An unseemly lesson…in murder.
The year is 1896, and college professor Concordia Wells has her hands full: teaching classes, acting as live-in chaperone to a cottage of lively female students, and directing the student play, Macbeth. But mystery and murder are not confined to the stage, especially when the death of Concordia's sister, Mary, appears to be foul play. To make matters worse, the women's college is plagued by malicious pranks, arson, money troubles, and the apparent suicide of a college official.
With her beloved school facing certain ruin, Concordia knows that she must act. As she struggles to seek justice for her sister and discover who is behind the college incidents, there are some closest to Concordia who do not appreciate the unseemly inquiries and bold actions of the young lady professor. Can she discover who is responsible…before she becomes the next target?
©2013 K.B. Owen (P)2014 K.B. Owen
Avid reader (listener) and Audible Fan!
Set at a women's college in 1896, I found this listen to be fun and quite interesting. Concordia Well, a young teacher, is a strong (for the times) and very likable character. The descriptions of the lifestyle, architecture, and clothing is just wonderful. The story depicts the plight of females during this period, several murders, and a little romance. I totally enjoyed the quotes from famous literature (especially MACBETH) sprinkled throughout the story. Narration by Becket Royce was superb! I understand there will be more books released in the series~I will definitely be listening. Highly recommended...
Audiobook provided for an honest review
I have read and listened to many mysteries (some with female heroines) set in Victorian Britain and was drawn to Dangerous and Unseemly because it was set in America in 1896. Concordia Wells is a professor at a women's college in Hartford, CT. At odds with her family,at least with her mother over her choice of career over marriage and motherhood, Concordia is contented with her busy life educating and shepherding young women. All is not well at the college though; money has gone missing and embezzlement is suspected. A series of troubling events begin with Concordia's discovery of the body of the college Bursar. The death is ruled a suicide but Concordia doubts the verdict. Then she suffers a great personal loss when her sister dies of a mysterious lingering illness.
Filled with multiple vivid characters, many of whom are not at all what they appear to be, Dangerous and Unseemly is both an engrossing mystery and a look at the plight of women of the era. Deemed to be unfit for anything other than marriage, any woman who did not walk that path was considered suspect and subject to great censure. I'd like to say that life was better for women in America than in Britain at the time but that would be wishful thinking. Concordia herself is a very likable character, at times impetuous but always intelligent and resourceful.
Becket Royce's narration is excellent. She is the very personification of what I imagine a well brought up and educated young woman of the time might sound like. I particularly like the way she handled the characters who speak with a foreign accent; just enough to differentiate them, never veering into parody.
I highly recommend Dangerous and Unseemly!
One whole side of my family came from Hartford, which I knew well when I was growing up, so I particularly liked the evocation of the setting in an earlier time. This is as much historical novel as mystery story, and the manners of the time, especially as they applied to women, were by far the most enjoyable part for me.
Maybe. This was capably written but not gripping.
Becket Royce's performance was by far one of the strongest aspects of the book. She is a strong, clear reader who differentiated one character from another but never strained or overdramatized. She reads with an ease and professionalism that are very enjoyable to listen to.
Not so much a moment as a character, the lady principal. I enjoyed the justaposition of her unbending strength with her title, by which she was always referred, of "lady principal." This takes on added resonance, of course, as the story progresses.
I review books, mostly audiobooks, mostly mystery. That's about it!
A great big welcome to Concordia! A refreshingly different cozy within an historical setting.
There is much more to this story than the publishers summary suggests, yes, there's murder and mayhem, romance, intrigue, mystery and surprises, as there should be. However, I found this to be a really well written story about thoughtfully created characters. The relationship between Concordia and her mother is fragile and touching, as this aspect of the story gradually unfolds, the listener is always wanting more.
I enjoyed Concordia, a brave young woman for her time, and I look forward to her adventures in future books. I think the ending will surprise a great many listeners, excellent story.
This was my first time listening to Becket Royce, and I enjoyed her performance very much, she doesn't do that annoying overacting thing which is so irritating and distracting. Her voice is rich and easy on the ear, her characterisations are subtle, yet distinct, the listener is never in doubt as to which character is speaking. I do hope Becket narrates all future Concordia books.
However, I did find the sound quality to be less than perfect, some of the consonant sounds came through as a little grating to the ear, the "S" sounds in particular. Perhaps future recordings might improve this fault.
