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Publisher's Summary

A murder...a missing boy...a secret society's bold and deadly plot....

It is 1898, and Professor Concordia Wells has come to expect the hectic routine of classes, clubs, teas, and the inevitable student pranks at the women's college. If only she could avoid the cantankerous dean, Randolph Maynard, who has learned about her past experiences as a "lady sleuth." To Concordia’s dismay, he scrutinizes her every move for evidence of unseemly conduct. 

The dean will certainly scowl over the lady professor's behavior when a disastrous turn of events affects those she loves. First, a mysterious woman claims that Concordia's young friend, the eleven-year-old Eli, is her long-lost child. Soon after, they find the woman murdered and the boy gone. 

Lieutenant Capshaw is given the case, only to be abruptly replaced by a junior associate. An innocuous reassignment, or something more? 

Concordia calls upon a former ally, Penelope Hamilton, for help. As they search for the child and untangle the mystery of his mother's death, Concordia realizes that not even her own colleagues are above suspicion. Not knowing whom at the school to trust as she attempts to sidestep Dean Maynard's continual scrutiny, she must tread carefully. Far more is at risk than the loved ones she seeks to protect, and there is no turning back.

©2014 K.B. Owen (P)2017 K.B. Owen

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Woman Power!

Woman Power

The Law of Awareness again comes into play. I just finished another book with this same underlying topic.

Equality of women, roughly half the human population, remains an issue world wide. Physical differences among people (and there are MANY!) notwithstanding, the basic concept that "all men are created equal" (using the gender neuter concept of the word "men") *should* be honored equally at law, within society, and at large, with every effort to remove barricades and obstacles to permitting each person to achieve to the best of his, her or its ability! Color, creed, race, politics, gender, physical condition, and age should each be regarded only as an attribute of the individual and not a defining principle, especially as a great many of those characteristics are subject to change. But, sadly, humans still find a need to hang tags and use them to create barriers. And gender is still a major stumbling ground despite huge strides in awareness and efforts to eliminate misperceptions and prejudices.

Now (above rant over), let us move back in time a century plus and visit a women's college. The idea of women, especially those of more genteel backgrounds, working outside the home or achieving in any realm other than housekeeping, child-rearing, and entertainment (society hostess plus husband's possession) is virtually unthinkable--and women are not especially encouraged to think. Enter Miss Cordelia Wells who not only has managed to achieve an education but is now *working!* as a college professor (naturally a very genteel women's institution). She also manages to become embroiled in other people's problems and has become adept at using her formidable powers of observation to help resolve them. And thereby hangs a tale. In fact this is the third such, although I haven't had the opportunity to enjoy the earlier two. Fortunately any references to prior cases are as fully fleshed as needed and this one stands well on its own.

I further had the pleasure of listening (AUDIOBOOK) to Beckett McGough's excellent narration as she provided a wide variety of voices, accents, and distinct characters in a beautifully modulated presentation. Overall a delightfully told and read story!

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An exciting and action packed installment

The third installment in the Concordia Wells historical mystery is exciting and action-packed. Who knew that life at a Connecticut Women's College at the turn of the 20th century could be so exciting. The characters are likable for the most part and the plot is twisty. It is very well narrated by Becket Royce. I hope there will be more audiobooks in this series.

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Unseemly Ambition

Once again Concordia is dragged into a murder mystery while trying to help a friend.The usual cast of characters raise their either supporting or critisizing heads.Love these books!Becket Royce is a pleasure to listen to.“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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  • Avalon
  • California USA
  • 02-16-18

Late Victorian Mayhem

Concordia Wells is observant and intuitive. She stretches the boundaries of what is expected of a female professor at Hartford Women's College in the late Victorian 1890's through her sleuthing and pursuit of mysterious clues. Smart, kind, and loyal, she pursues her leads in ladylike fashion while solving complex conundrums. The narrator brought this story alive through subtle voice differentiation, adding to the story and the listening experience. I received a free review copy of Unseemly Ambition in exchange for an honest review, and honestly, I liked this book, and especially liked Concordia. I'll be looking forward to following her future exploits.

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Thrilling Murder Mystery Set in Victorian Era!

Unseemly Ambition is the third book in the wonderful Concordia Wells Mysteries written by K.B. Owen; in my humble opinion, it is the best in the series. It is thrilling, engaging, and quite enjoyable. The series centers around the title character, Concordia Wells, who is a college professor at an all-women's college in New York during the Victorian era. She not only teaches several classes, she is also a live-in chaperone to the young ladies attending the college. And of course, because this is a cozy mystery, Concordia can't help but get involved in solving a few mysteries.

