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A Woman of Consequence (Dido Kent Mysteries) Paperback – 29 Aug 2011


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A Woman of Consequence (Dido Kent Mysteries) + A Gentleman of Fortune + A Moment of Silence
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: ALLISON & BUSBY (29 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749009179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749009175
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 156,272 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...



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Review

'A masterpiece of detection, a Miss Marple-esque character both razor-sharp and kindly. A totally enjoyable read' Louise Penny, author of The Murder Stone

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: My dear Eliza, I promised yesterday that just as soon as I had leisure for writing should send you a full and satisfactory account of Penelope Lambe's accident at Madderstone Abbey; and so I shall begin upon it.

Unconscious after Penelope Lambe falls down stone steps in the ruin of Madderstone Abbey, it is thought she saw the ghost of the Grey Nun. Miss Dido Kent is skeptical and believes the cause was more corporal than spiritual. When a skeleton, identified as Elinor Fenn, governess, is found within a lake being drained on the property, the verdict is self-murder. A friend does not believe Miss Fenn would have committed suicide and, in order to save her being buried in unconsecrated ground, asks Did to investigate.

Beginning with a wonderful opening, I am reminded how much I enjoy the voice of Anna Dean and, therefore, her character Dido Kent. With shades of Jane Austen and her own delightful, wry humor, we are transported back to Georgian England..."I believe that every family which has any claim at all to grandeur should have a ghost. I consider it a kind of necessary which should be attended to as soon as the fortune is made and the country estate purchased." Ms. Dean writes her books in both third person narrative and first person through letters from Dido to her sister. While some may find this annoying, for me it is an interesting and amusing way of conveying relevant information without slowing down the story. It allows us to see both all the events and be privy to Dido thoughts at the same time.

At 36 years old, Dido is considered a spinster yet is anything but shy and retiring. She has a logical mind and approach to solving problems by investigating the clues. The secondary story of her relationship with Mr.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jay on 26 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
The third in the 'Dido Kent' series and just as good as the two previous books. Can't wait for the fourth book, which is why I was so disappointed when I bought 'Bellfield Hall', expecting it to be the fourth in the series, only to find it was the first book, 'A Moment of Silence' re-printed in America under a different title. Enjoy the first three books, but don't be fooled like me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Mccready on 23 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the previous two books, but in a cozy, easy-read way that left me a little flat. This one, however, had me more convinced and eager to read more of the adventures of Dido. I still dislike the copious amount of letter writing, and do find I want to skip the italics, but I enjoyed the characters in this one more, and felt that both the mystery and the moral dilemmas had much more to say and were more of a page-turner. I'm surprised I haven't seen these more prominently on display in major booksellers, but perhaps it is a case of a subject not being massively on trend. Perhaos if Dido were a Norwegian detective she would be more widely received.

Still some anachronisms, but the overall effect is pleasing and I will be buying the next one when it's published. The writing style is true to the period (too much 'cannot help but' usage though - my pet hate) but at the same time fresh and readable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By osprey on 15 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
A very readable historical mystery, well-written with characters you can engage with, and a different writing style moving between letters and actual events. I look forward to catching up with Dido Kent in A Gentleman of Fortune.
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Format: Paperback
I found the third novel in the series as enjoyable as the first two. Hence the review and the recommendation.

Dido Kent's fraught relationship with Mr Lomax seems a tad contrived...and the errant son conveniently dispposed of. It's as if the author, surprised at the success of the first novel, had to find a way of spinning the romance out. That notwithstanding, the main thrust of the novel, the crime itself, is as mutilayered as it is intriguing and the reveal is as disarming as I have come to expect.

It's not perfect but it is well-crafted and thoroughly enjoyable. If you like historical crime fiction that relies on deduction as opposed to CSI techniques then I'd highly recommend it.
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By Bee Smith on 17 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
For readers who enjoy the Regency world of Jane Austen and classic detective novels, you will fall in love with Dido Kent. This is the third in the series and I sincerely hope another is in the works. I'm hooked!

What I love about the Dido stories is that there is always a clever twist and surprise at the end of the story. So no, it's not formulaic but it has all the pleasing diversions of the genre.
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By Faye Mylward on 9 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like Austen then give the Dido Kent books a go. This one was my favourite, it was well paced and powerful, and no line was wasted. Dido is a superb character and the whole book succeeds in combining a state of mystery with the gentility of that period beautifully.
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By Mr Blue Sky on 14 Sept. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across Anna Dean's first Miss Dido Kent novel (A Moment of Silence). I really enjoyed it's unique combination of Jane Austin and Sherlock Holmes - but when I found myself starting this (actually the 3rd) Dido Kent novel, I wondered how much of my pleasure had been in it's distinctiveness.

It turns out that the answer is "somewhat"!

Anna Dean's strengths are in her characters and sense of time and place; but the plot here is definitely weaker and I feel definitely let down by too many of the plot strand resolutions. One or two plot twists were too unbelievable, and the "answer" to the main puzzle is simply impossible for the reader to predict - a cardinal sin in a mystery novel. However, there *is* a terrific plot twist that revolves around two letters that I didn't see coming at all.

But this book is largely redeemed by the splendid Ms Kent and the amusing and alarming folk she meets. So I feel a bit mean only giving it 3 stars, given that I'll almost certainly pick up another Dido Kent novel before too long... I'll be more generous next time!
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