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Publisher's Summary

Twenty-six-year-old Beatrice Hyde-Clare is far too shy to investigate the suspicious death of a fellow guest in the Lake District. A spinster who lives on the sufferance of her relatives, she would certainly not presume to search the rooms of her host's son and his friend looking for evidence. Reared in the twin virtues of deference and docility, she would absolutely never think to question the imperious Duke of Kesgrave about anything, let alone how he chose to represent the incident to the local constable.   

And yet when she stumbles upon the bludgeoned corpse of poor Mr. Otley in the deserted library of the Skeffingtons' country house, that's exactly what she does.

©2018 Lynn Messina (P)2018 Lynn Messina

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

It left me with a smile

This story is absolutely delightful. The mystery isn't too complicated, the regency setting is well researched (I appreciate nice historic details) and characters are distinctive and funny. I especially like how the investigation changed Beatrice.

Jill Smith was a wonderful choice to read this book. Her narration is flawless. Great listen.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you, Lynn!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Set-up is very good: lots of characters with mixed motivations kept me guessing. The narrator achieves just the right tone throughout, which really enhanced the experience. Anxiously awaiting Beatrice's next investigation!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • LA
  • 12-07-18

An absolute treasure!!!

There is one spoken line in this book that captures the tone and tenor perfectly - 'Now that's the bland, easy to overlook young lady your uncle and I know and kindly tolerate.' And it is from that world that Bea, our brazen curiosity seeker, came from. I could not wait for her to find her voice, figuratively and literally.

I loved the mystery and seriously loved the interplay between Bea and the Duke. I didn't care much for the ending but since there is a book two, I can live with that.

The narrator was excellent! She portrayed a timid girl, a verbose duke, and a mindless aunt with such exacting measures that I wanted to smack them all.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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A feisty heroine hiding behind a mousy facade.....

A Brazen Curiosity is a delightful start to a new cozy mystery series featuring Beatrice Hyde-Claire and takes place in Regency England. Bea is a 26 year old spinster living at the sufferance of her aunt and uncle after her parents died when she was a child. I struggled with the beginning of the book because I thought Bea was a doormat, always allowing her family and associates to belittle her. However, I quickly realized that under this wallflower guise, Bea was a sharp witted, brave young lady willing to put her safety and reputation at stake to right what she saw as an injustice. This led to all sorts of fun and dangerous adventures with her unwilling sidekick, Duke of Kesgrave, as they try to find the solution to the mysterious death of a guest at the house party they are all attending. I was taken completely by surprise when the murder's identity and motive were revealed, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Beatrice's sense of self worth blossom with each clue she uncovered.

Jill Smith's narration is perfection. She has a lovely British accent, and she uses it with great skill to emphasize the very proper British setting and time of the story. Hopefully, the terrific combination of Messina's writing and Smith's narration will lead to many more audiobooks in this series in the near future.

I received a copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for this honest review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Well-written

Great insight into the class system in England. Liked the proper sexual tension in the main characters.

Jill Smith gave a good narration. Great diction.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A most promising new series

This book convincingly starts with a mousy, down-trodden poor relation who happens to have a logical mind, and a great deal of undiscovered courage. A midnight chance trip to the library of the manor in which she is weekending brings new life to her stultifying existence. My wish is that Lynn Messina pen the next book quickly - very quickly.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jan M
  • Southwest
  • 12-23-18

Delightful Listen!

A Brazen Curiosity by Lynn Messina is a wonderful start to a new regency cozy series. I loved how the author wrote incredible imagery in this story. The banter between Beatrice and the Duke was so enjoyable. Beatrice is portrayed as a poor relation who must watch her behavior while carrying on her own investigation and curbing her tongue. The narration by Jill Smith was spectacular. She gives the characters their own distinguishable voices. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I will definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great cozy mystery

a lovely and a great book I like this it's very much the narrator was good as well a very enjoyable books to listen to
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining historical cozy

I love a story with a plucky heroine, and this one fits the bill. After living under her family's heavy thumb, Beatrice emerges as a woman ready to finally take her life back. Good mystery elements in this one, too.

I received this free audiobook from AudioboookBook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Jane Austen Meets Mystery

I really enjoyed this one, it was like a mixture of a Jane Austen novel and a cozy mystery. It was a clean book that I would feel completely comfortable letting my 3rd grader listen to. The narrator did a wonderful job. Between her accent and acting style it was simply a lot of fun to listen to.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate L
  • 12-29-18

A charming, witty, Regency outing

A Brazen Curiosity by Lynn Messina proved to be the perfect lightweight audiobook listening during the post-Christmas downtime before the New Year, allowing me to recuperate from the demands of the season in charming company. One moment in particular made me laugh out loud, and I look forward to Bea's future adventures - for a woman as curious as she is will surely have plenty!

Though the plot feels a little like a Jane Austen themed game of Cluedo (which is impossible to avoid when one finds a corpse beside a bloodied candlestick in the library) it is highly enjoyable. As with all my favourite Regency novels, the heroine - Beatrice Hyde-Clare - is a spirited, forthright, 'blue-stocking' type, who defies the era's meek, mild, ideals and is not averse to a little sarcastic sparring with a well-placed Duke. (At times Bea reminds me of another favourite period heroine; Alexia Tarrabotti from Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.) The mystery is not a particularly demanding or tortuous one, with just enough red-herrings to keep it - and the frisson between the protagonists - simmering until the denouement.

Unfortunately, narrator Jill Smith's cut-glass English accent is unconvincing. Some of it is well done but there are enough mispronunciations that - at first - it is hard to feel as though we are hearing the character's natural voice due to the repeated reminders that it is merely an actor performing a part. The distance this creates between oneself and the protagonist meant that it took quite a while longer to settle into the story than it otherwise would. Whilst a growing (rather ironic) urge to begin throwing dinner rolls each time I heard the words 'calm' or 'penchant' mangled did help me empathise with Bea's frustrations, Smith's pronunciation of Amersham was irredeemable. Using the French pronunciation for the card game Piquet was uncomfortably anachronistic for the period, and as a fan of other Regency works I was disappointed that something so obvious was left uncorrected in its many instances. Smith does have a pleasant tone to her voice over-all, however, and adds character to many of the supporting cast of friends and relations, delivering neatly upon the atmospheric promise of a 'Regency cosy'.

This audiobook has all the hallmarks of a splendid period tale. It is such a shame that a more native speaker could not have been employed to bring it to life, but hopefully future novels in the series will benefit from the opportunity. (And if not, I hope the narrator will listen to a little Georgette Heyer before her next outing, to better familiarise herself with the peculiarities of Regency/Georgian language, for I feel that she would make a much more satisfying job of it with a little more preparation.) The issues with the narration were not insurmountable, and the book was strong enough to overcome them and continued to hold my attention throughout.

Despite those concerns it remained good fun, and when I was half way through the book it was with dismay that I realised my time with Miss Hyde-Clare was drawing to a close. I will certainly keep an eager eye, and ear, out for other audiobooks in this series, and heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys genteel Regency novels and cosy mysteries.


*I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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  • Inishowen Cailin
  • 12-09-18

Excellent.

I am thrilled to have found a new regency mystery romance series.
A Brazen Curiosity is choc full of humour as well as having a great 'who dunnit' to solve. The banter between Beatrice and the Duke, especially after having found the body and suspecting each other of the murder, was incredibly drole and entertaining. I enjoyed watching their friendship develop and seeing Beatrice grow in confidence as the story progressed. I can't wait to read more in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reading audio copy.