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A Gentleman of Fortune

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Soundings Audio Books (1 Oct. 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1407913239
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407913230
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Review

'Wonderful mystery - rich in suspense, period detail, humour and most of all characters. They come alive, and none more than Miss Dido Kent. 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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback
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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By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER on 2 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
"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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 little bit in common with Jane Austen's own plot and characters.This is precisely what makes them so entertaining, the fact that they are both alike and unalike books we have delighted in. As for surmising that Miss Dean's books won't be read in 200 years time, well I think it is most probaby true but that's not the point. I don't read her books because I don't have the courage to read Austen's. I have read all of Austen's and since there are no more to be had I do enjoy these clever imitations. 'A gentleman of fortune' might well be my favourite of the three I have read so far! The plot is faultless in its intricacy and the dialogue sharp and witty. Another very pleasant Dido Kent murder mystery. And I do hope that there are many more coming in the next few years.As long as they remain as good as this one I will be willing to continue my acquaintance with Miss Kent!
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