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4.3 out of 5 stars
9
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 11 December 2014
I've read a few of Catherine Winchester's other books, but I think this has to be my favourite so far.

The story follows Thea and Cole as they try to solve a series of unusual murders at his family seat. It's like the love child of Sherlock Holmes and Jonathan Creek, set in Regency England. A murder in a locked room. A ghostly apparition. A skilled medium. The book lives up to its potential as an interesting mystery woven around a love story.

I'm one of those really irritating people that always figures out the ending before it happens and I'd worked out what had happened and who had killed whom and even with what, a long time before it was all revealed to the reader, but that didn't actually detract from the story in any way.

The reason for that is the fact that the plot is carried by the two main characters. I think what's most loveable about Thea is that she's so socially awkward. In a time where women aren't expected to have opinions, she's quite rightly frustrated by the fact that her intellect dwarfs that of everyone around her. She's blunt and often unintentionally hilarious because of it. I liked that she was sassy and stood up to people, despite hating the situation her gender and the times put her in.

Cole was also a great character - warm, honest and kind. He drew you in, made you want to cheer for him.

The cast of supporting characters were like the best kind of Disney film - wicked stepmother, kindly father, empty headed social climbing butterflies flocking around Prince Charming....they were well done and rounded out the story well.

The final thing I liked about this is that Winchester doesn't pull punches. There's none of this hero rides in to saves the day or the court grants a stay of execution for the sake of not upsetting sensibilities. It's realistic in that respect so it provides a greater depth of emotional impact. I can't really describe what happens without spoiling the story, but you'll understand what I mean when you read it.

In all I'd recommend as a light, warm, interesting and somewhat unusual read for a rainy winter afternoon :)
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on 20 July 2014
To be honest, I was a little dubious about the 'historical romance' reputation of the author, and made more so by a blatant spelling mistake on the first page ('complimented' instead of 'complemented') and misplaced commas on page three (of my KIndle edition). However, I needn't have worried: the detective aspect of the story remains paramount, and it all pans out enjoyably. Marred by numerous typos and punctuation mistakes, though, some of which actually change the intended meaning, hence four stars, not five.
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on 4 March 2015
There were a lot of characters in this story and even at the end of the book, I still didn't know who was who. That makes me think that perhaps many of them weren't important to the plot.
I wasn't able to relate to the characters although I did like the hero, Cole. He was a kind, considerate and intelligent man. Unfortunately, Thea annoyed me, churning out facts and figures like an encyclopedia. She was arrogant and far too outspoken, often talking down to folk and belittling them. I didn't find this very endearing.
At no time in the story did I feel I was in the Regency era; the bottom line being this story was far too modern. And this was highlighted by the fact that no matter how progressive Thea's parents were, they would have never openly allowed her to entertain her fiance in her nightwear and finally share a bed with him before marriage. They would have still adhered to Society's moral values.
This story fell short of my expectations, with no actual surprises in 'who dunnit'.
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on 23 September 2014
I read this book as a change from several "heavyweight" books I've read recently. I doubt if Mr. B.
will read it and I am sure it will appeal mostly to women.
There were a few typos/missing words, but no sex, swearing or graphic violence. It was easily
read over a few hours.

Lady Thea is helping her father solve several crimes at an old manor house, full of house
guests and servants, some of whom are hostile to a young woman detective.
Personally I could have done with less of the romantic side of the book, but realize that is the category
the book is in. I also guessed the truth of the 3 crimes early on.
Overall it was a reasonable, lightweight read.
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on 15 July 2014
Excellent book a little bit if everything , romance, mystery, and my favourite, a happy ending
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on 26 September 2014
This was a very enjoyable light read with a deft writing style which drew my interest from the first page. With a strong and often anti social manner the female protagonist finds herself a strong enlightened partner in solving numerous murders. A more than pleasant few hours from this gifted author.
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on 27 January 2015
Interesting murder mystery. Kept me guessing as all good murders should. Thought the lady detective a bit too forward, especially as the other detective was her father, but a good read nonetheless.
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on 17 July 2014
excellent e-book will read more of Catherine Winchester!!
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on 11 August 2014
Liked it
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