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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good First Novel
I downloaded this as an Amazon "freebie", aware that it was a first novel, so my expectations were not high. What a pleasant surprise, it was well written, the plot was interesting, and the characters believable.

Readers who have ever visited a stately home or heritage site will find it very amusing to read about the eccentric staff who work at the property...
Published on 30 July 2012 by Amazon Customer

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique
This book was a bit worrying at first as I couldn't classify it in my mind. Now that I have read it it seems to be about the frustrations and fantasies of the late middle aged. I didn't even feel sorry for BS - just negative as he appeared to be a mucky little egotist. The tentative romance between Sam and Max was so sweet compared to BS's - er - approach.
This...
Published 23 months ago by Fengirl


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good First Novel, 30 July 2012
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I downloaded this as an Amazon "freebie", aware that it was a first novel, so my expectations were not high. What a pleasant surprise, it was well written, the plot was interesting, and the characters believable.

Readers who have ever visited a stately home or heritage site will find it very amusing to read about the eccentric staff who work at the property that forms the setting for this story. The squabbles, rivalries and flirtations between them are convincingly drawn, and the collection of "erotica" that plays such an important role in the plot, is described with a fascinatingly mischievous eye for historical detail (whether authentic or imagined).

It does have its dark side, the owner of the property is a grotesque and snobbish bully, and the author does manipulate our feelings toward the archivist B.S Moreton. In one chapter B.S might appear to be a likeable, devoted and venerable (if prudish) historian, in another you begin to wonder if this assessment is entirely wrong. As the plot progresses, you realise that this ambivalence is deliberate, and that you must read on to untangle the truth about his uneasy relationship with the guide Maureen Hindle, and his role in the strange disappearance of key items in the collection of erotica.

The new guide Max Black and temporary curator Sam Westbrook make a good team in terms of both their hesitant emerging relationship, and their investigative skills. It makes a pleasant change to see people over 40 depicted in positive and important roles, instead of the usual dull and downtrodden stereotypes that are common in so many books.

My only criticism is that the ending landed a little flat, but I have the feeling that we could be seeing Max and Sam again in another book. If this is the case, I would be prepared to buy the next offering, because with his first book this author has proved that he is capable of producing an entertaining and intelligent story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Erotica - not-ica!, 21 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I won't go over the story again as it has been done by other reviewers. When I started to read it I was concerned that it was going to turn into a 50 Shades type of story however it's a great book. The characters are interesting and there are many twists and turns as the story unfolds. What a great first book and I hope that there will be many more by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and imaginative, 27 July 2012
By 
Sarah Hague (Montpellier, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Anyone who has spent time in National Trust properties will recognise the types of characters in this book. The motley collection is gathered to take care of the commercial side of Duntisbourne Hall. At the heart of the staff is the Archivist, BS Moreton who takes himself and his job extremely seriously.

There are three other main characters - Sam Westbrook, an attractive divorcee brought in to curate an exhibition of erotica, Max Black, a retired stockbroker who needs to get out more for his health, and Margaret Hindle, one of the guides who is so frustrated the last time she had any pleasure was aged 14 on the saddle of her bike.

The story is told from the point of view of each character which gives the reader insight into how they tick and information on their backgrounds.

The main theme of the book is the setting up of the exhibition of erotica from the Dywenydd Collection, including such choice items as the Brass Bound Boulle Buggery Box. The Archivist is dreading the exhibition and tries everything he can to retard it and hide some of the saucier items. Eventually he cannot control events as he likes and his world starts to unravel as the exhibition takes shape.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable read, with interesting mostly appealing characters, Margaret Hindle being the exception, and an original storyline. There is intrigue, love and sex, set in the marvellous surroundings of the magnificent Hall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 2 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This is a readers book. By that I mean someone who enjoys reading for the sake of it. It is well constructed, travels along at a civilised pace and has well crafted characters. I enjoyed it as much as I did Dickens and Peake. I hope it sells well and encourages the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific read!, 24 May 2013
By 
Judith (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Recommended to me as I am an archivist. I just hope that people don't think we are all like this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique, 24 April 2013
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book was a bit worrying at first as I couldn't classify it in my mind. Now that I have read it it seems to be about the frustrations and fantasies of the late middle aged. I didn't even feel sorry for BS - just negative as he appeared to be a mucky little egotist. The tentative romance between Sam and Max was so sweet compared to BS's - er - approach.
This really is a book that simply does not fit any category and for that we have to congratulate the author......also for the fact that there is no bad language and lots of amusing euphemisms for sex which made it all the more fun; and I wish that I had known them when I was younger!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More character, than plot, 20 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Plot-wise, think of this as "Agatha Raisin" if she'd done a PhD in "sexual non-conformity in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries" and been invited to curate the exhibition of an outre collection of erotic items, held at a stately-home; complete with a resident Earl, and an outre collection of staff whose foibles are no less curious or interesting than the items in the collection. Rest assured, there is a villain who's discovered and arrested, although others are also guilty, and s/he doesn't face prosecution for their worst crime IMHO.

Character-wise, this book shines, and it is well worth spending the time listening to the author describe her characters to you, as she tells her story. She has her favourites, and you'll probably find there's at least one you don't think she does justice to, but she makes them live. And that includes her chosen landscape, on the mid-Welsh borders (which becomes an extra character); the Lugg valley is slap in the middle of that heart of darkness that exists where neither rail mainlines, nor motorways intrude, and you're lucky to find a stretch of dual carriage-way on an A-road. Near Oswestry.

I did not find this book an easy read at first; it certainly didn't offer itself to me on a platter. But I couldn't stop myself returning to it, and when I 'got it' I read the last two-thirds through as if it was an old-school thriller.

In short, I think this is a really good book, whether or not it is this author's first. I, for one, will be interested in reading what Sam and Max (from this book) get up to next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not erotic but very titillating!, 30 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I thought this was going to be so different but was pleasantly surprised to become thoroughly engrossed in this tale of a Stately Home and the old guy who is the Archivist of the sexual treasures. There is a lot of mystery here; good characters and scenery which really draws you into the story. It's excellent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Would have liked a better ending., 22 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
Plot was ok. But ended badly, now need to read the sequel to find out more, which I don't know if I want to bother
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4.0 out of 5 stars THE ARCHIVIST, 29 May 2013
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This review is from: The Archivist (Duntisbourne Hall Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this very much, although a bit predictable and hope that there may be a follow up to this. I enjoyed the characters in the book, all odd balls but all likely to be people you might come across.
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