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A Moment of Silence (Dido Kent Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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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.
Anna Dean very cleverly mixes ongoing story with information conveyed by letter. I'm normally quite good at guessing the outcome, but the clues, while there all along, were so well hidden, that I had no idea about the real mystery until the end.
Beautifully plotted and written. Will look out for more of her books.
What a happy circumstance it was for me to discover this lovely novel. I really enjoy reading period mysteries and this one fits into the niche of "gentlewoman sleuth". And as if that wasn't enough of a challenge for the author to take on, she also makes a large portion of the story take the form of letters from our gentle detective to her sister. Any reader who enjoys the atmosphere of upper society England in the early 1800's will find this book well written and a quite good challenge for solving. If you are a stickler for exact correctness in period detail, you may find some examples of historical errors. I wouldn't know, I was too interested in enjoying the writing talents of this author to worry about those issues. For me, the mystery and the relationships between the characters will always come first.
The plot is that Miss Dido Kent (a spinster in her 30's - not too clear about her exact age) has traveled to Bellfield Hall to support her niece Catherine during a very trying time for her. It seems that Catherine and the future heir to Bellfield, Richard Montague, had no sooner announced their engagement at the ball than something occurred which caused Richard to privately break the engagement and leave the area. Very soon thereafter the body of a murdered woman was found in the shrubbery and Dido discovered that she has a very curious nature and so set about trying to solve the mystery.
I read so many mysteries that I honestly enjoy finding one where the author is able to wave a clue directly under my nose and have me miss it. Was I correct about who had committed the crime? Yes. Was I able to ferret out the other huge mystery which was the catalyst that set every other happening in motion? Absolutely not.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 14 months ago by Lisianthus
As previously stated this is a new author to me, would recommendPublished 23 months ago by garfield
Thoroughly enjoyed this book - very well written and held my interest all the way through. Highly recommend.Published on 27 Mar. 2015 by whicham
Another very good buy, very clean copy at a modest price thanks.Published on 10 Mar. 2015 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 on 16 Jan. 2015 by Kindle Customer