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Gentleman of Fortune, A [Hardcover]

Anna Dean
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 17.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

11 May 2009
It is Richmond, 1806. Miss Dido Kent has developed rather a taste for mysteries. Having solved the riddle of her niece's missing fiance and the body in the bushes at Belsfield Hall, she is finding her quiet holiday at her cousin Flora's home rather unchallenging to say the least. And Miss Dido Kent is a woman who likes to be challenged. So when a neighbour dies suddenly, leaving her entire estate to her young nephew, Miss Dido can't help but be suspicious. But is her over-active imagination making her look for murder where there is none? When the local doctor pronounces an overdose as the cause of death and publicly accuses the nephew of killing his aunt, Miss Dido feels her inquisitiveness is justified. And when Flora prevails upon her cousin's mystery-solving capabilities to prove the nephew innocent of the crime, Miss Dido can hardly refuse to comply. After all, what harm can a little investigating do? With dirty dealings and death amongst Richmond's upper classes, Miss Dido Kent is ideally placed to observe her neighbours' behaviour, and as she does so, she brings more to light than even she could have imagined.

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Gentleman of Fortune, A + A Woman of Consequence + A Place of Confinement (Dido Kent Mysteries)
Price For All Three: 50.13

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: ALLISON & BUSBY (11 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749007257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749007256
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,332,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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...

Product Description


'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 'Anna Dean has captured the tricky business of presenting a clever and resourceful woman, hedged in by a tight-laced society, who turns those limitations to her own benefit. Decorative and thoughtful, this is a worthy addition to the historical crime tradition' LAURIE R KING, AUTHOR OF THE BEEKEEPER'S APPRENTICE

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The wonderful Miss Dido Kent 4 Jun 2009
By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
First Sentence: My Dear Eliza, The great Mrs. Lansdale is no more.

Miss Dido Kent is 35, without fortune and unmarried. Due to her situation, she finds herself `loaned' out to various relatives to act in various unpaid roles. In this instance, she is on holiday at her cousin Flora's home in Richmond and is becoming rather bored and until a neighbor dies. The wealthy elderly woman's doctor announces she died from an overdose of a sleeping opiate. Immediate suspicion falls on the victim's nephew who will inherit. Flora doesn't believe it to be true and implores Miss Dido to find the truth.

The story's opening causes one to lament the lost art of letterwriting. Ms. Dean employs letters from Miss Dido to her sister, Eliza, as the means by which we learn many of Miss Dido's thoughts and investigative activities. Rather than possibly being boring, they are quite delightful.

Miss Dido is a wonderful character. She is a Georgian combination of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes, with few dead bodies than the former and much more approachable than the latter. She is smart, literate, highly observant and quite independent. I am happy to say Mr. Lomax, to whom we were introduced in the first book, also appears here.

The story is beautifully written. Ms. Dean paints a vivid picture of, at this time, a somewhat rural England town with its sights, sounds and smells. The people are ones about whom we care and I particularly like that even Miss Dido can come to the wrong conclusion.

The dialogue conveys the period. One of my favorite lines, not even said by Miss Dido, is the observation that "Mrs. Midgely...no longer has a soul...deduce[d] from the fact...that she no longer reads any books at all....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp, witty, intriguing read 5 Sep 2011
May 1806 finds Miss Dido Kent staying with her cousin Flora Beaumont, just when rumours begin to circulate about the death of Flora's neighbour, Mrs Lansdale. Dido's curiosity is naturally awakened and when it seems certain that a miscarriage of justice is liable to take place, she embarks on a private investigation of her own. If Mrs Lansdale's was not a natural death, then who hastened her passing? Was it the principal beneficiary, her nephew Mr Henry Lansdale? The strange and slightly sinister companion, Miss Clara Neville? What does Mr Vane, the apothecary know? Or poor old Miss Prentice, whose rooms overlook the comings and goings at Mrs Lansdale's grand house across the road? What happened to Mrs Lansdale's dog - and who were the mysterious visitors on the evening of her death? And just when you are assimilating all those questions, the plot thickens a little more...

This novel is a delight from start to finish, a satisfying mystery, elegantly written, choc a bloc with wit and accurate in its historical detail. Few authors manage to create characters and events which fit so convincingly within the historical framework they have chosen, then produce a satisfying denouement too - but Anna Dean pulls off the hat trick and I can't wait to read the next one in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gentleman of Fortune 2 Jun 2013
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark".

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, which has a lady, believed by all and sundry to have reached her `spinsterhood', pitting her mind to help her niece, and solve a mystery while staying at a stately home.

In this novel, Miss Dido Kent is staying at her cousin's for a holiday, and the year is 1806. An elderly lady in the neighbourhood has just died, and her young relative has come into a fine fortune; but why does another woman seem determined to implicate him in his aunt's death? Dido can not, of course, bear to have someone slandered, or worse, for something they may have had nothing to do with. So she sets her considerable talents at sleuthing to finding out what is going on, and hopefully setting all to rights.

This is another great novel featuring Miss Kent; she is witty and clever, the characters with whom she interacts are well drawn and suitably `Austen-like' to bring a wry smile to the reader. The action is well-paced, and there are plenty of twists and turns until all is put to rest. And while Miss Kent may consider herself broad-minded, there seem to still be a few things that can bring a blush to her cheeks. Totally recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Mystery for Dido 11 Sep 2011
I am not normally a fan of historical crime novels, but Anna Dean's first novel, A Moment of Silence was so strongly recommended by a friend that I gave it a try. I enjoyed it enough to buy the second in the series and I have to say that A Gentleman of Fortune is even better. If you like your mystery presented in a beautifully written, light, amusing and yet genuinely gripping package, you cannot fail to enjoy this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Execellent Service 14 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book brought as a Christmas Present and is to add to the other books in this series. Sure that the person will be delighted
Good quick service thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DIDO KENT 7 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great series 6 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you have not yet discovered this Regency period sleuthing series you are missing a delight! A feisty heroine worthy of Austen herself and well plotted intrigue will please those attracted by good historical novels. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely briliant story - love Dido and love all the interlinked...
I didn't buy this book on Amazon..I was given it by my husband.
Absolutely briliant story - love Dido and love all the interlinked elements of the mystery. Read more
Published 10 days ago by IrisMoshiri
1.0 out of 5 stars A good idea that didn't work - for me, anyway!
I bought the 4th of this series in a discount book shop and then found the previous two in charity shops. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Hils T
5.0 out of 5 stars More Regency mystery
The early 19th century's Miss Marple, the heroine that Jane Austen would have created if only detective fiction had even been a genre has returned with a clever and well executed... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Joy Windsor
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful discovery!
Having read all the Agatha Christies, all the Georgette Heyers and all the Jane Austens I am very glad to have stumbled across this series. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mrs. E. B. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite of the three I have read so far...
I read the one-star review of the book and was quite surprised at its content. Of course Anna Dean's books are 'pastiches' of Jane Austen's, stories that have more than just a... Read more
Published 18 months ago by H. Lacroix
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever plot, charming characters
This book is an excellent follow-on to the first in the series, allowing nice character development, and continuing with the charming feel of the series. Read more
Published on 20 Aug 2012 by snowqueen01
3.0 out of 5 stars Comfort Reading
I didn't fall instantly in love with this series. A heavy head cold when I started reading the first book made me wonder if it was me or the plot that was a bit lacklustre. Read more
Published on 1 Jun 2012 by J. Mccready
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