Tuesday, January 31, 2017

M.C. Beaton - Snobbery With Violence

Lady Rose Summer's father calls on Captain Harry Cathcart to investigate her suitor, Sir Geoffrey Blandon, resulting in a scandalous breakup. When the Marquess of Hedley calls Harry about a murder, Harry calls in Scotland Yard Supt Kerridge, and Rose. Harry and Rose must unravel a web of lies, rumors, perilous plots - and their own mixed feelings.

Comment: Another book that has been in the pile for long (around 5 years and a half) but that I went through rather quickly... it does help that the book isn't long but here I got one hidden gem among the many books to read. I don't remember why I got it, except I read good things about it. Well, I'm glad the recommendation was good and I had a great time.

This is the story of lady Rose Summer, a young debutante who has joined the Suffragists and her reputation has suffered with it. However, she changed her activities again because a lord has shown interest and she is in love. Her father decided it would be a good idea to investigate the gentleman's intentions before a ball and somehow learns about captain Harry Cathcart skills and pays him to discover something. Harry finds out the lord placed bets in how he would succeed in seducing lady Rose, now considered ruined at the eyes of society.
From then on, Rose starts to blame captain Harry for her problems, although he helped her from a worse fate. Some time later, lady Rose is invited for a house party but when one young lady is found dead, here comes captain Harry, whose reputation as a sort of detective now opens many doors for him, to help solve the mystery. But is lady Rose safe from everyone at the house party?

Like I said, I had a great time reading this short book and going through the adventures of Rose and Harry. I'm not especially fan of cozy mysteries, meaning I don't look for them but I was positively surprised by this one. The fact this is an historical didn't detract me from anything and I liked the writing quite much.

The plot is very simple, after Harry helps lady Rose's family his reputation as someone who can help others by solving some of the problems they have soars and he manages to have a living after his years in the war. We learn with little bits here and there he doesn't have good memories of it and many consider him too taciturn but it's understandable for us why. I liked Harry as a character, he is a no nonsense man and he wasn't looking for a career but he is pragmatic to not say no it at the same time. The plot starts because of him, in a way, but as things develop, he finds the most interesting solutions for several issues.

Obviously there's a very subtle undercurrent notion he and Rose are attracted to each other, although such thing is never mentioned. This is an historical story and the main characters behave properly. But their interactions show there is something between them and I'm eager to read more and find out how they manage to accept each other.
Rose is a bit more difficult to like. She is a good person, she is a good heroine but I'm not yet sold on her personality...she seems to change her mind rather quickly about things and I'm afraid she will be less understanding and sympathetic than what I'd like her to be. Let's see.

The mystery isn't completely closed and at some point it starts to be easy to guess who the killer is, even if not immediately obvious why. It was interesting to see the investigations done to find the solution.
Also interesting was the theme about class differences and what it means to have influence, these things weren't explored to the limit but offered a good background development, even more so because the two main secondary characters, Becket and Daisy were so amazing.
I also really liked the writing style, the light way in which things are described and developed. I even laughed at some of the character's antics.

I'm very interested in reading the rest of this series and I'll try to get the books soon in order to read them in the following months. This was a great read, very entertaining!
Grade: 8/10

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