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Accomplished In Detection (Accomplished Mysteries, Book 2) by [England, Dara]
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Accomplished In Detection (Accomplished Mysteries, Book 2) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 85 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 839 KB
  • Print Length: 85 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1484819217
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005SMB77U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #421,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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By Eleni TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second historical mystery novelette by Dara England.

Young Mariah Featherstone visits her friend Charlotte in her country estate in Kent, in order to meet Charles Pettifor, her friend's future husband. However, just before diner is served Charles Pettifor is found murdered and to make things worst, the main suspect for the crime is Mariah's friend and former suitor, Edwin Winterbourne. Mariah is convinced that Edwin is innocent and is determined to solve the case and help her friend.

Once again in this series, although this is a rather short novelette of only 20,000 words, it is not rushed at all and it maintains all aspects of a great mystery story. The plot is gripping and the atmosphere of Victorian Kent is great. All the characters are fascinating and very well developed, which is remarkable considering the length of this little mystery.

This story can stand on its own, but it might be best to start from the first novelette in the series, Accomplished in Murder, were Edwin Winterbourne is a secondary character.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ae34450) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a54a4) out of 5 stars (2.5 stars) Second in England's series of Victorian mystery novelettes. 19 Nov. 2011
By OLT - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the second in Dara England's series of historical mystery novelettes set in Victorian England. Her first one, Accomplished in Murder, was good enough that I decided to take a chance on this one. However, this novelette has the same drawbacks I found in the first and I don't feel as forgiving this second time.

I do not know how many novelettes are planned for this series, but I would prefer that there be fewer and that they be longer. These first two are too short to develop the story and characters satisfactorily. Everything is shortchanged this way, with one-dimensional characters, an underdeveloped mystery, and no depth to anything.

As for a brief summary of plot, our intrepid mystery-solving heroine this time is Mariah Featherstone. She's visiting her friend Charlotte at the country estate of Charlotte's aunt and uncle, the Morleys. Charlotte is promised to the local curate Charles Pettifor and there is to be a dinner party that night. Charlotte's cousin Richard is coming from London, bringing his friend, Edwin Winterbourne. (If you read Accomplished in Murder, you will remember that Edwin is the brother of that novelette's intrepid mystery-solving heroine, Drucilla. To tie the two stories together somewhat, the new heroine Mariah had been somewhat tepidly pursued by Edwin in London but she has discouraged him.)

Poor Charles Pettifor turns up murdered in the Morleys' garden before the dinner party begins. Edwin Winterbourne is discovered with the body and he is accused of the murder and arrested. Mariah believes an injustice has been served here and sets out to discover who the murderer really is. There are a few suspects, among them the strangely behaved and emotionally unbalanced Morley daughter who is not usually allowed to mix with company. No one in the story is fully drawn, even the protagonist, and one wonders how it is that Mariah is convinced she is a detective. She goes around asking questions of everyone, demanding of the magistrate to see the murder weapon and expecting him to share all knowledge of the crime with her. It's puzzling, especially considering the time period.

And as for Edwin, he merely represents an unjustly accused man and could be anyone. We never see him interacting with anyone. He's taken away by the magistrate at the beginning of the story and we never hear from him again except to note that he is freed once Mariah intrepidly solves the crime and finds the real killer.

I am repeating myself, but I have to say these little novelettes would interest me much more with more character and mystery development.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a56f0) out of 5 stars Accomplished In Detection is an entertaining historical mystery 9 May 2012
By Good Book Alert - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Accomplished In Detection
Author: Dara England
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Summary:

A dinner party at a Victorian country estate ends in a mysterious murder. Unfortunately for the murderer, one of the guests is Mariah Featherstone, a young woman with an interest and talent for solving such mysteries. But when she starts poking around, Mariah begins to remember why sleuthing is not the casual hobby of choice for most young Victorian women.

Review:

Accomplished In Detection is the second in a series of loosely connected Victorian mystery novellas. Although there is some slight character cross-over from the first in the series, no knowledge is required of the first to enjoy this story.

The core of this novella is a perfectly serviceable murder mystery. A curate is murdered and the protagonist, Mariah, is sure that the accused, a man with whom she has some acquaintance, is innocent. A common enough mystery scenario, but this story is set in the Victorian era with a female protagonist. A lack of decent forensics technology and the resistance of the male authorities make for a less than straight-forward investigation on Mariah's part. That being said, several aspects of the mystery weren't particularly difficult to solve or see through, but there were still some interesting surprises, and a sort of additional layer of mystery not related to the murder that was intriguing. Though, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of development of some of these aspects.