In this story, Concordia gets involved in solving a murder, finding a missing boy, and unearthing a secret society that might be involved in several murders. With the "Me Too" outcry in the news these days, I really appreciated how this book concentrated on how hard it was for women at the turn of the Century. Concordia is a great example of a young woman wanting an identity outside of marriage. I especially loved the three young engineers who disassembled the college President's motorcar and reassembled it inside an office only to prove the point that females are smart and just as capable of engineering skills as men. I was so proud of them! Similarly, I appreciated Concordia's boyfriend's struggle to accept her for who she is.

I listened to the Audible version of this story narrated by Becket Royce. Becket is one of my favorite narrators because she provides differing voices for all of the characters and her narration style is very engaging and realistic. Becket also did a fantastic job with making an Irishman sound Irish without laying on the brogue too heavily. I can't wait to listen the next book in this great series!

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The school seems to be a criminal magnet

I have listened to the audio rendition of each of this series, and although as stand alones this problem may not appear, having listen to the three consequently, it appears Miss Wells ' Lady College, is a haunt for unscrupulous people. Although, I believe this is a minor problem, as the ploys are sound in each case, and very dramatic in some parts, with a good touch of humor in others.
I have a feeling with the ending of this book, the scope for further sleuthing, away from the school environment will be found in future episodes.
I have enjoyed this book, and look forward to further adventures with our Unseemly Professor.

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Not for me.

I have to admit that I have not read or listened to the other previous books in this series. However, I did not feel that I was missing anything.

I liked the book to begin with but as the book progressed I found that I was loosing interest. The main reason for this is that I did not feel any connection with the main character Cordelia. I felt that she was cold and did not show any emotion towards to some of the characters, especially her love interest.

I can understand that she has problem thinking about marriage and what it would mean if she does jump into it but I did not feel her feelings towards David her love interest. She says she loves him yet she does not show it. When something happens due to her not telling him he gets angery and leaves her. You would think that she would feel at least guilty for not saying anything or to think about him during the time she does not see him, but no. She does not think about him at all. When they do see each other he apologizes for getting upset she accepts it yet she does not say she is sorry for not telling him. It felt like it was her due for him to apologize when it was her fault to begin with. I mean what does she expect when she holds something back.

This is not the only thing in the book between the two characters that got me really frustrated. She says she loves him but she did not care when he got upset/walked out/she does not see him for along while. I actuallyed wondered what on earth he saw in her! All they did was argue and did not communicate with each other.
She did not care and if she does this before marriage then I doudt she would change after she does because she has a strong personality; where it is my way or the high way!

Unfortunetly for me this issue took over the book. I kept thinking that she would change (like talk to him) but no. And I found the mystery slow going.

It is a clean read, which others might like but it is not for me.

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Unsure how to review this one.

I'm having a hard time writing a review for this book. A mystery set in historical time typically intrigues me and I can't put down the book. But this one is different. Even though the story doesn't look all that bad, it failed to capture my interest. I kept listening to in parts every day. But listening to it felt like a chore. And I dunno why. An accuser (of sorts) getting murdered, a boy going missing, two women going out on their own to solve a mystery - all good elements of a mystery are there. And yet, it just didn't work for me.

The narration was alright too. Nothing great and nothing to complain about either.

I guess it was the "so so quality" of both the story and narration that disinterested me. That's just me though. You might find this book entertaining.

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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Fantastic!

Really enjoyable historical mystery! I really liked this one - well written and great narration!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The fact that I was gifted this book had no influence over my opinion of it.

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Lady, Teacher, Cyclist, Sleuth

In this third tale from the Concordia Wells series, Miss Wells once again finds herself distracted from her duties as a teacher at the ladies boarding school and plunged into a mystery involving murders, a missing boy and a secret society,
K.B. Owen successfully combines the art of the "cozy" mystery with her knowledge of upper class American social graces during the Victorian era to spin a story that is funny, engaging and absolutely riveting. You can't help but go on to the next chapter, so be prepared to forget about dishes and dinner, or studying or lights out, because once you've started, you'll be committed to sticking with Miss Wells and her friend Miss Hamilton as they piece together the secrets that lead to the final, exciting and hair raising conclusion.
The Audible version is well read by Becket Royce whose diction and tone will take you back to Miss Wells world so completely you'll feel like you're in the middle of the action.
A great read.