A season in London promises a welcome change of pace for two friends from the village of Kurland St. Mary - until murder makes a debut. With the reluctant blessings of their father, the rector of Kurland St. Mary, Lucy Harrington and her sister Anna leave home for a social season in London. At the same time, Lucy's special friend Major Robert Kurland is summoned to the city to accept a baronetcy for his wartime heroism. Amidst the dizzying whirl of balls and formal dinners, the focus shifts from mixing and matchmaking to murder when the dowager Countess of Broughton, the mother of an old army friend of Robert, drops dead. When it's revealed she's been poisoned, Robert's former betrothed, Miss Chingford, is accused, and she in turn points a finger at Anna. To protect her sister, Lucy enlists Robert's aid in drawing out the true culprit. But with suspects ranging from resentful rivals and embittered family members to the toast of the ton, it will take all their sleuthing skills to unmask the poisoner before more trouble is stirred up.
©2014 Catherine Lloyd (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I love this new mystery series set in England in the early 1800s. It continues the puzzle/murder solving adventures of neighbors and friends Lucy Harrington and Major Robert Kurland. This time the story is set during the season in London. So, much of the action revolved around parties and dances and the formal life, dress, and manners of 1816.
I have to say that I really enjoyed and preferred the setting of the village of Kurland St Mary from book one over the London setting of this second installment. There is very little detail about the London environment and surroundings. The author really captured the village in beautiful vivid detail which made it far more engaging. To me, the best part of this book was the dialogue and fantastic conversations and interactions between the characters. But--that said--I admit I found myself missing the village and perked up whenever it was mentioned. I hope the next book finds them home again in the country.
The narration was good. A light and easy listen as the adventure continues in a good new mystery series.
Reader, reviewer, blogger
I took a chance on this second volume based on my enjoyment--with caveats--of the first. The mystery was fine, but I will no longer listen to the audio version. The narration was very slow and dull.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Listened to the first book and enjoyed it a lot. This seemed a disappointment by comparison. I had difficulty distinguishing voices of characters in the narration. The story is basically interesting enough for a historical cozy. But I had hoped for more.
I read from every category but intelligent mysteries short on gore and long on interesting characters are my favourite.
Catherine Lloyd has a lovely voice and in her narration, captures the stifling constricts of society in the Regency period. Acknowledging that, I still think the speed could be increased a bit. I did, for instance, play it on double speed for a bit and had no problem understanding it.
I would recommend it as a enjoyable escapist read with two main characters that are both infuriating and engaging.
The reader has to wait for awhile until the mystery part of the novel begins. I would prefer a bit more emphasis on the mystery and less on the burgeoning romance. Another reviewer pointed out that some of the behaviours portrayed are unlikely given the rigid social order of the day but, for me, it's almost necessary to inject some anachronism in order that the female characters are able to do anything more interesting than sitting quietly and gossiping.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series.
This is a good mystery book and recording. To enjoy full benefit of this part two, read part one "Death Comes to the Village". Now I have to wait for part three to see the conclusion.
Interesting characters, insights into British society behaviors in 1815 and a fun mystery.
Kept me guessing as to who the killer was.
She does well.
Enjoyable, light listening.
I enjoyed Susannah Tyrrell's narration very much. The story, however is murky and rambling without any really like able character development. There was little mystery in the story. I was puzzled by the strange sympathy toward rats' being used for scientific experiments and little sympathy for the murdered grandmother. I loved the first book in the series and hope the third book will be better than the second.
OCD over books, listening to 1 a day; ANY genre, fact & fiction. Influenced by Audible reviewers so I keep mine unbiased - FRONT to BLACK!
This is a story about 2 young women in London for the season, looking for husbands. Then why does the narrator sound like Miss Marple?!?! I couldn't finish it.
Apparently addicted to audiobooks... especially historical mysteries and social comedies.
This story is essentially a Regency romance that shifted to murder mystery about half way through. Too bad, as I liked the first book in the series and hoped to see it develop. But thus starts the slippery frippery slope. :-\
First half of the book is all about "the London Season! The marriage mart!" and far too many descriptions of the characters' dresses - classic Regency Romance novel stuff. I began to wonder when and if the second book's "mystery" would begin.
At about halfway through, the story finally picked up and became more interesting and the mystery fun began. Some readers who liked the first book will give up on all the dress and party descriptions and might be better off skipping this one.
There are some uncommon motifs, if you will, such as the rise of Science - a masculine pursuit- and its dismissal of the female "housewifely arts" such as herbal remedies that women passed down through the generations.
It was interesting hearing both the female and male perspectives- I like the series' growing "detective duo" theme in a Regency setting.
There are some serious anachronisms. The author writes characters with modern social values and manners and ways of expressing themselves. It's hard to suspend disbelief. Our hero speaks openly with our heroine about topics he would barely even acknowledge existed to a lady (much less to hold 21st century views on - and while modern views could be handled or explained in another way, there's not even a hint of period thinking).
Even more vexing, characters do things that are extremely unlikely social behavior. For instance, our heroine, still only in her 20's and on her debut Season mind you, and at the most exclusive society ball, actually stands up in public and chastises an elderly, socially superior Lady to her face!! What? No. Way. Simply not done. And really, less amusing than having our characters handle the situation within the constraints of the time period.
IMO the story struggles to find the balance between being reasonably believable in its setting, and featuring an interesting character who chafes against the restrictions of that time. This failure holds the series back and makes it even sillier than necessary.
Verdict: Unless you really like romance novels and don't care much about the historical aspects, you should look elsewhere.
I loved the first book and immediately downloaded and listened to the second. Both books are really great and I can't wait for the next installment. I'm hoping for a quick marriage and many more books to come with a interesting husband/wife investigating team, but I'll be happy take whatever comes just to be able to renew my acquaintance with these interesting characters. The next book can't come soon enough for me!
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