Given the mystery isn't as substantial as it could be, it'd help if perhaps the characters were rendered with a bit more depth. The lead is likable and interesting enough, and a mysterious side character who helps her out is engaging as wel, but with the relatively brief length of the novella, the characters were perhaps not as developed as much as they could be, and just as we begin to get to know and really settle in with them, the story is over. The man accused of the crime and the victim, in addition, just don't have enough presence in the story to significantly add to the tension of the piece.

The setting was well-utilized. Historical mystery, especially with non-standard protagonists, offers its own set off challenges, and the author did a good job of presenting us with a plausible mystery heroine in the context of the Victorian era. The practical realities that went with the sexism of the period were not glossed either.

Overall, I liked Accomplished In Detection, but just would have preferred perhaps a slightly longer work so I had more time to appreciate the characters, the setting, and the mystery. Still, this was a fun little novella that fans of cozy and historical mystery will likely enjoy.

3.5 Stars

Note: A Free Review copy was provided by the author.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x968a5930) out of 5 stars A great book for young adults 19 Jan. 2013
By Kyrana Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The Accomplished Mysteries by Dara England are a pair of delightful mini-mysteries in a Victorian era setting. Well-written in an easy to follow format, these novellas are an excellent choice for young readers who enjoy tracking clues and trying to solve a crime story. This reader would have preferred a deeper treatment of the story arc and expect to see more of this bright author. I look forward to the future adventures of our capable, headstrong heroine.
HASH(0x968a5c90) out of 5 stars Shows Promise 27 Dec. 2012
By Mimbelina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Accomplished in Murder
Mystery lurks at the Cornwall estate of Blackridge House, where a young bride has found fear and torment in place of the romance she once believed in. When her body is found at the foot of the cliffs, shortly after she wrote a letter summoning her best friend from London with hints of her unnamed fear, her death is attributed to accident. But was it? When Drucilla, the recipient of her hasty letter, arrives and learns of her death, she isn't convinced. What caused the unspoken distress in her friend's letter? Did it have anything to do with her death? Her uncertainty grows when she discovers the hidden secrets of the manor family. Did they need to protect their past enough to rid the world of her friend? Events certainly lead her to believe so and motivate her to avenge her friend's death by discovering her murderer. Will she succeed before her probing questions lead to her own demise?

Accomplished in Detection
Mariah Featherstone's first meeting with her best friend's lover isn't at all what she expected, for she finds his head cradled in her lap as he takes his final breath, the victim of a murderous blade. All fingers point at the man who "discovered" the victim's body, Edwin Winterbourne, who is also visiting the country estate. Mariah, however, is certain that an innocent man has been accused. She stands alone in her conviction, however, and must resort to subterfuge and subtle probing to get to the heart of the mystery. Will she be able to discover the household member who held a deadly grudge against the victim? Or will an innocent man be hanged for someone else's crime?

Both of these novella-length Victorian mysteries demonstrate the author's skill but are, unfortunately, too short for adequate character development and plot intricacy. Both end rather abruptly when the heroines stumble upon the solution to each mystery, which leads to a feeling of anti-climax at the end of each. However, the narrative is well-written and shows a promise of talent that I hope, in future, will be applied to longer books that will allow greater depth and entertainment. In summary, for a short and entertaining read, these are good choices if you don't expect too much.
HASH(0x968a5eac) out of 5 stars Charming, accomplished, and winsome 18 Mar. 2012
By Richard Derus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Book Report: A Kindle original novella. Miss Mariah Featherstone is visiting her friend Charlotte at the home of Charlotte's guardian and uncle, Sir Harold Morley. She knows Charlotte's fondest wish is to marry the local curate, Mr. Pettifor, who most regrettably turns up dead...whit Mariah's rejected suitor and fellow houseguest. Mr.Edwin Winterbourne, hovering over him. A rush to justice then begins, and poor Mr. Winterbourne...Mariah might not want to marry him, but she does not want to see him hanged for the crime of another person.

So off goes Mariah, speaking to the son of the Morley house, to Lady Morley, to the mad daughter of the house, to Miss Pettifor the curate's very young sister, all in aid of Mr. Winterbourne's proof of innocence. She must clamber over fences (dressed as a man, no less!), interview angry people on every side, and still maintain a watch over poor, poor Charlotte's bedside, as her friend is prostrated with grief.

In the end, of course, justice is served and punishment is meted out to the guilty. It is what mysteries do best, after all.

My Review: This was a perfect palate-cleanser between my recent five-star read of an historical novel and the rest of literature. It is short, and it is a mystery, and it has a charming premise, so I thought whattheheck and Kindled it up.

Very glad I did. Its aforementioned virtues are delivered upon with charm and verve. I thoroughly liked Miss Featherstone, and while the novella length doesn't allow for such fripperies as careful characterization or extensive puzzle-building, it does deliver the goods in shorthand versions of same.

Charming. Winsome. Most amusing. Worth two hours or so of your reading time, when heavier fare lacks savor.
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