Interesting historical mystery.
Strong narration, easy listen.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
Concordia Wells, who is a college professor at an all womens college in 1896. She not only teaches several classes, she is a live-in chaperone to a bunch of college students, and directs the senior play.
No, But would listen to Becket Royce again. Did great job in the narration of the book
It really made me want to listen to the end
This audiobook was given to me for an unbiased review
While this isn't my typical go-to reading material, I really enjoyed this book. The heroine is smart, opinionated, and quite daring for her time. There were parts I felt that the action dragged a bit, but loved the little historical details woven throughout the tale. There were many twists and turns along the way, and just when you think you have it all figured out, you discover that you don't. My only issue with this book is the overuse of keeping the reader in the dark while the heroine discovers a key to the mystery. Using it once in a book is okay, but more than that and it's just trite. If Concordia figured out a clue, then the listener should be clued in as well. Leaving it unsaid to create suspense is a cop-out, in my opinion. The narrators voice was just perfect for this genre, though; very polished and crisp. It lent authenticity to the story and set the right mood for listening.
I received this book from AudioBookBoom at no cost in exchange for my honest review. My opinion is that this book is a solid 4. Great listening for a rainy or cold, lazy-on-the-couch day.
Concordia is a professor at a woman’s college when higher education for woman was still looked down upon. The president of the school, and other male community leaders, seems to view it as a place for women to prepare for domestic duties, not really for learning towards a career. Concordia is inclined to observe all of the staff members, especially the fairly new Lady Principal, Miss Hamilton, who is a formidable, yet fair, leader. Concordia is juggling her teaching responsibilities, serving as live-in chaperone for one of the student cottages and directing the student end of year performance of Macbeth. Additionally, Concordia tries to make time to visit her sister who has been suffering an undiagnosed illness since marrying many months before.
The College is struggling with financial troubles. The annual spring Sophomore prank includes dark elements that create a stir and is of even more concern when the treasurer of the college is found dead. It might be suicide or it could be more nefarious. When Concordia’s sister dies under less than forthright circumstances, Concordia begins to investigate both deaths. Her sleuthing results in surprises as well as behavior that some might consider ‘dangerous and unseemly'.
I enjoyed Concordia’s personality. She has true concern for her sister and her students. Sadly, she has a very estranged relationship with her mother. She grows closer to Miss Hamilton and a brash, retired teacher who challenges Concordia to see beyond the surface. I was pleased by the strength of Miss Hamilton but I can’t be more specific without giving spoiler info. There is a light touch of romance as Concordia gets the attention of first one male teacher and then she manages to run into another.
Ms. Owen does a wonderful job of presenting the details of the 1980s. She has created a believable character in Concordia who is thoughtful and brave but not flaunting her freedoms and views. She does have a friend who is active in the women’s suffragette movement so that perspective is shared as well.
The mystery and romances are developed at a steady pace. This is nicely consistent with Concordia’s sometimes impulsive response to danger which is tempered by her careful deliberation as she weighs the facts and clues. Although the story is not flashy or intense, it is satisfactorily engaging. I think this is a good start to an interesting series and I recommend this to readers who enjoy history and mystery.
Audio Notes: Becket Royce does a very nice job of delivering the conservative characters to suit the time period. The voices are distinct and the emotions are appropriately portrayed. The narration made this a better ‘reading’ experience for me.
I received this title from the narrator for an honest review.
This audiobook was so much fun. A really intriguing murder mystery and a great start to the series. I can't wait to listen to book 2. It was a bit hard for me to get into it at first but I find when that happens I just start it over and bam I'm hooked! "This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."
There is never a dull moment in this book. It starts off in a very dramatic way and keeps this momentum going for the duration of the story. Concordia gets embroiled in dangerous situations one after the other which makes for suspenseful listening. There is also a little bit of romance which topped off the story nicely.
I love historical mysteries and was delighted with this book. Concordia makes a realistic amateur sleuth and the puzzle she had to solve was complex and well written.
I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the death of Concordia's sister. It was less convoluted than the mystery at the school where there were a lot of characters with different motivations to keep track of.
The characters are very well done and I found the narration to be very easy to listen to. I normally listen at the slightly faster pace which worked well with this narration.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to audio book blast.
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