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Hasty Death Hardcover – 29 Jul 2005
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|Hardcover, 29 Jul 2005||
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An amusing brew of mystery and romance that will keep fans turning the pages. (Publishers Weekly)
Fans of the author's Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries . . . will welcome this new series of historical whodunits. (Booklist) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Delightful Regency romance from the author of the Agatha Raisin series; now a major new drama from Sky 1
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
If the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers would have made a film out of this book and played the main characters, I would have laughed a lot. As it was, this was not suppose to be a funny comic book. At least, I don't think so.
Too many things happened in a very short time, all of which were rather unbelievable: Lady Rose and Daisy go to work; Lady Rose goes into an asylum; Daisy learns to pick locks in no time; Daisy rescues Lady Rose and they shoot their way out of the asylum. And that's just for starters.
And I can't, for a minute, picture Harry being the kind of person who shoots a man to save a lady in danger, and then wants to hide the body, thinking of putting the dead man into a shallow grave somewhere in the woods. That seemed rather out of character, I thought.
It wasn't a bad book to read, but I did enjoy the first one so much more.
To date there are four books in the series, which are
Snobbery with Violence
Sick of Shadows
Our Lady of Pain
The author writes romantic fiction, mostly humorous regency romances plus one or two set in the Edwardian period, under the name Marion Chesney, and mystery/detective stories such as the Agatha Raisin and Hamish MacBeth series under the name M.C. Beaton.
This Edwardian series is a something of a cross-over between the two - part romance and part murder mystery - and the books often have both names on the cover (usually something like "M.C. Beaton writing as Marion Chesney".)
In this second book, Lady Rose Summer gets so fed up with being an ornament to society that she wants to get a job. Captain Cathcart very discreetly arranges for Rose and her maid, Daisy, to work as typists at a bank under false names. While they are working there, Rose discovers by chance that a young gentleman who has just been murdered, Freddy Pomfret, had banked three very large sums of money from other aristocrats.
Had Freddy been blackmailing them, and is that why he was murdered? So Lady Rose goes the police and offers to help find the murderer.
However, her parents have other plans to deal with their wayward daughter - which unbeknown to them are a threat to her life ...
Tha main characters in the series are:
Captain Harry Cathcart, younger son of a Baron, has left the army after being injured in the Boer war. At the start of the first book he carried out a service for Lady Rose's father, the Earl of Hadfield, for which he gained a reputation as a fixer to the aristocracy, and by the time of this book he has formally gone into business as the Edwardian equivalent of a Private Investigator. Some members of "Society" look down on him as being "in trade" because he is earning a living, but as he is often very useful to them most aristocrats tend to overlook this.
Lady Rose Summer is the only surviving child of the Earl and Countess of Hadfield. She is slightly notorious as having briefly been involved with suffragettes, but after each successive scandal dies away she is usually sought after again as a wealthy heiress. Chafes at the fact that society will not allow her to perform a useful role, and constantly looking for something more challenging to do - from working as a typist for a bank to helping the police solve murders.
Beckett - Harry's valet: in love with Daisy
Daisy - Lady Rose's maid. A former chorus girl, but when Captain Cathcart recruited her to play the role of a maid with a contagious disease as one of the escapades in the first book, Lady Rose took Daisy on to do the job of her maid for real. In love with Beckett.
Detective Superintendent Kerridge - a senior policeman of humble origins and carefully supressed radical views, reinforced by the fact that whenever he has to interview an aristocrat they always threaten to report him to the Prime Minister. Plays Inspector Slack to Lady Rose's Miss Marple.
Despite that comparison, this is not in the same league as Agatha Christie as a detective story, and neither is it in the same league as Jane Austen as a romance. However, it is an amusing and entertaining light read.
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