A Moment of Silence Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Oct 2008
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About the Author
ANNA DEAN began writing early on under the impression that everyone was taught to do so in order to pen books. By the time she discovered her mistake, the habit was too deeply ingrained to give up. The author of "Bellfield Hall, A Gentleman of Fortune, A Woman of Consequence, "and "A Place of Confinement, "Dean lives in England.
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Top Customer Reviews
Catherine Kent is engaged to Richard Montague. During a special ball at Betsfield Hall, Richard reacts strongly to a red-headed man and then disappears.
Catherine's father sends for his spinster sister, Miss Dido Kent. The same day Dido arrives, the body of a murdered woman is found under a hedge on the property and Dido decides it's up to her to discover the killer.
Ms. Dean's writing is literate, intelligent, funny and completely captivating. I give her top marks for sense of time and place, as well as dialogue, which is delightfully appropriate to the period. Her observations on women, marriage and inheritance are done with a light, but informative, touch.
Dido Kent is a wonderful protagonist. She is smart and clever without being malicious; something of a Miss Marple of 1805, but better. I particularly enjoyed the letters to Dido's sister, which convey Dido's internal questions, observations and explorations. All the characters come to life under Ms. Dean's deft hand.
The story is very well plotted. Ms. Dean provides her readers all the clues as Dido uncovers them but, as one who let's the protagonist solve the crime, I was delighted watching the solution unfold.
Those who are fans of Jane Austin, traditional mysteries, and/or historical mysteries, should enjoy this book. Personally, I loved it!
Set in 1805, it takes a Jane Austen-alike plot (particularly, perhaps, Mansfield Park) and mixes it up with a murder mystery in a country house, complete with assortment of diverse characters. Why has Catherine's recent fiance, Richard Montague, suddenly broken off their engagement and disappeared? Who is the mysterious woman found shot in the shrubbery? What is the secret of the odd household in a nearby village?
The author cites Jane Austen as a favourite of hers, and the 'detective', Catherine's spinster Aunt (improbably named Dido!), bears more than a passing resemblance to Jane herself as she appears in her letters. In fact, the narrative alternates between a 3rd person and Dido's own letters to her sister Eliza, a reference to JA's own letters to her sister Cassandra.
My only quibble with this book (and it's a small one, but hence 4 stars) is that the relationship between the classes is all wrong: Dido mingles easily with the servants and they, too, are at home with her. Any reader of Jane Austen will know that servants were beneath even her upper-middle class notice (apart from the housekeeper of Pemberley, and even she couldn't ever be imagined sitting down and having a cosy chat with Elizabeth).
But small quibble aside, this is a delightful, amusing, vastly entertaining read, with some very sly humour (Colonel Walborough and his pursuit of the handsome servant Jack is priceless!). Highly recommended.
Dido is a very engaging heroine, who immediately sets out to discover the truth. Other reviews have already mentioned her similarity to Miss Marple and, in many ways, this is true. Dido's skill lies in drawing out information from people - she listens in, befriends the servants, lurks outside doors and questions everyone and everything. Like Marple, Dido is also very reliant on others. She has to wait until someone goes to a place she wishes to visit and then ask to be taken with them - we are always aware that she is of little consequence herself and cannot command a carriage of her own.
There are many interesting visitors at Belsfield Hall and most of them have secrets. Young men with gambling debts, servants who have been rather too friendly with members of the family, Colonels who has vices dear Miss Kent cannot even dream of. In her quiet way though, she gets to the truth and solves the mystery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the most skilful, authentic and interesting Regency series I've read in a long time. Characters are well drawn and believable, whilst the plot is well paced and the manners... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Lisianthus
As previously stated this is a new author to me, would recommendPublished 12 months ago by garfield
Thoroughly enjoyed this book - very well written and held my interest all the way through. Highly recommend.Published 16 months ago by whicham
Another very good buy, very clean copy at a modest price thanks.Published 16 months ago by mrs elizabeth bell
Absolutely brilliant book !
The whole series of Dido kent books are a joy to read. The stories are engrossing and the mysteries are v clever
If you love a period... Read more
Great to discover an author who is new to me, and one with a series to enjoy. An entertaining read with an interesting storyline, Miss Dido Kent is a shrewd investigator who uses... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Li321
Fantastic series! If you like Jane Austen, Agatha Christie or simply good detective novels, then this is for you. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Charlotte M