her generosity in being willing to share such with the rest of us.
The Beau turns out to be exactly as we imagined him to be: warm, sensitive, generous, and possessor of a wonderful dry wit, of which he is as frequently the target as are those others with whom he associates. His attention to details -- both private and public -- and insistence on personal hygiene -- have benefited all of us in many ways, not least of which is this wonderful first adventure. The wait for his second will be entirely too long!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 37 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Mystery with Appeal/ An Investigator with Class 23 May 2000
By Judith A. Lansdowne - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Tired of the same old thing? Looking for an investigator you can't get enough of, a scintillating plot and incredible atmosphere? Pick up this book. It's got it all.
I admit I've become jaded with conventional mysteries. Puzzling out the answer isn't enough. I've longed for a really good book set in an interesting time period-- one I can just sit back and immerse myself in without looking at the clock every fifteen minutes and wondering if the author will ever get around to actually having something happen. Well, folks, this is the book. Stevens' portrayal of Beau Brummell as Regency Detective is magnificent. Her presentation of the time in which he lived deftly and accurately done. And there's not one character in here that you don't come to know intimately. No cardboard cutouts for Ms. Stevens. Not a one! I will admit that I solved the mystery-- but only at the exact same time that Brummell did. A terrific read. I'm in love Beau, the incomparable, Brummell just as I always have been with Sherlock, the audacious, Holmes. Three cheers, Ms. Stevens! You've made my day.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The best-dressed sleuth in any historical mystery series! 3 Jun. 2000
By Jo Manning - Published on
Format: Hardcover
And the cleverest! Rosemary Stevens has gotten Beau Brummell's "voice" down beautifully---just as I'd imagined he would sound and just as I'd imagined he would behave. The Beau, arbiter of Regency fashion and things social, admirer of beauty in all forms (from women to Sevres porcelain), is drawn into a murder investigation by his dear, treasured friend Freddie, the Duchess of York. He comes through admirably, and the identity of the murderer is a real surprise, nicely done. Stevens has other good characters with Robinson, Brummell's valet, his crony Petersham, and the Lavenders, father and daughter, respectively a Bow Street investigator and the founder of a home for fallen women. And Chakkri, the Siamese cat, is beyond description: the feline equivalent of George Bryan "Beau" Brummell. A delicious book! I will be looking forward eagerly for the next installment. Fans of the Jane Austen mysteries will, I predict, flock to this new Regency sleuth. Brummell as detective is just a fabulous idea.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Hang it all, it's too cute not to LOVE . . . 10 Mar. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Look, if I can love this blasted little romp, ANYONE cat, er, can. And I'm not a cat person, but that's beside the point . . .
DEATH ON A SILVER TRAY is written in the First Person. You need to appreciate that because it extracts a certain effect which works irritatingly well (or did on me) in spite of the fact that I generally detest the presence of the writer inserting himself into my story, and am even less inspired to become engaged in a murder plot that can't even take itself seriously. But I think the narrative voice chosen (supported in no small measure by an imperiously ambivalent Siamese cat) is, ironically, what makes the book work so well. Chagrined as I am to say this, one sits down to this book examining a plate of chocolate sweets. And discovers only after the fact that they have just consumed an excellent, satisfying meal that will stay with them. The vanity of the narrator is so ubiquitous that the pace of the story rushes behind like an excitable hairstylist with a pair of scissors. Brummel's vanity knows no shame! and the effrontery of his appealing to your sympathies in the First Person is riotously funny. You'll discover yourself bonding with Brummel even as you hate yourself for doing it. Even the cat is lifelike and soft. You'll . . . you'll want one dammit.
There is the deceased, of course. Something of an afterthought squeezed between the latest fashionable sedan wood and, er, cat dander. I laughed so hard at choice points throughout this book I found myself turning to the back sleeve incredulously, wondering how the author could have earned my respect in spite of myself. I found myself saying, "This confounded, damnable little book . . . why can't I put it down? It's useless. I can't even take it seriously."
And that, dear friends, is precisely the point. Read this book when you've been sad. Let the book make you laugh. And with any luck you'll be laughing at yourself in the end. There's a bit of Brummel in all of us, hang it all.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Debut Historical a Fascinating Read 8 May 2000
By Inyogirl - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Rosemary Stevens has done a delightful job of integrating George "Beau" Brummell, the arbiter of Regency fashion, into a historical mystery.
The story is told from Brummell's perspective. Tasked to find the murder of the unpleasant Lady Wrayburn by no less a personage than HRH the Duchess of York, he is far out of his element. However Brummell accomplishes this task in a satisfactory fashion, and it is to Ms. Stevens's credit that his methods are entirely believable. She gives Brummell a fastidious personality to match his historical reputation; just as his somewhat overbearing personality begins to annoy, she softens the portrait with a small piece of business and a robust sense of humor (she describes one aspiring dandy as a "walking salad").
Characters in the book, while the ordinary sort that populate most historical mysteries of the time period (butlers, lady's maids, the "ton" of the English court, for instance) are deftly individual. And the cat on the cover, the lovely Chakkri, has his own role to play in the story, too.
All in all, an enjoyable book and a worthwhile addition to the sub-genre.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Regency and Mystery-Excellent Combo 27 Oct. 2001
By Moe811 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Beau Brummell decided what and who was fashionable in Regency England. Most Regencies describe him as a rather one dimensional character. Ms. Stevens has quite rightly made him the center of a mystery series, much as he was the center of the fashionable world of his time. He is asked by his dear friend, the Duchess of York, to clear a protegee of hers of the murder of her employer. The woman was exceedingly unpleasant, and was even rumored to have beaten her servants. The night before her death, Lady Wrayburn was incensed with Miss Ashton for inadvertantly telling her that her ladies' maid was pregnant. Now all of London thinks that Miss Ashton is the murderer. To save the Duchess' reputation and to assist the young women, the Beau agrees to help. He even loses a painting at auction, having been distracted by the problem. The winner of the auction, a representative of the King of Siam, presents him with the first Siamese cat in England. The famous valet, Robinson, is not happy about cat hairs, but Brummell can not return him. The cat seems to be an ancestor of Lillian Jackson Braun's KoKo, an able assistant in solving a difficult murder.
This was an excellent mystery. The characters are familiar ones for those who have read regencies, and very well developed. The mystery was engrossing and difficult to solve. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
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