on 10 May 2016
This book has been a joy to read and I just could not put it down. I am constantly looking for books that satisfy my demand for the Regency period, featuring strong characters with a mystery/ thriller element. This book has them all and I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.
Sarah is not your usual Regency miss. She is a fallen woman, who deals in information. Her lifestyle is not conventional and in no way does she conform to the demands of society. I really liked this aspect of her personality and the activities she engages in.
Life has not been easy for her but through a combination of her fencing skills, inquiring mind and an unusual approach to life as a woman in this period, she has forged a career as an investigative/inquiry agent. Today, we would call her a private detective.
Do not read this book expecting a traditional Regency romance, the romantic elements/love interest are all doomed to failure. Sarah is an original, whose life has taken an unusual path but she has made the best of her circumstances. She has rejected life as a fallen woman, avoided becoming a whore and created a career in an exclusively male world.
The book introduces us to a slightly altered Regency world, where history follows a different path to that we know so well. This took a little bit of adjustment but in no way does it interfere with the readers enjoyment of the book. The author has successfully managed to "change" the feel of the period, while remaining broadly true to historical fact.
An enjoyable book, featuring a truly feminist heroine - Sarah Tolerance is my new, favourite character in a book.
on 9 September 2005
i was hooked from the very first paragraph "it is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must,soon or late,descend to whoredom" - the heroine on the contrary becomes an Agent of Enquiry the sole one of her kind in the England of 1810. I can thoroughly recommend this - not least because of the amazing twist in the tale. One quibble was Ms Robins changing historical facts but the story itself carried me along. I will certainly purchase the second in the series
First Sentence: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom.
Sarah Tolerance is a disowned daughter of nobility who now lives in a cottage behind a high-class brothel and who acts as a private inquiry agent. She is hired by Count Verseillon to locate and retrieve an antique fan he's given to a lady when he was younger. What should be a relatively simple undertaking becomes less so when Sarah is attacked and others die.
For a purely fictional story, this was enjoyable. However, as historical fiction, this is definitely not the book for the historical purist and I was disappointed. The author plays fast and loose with historical facts and social details. Although she acknowledges it, I still found it disruptive.
The story, itself, was quite enjoyable and well plotted. It was a good mystery and there were things I did enjoy about it. There was one incident toward the end I felt was handled in an unlikely way and the romance felt superfluous.
I probably will read another, but more because I already have it rather than because I would now intentionally seek it out and there are other authors I would recommend instead.