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Sick of Shadows

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Lady Rose Summer and Captain Harry Cathcart have an engagement of convenience to keep her from India and failed debutantes. She befriends newly arrived Miss Dolly Tremaine, stabbed to death and floating in a boat on the Serpentine River, and barely survives an attempt on her own life. Harry is summoned and the duo uncover deceptions, secrets, and the killer.


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Lady Rose Summer and Captain Harry Cathcart have an engagement of convenience to keep her from India and failed debutantes. She befriends newly arrived Miss Dolly Tremaine, stabbed to death and floating in a boat on the Serpentine River, and barely survives an attempt on her own life. Harry is summoned and the duo uncover deceptions, secrets, and the killer.

30 review for Sick of Shadows

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    Davina Porter 6 hours 19 mins Description: Captain Harry Cathcart and Lady Rose Summer have entered into an engagement of convenience-convenient for Rose, who wants to avoid being sent to India with all the other failed debutantes. Despite her considerable good looks, Rose's sharp intellect and radical ideas have served to repel her would be suitors. Rose's parents, unaware of the deception, are hardly thrilled that their only child is marrying a man in trade, but Harry comes from a good family, Davina Porter 6 hours 19 mins Description: Captain Harry Cathcart and Lady Rose Summer have entered into an engagement of convenience-convenient for Rose, who wants to avoid being sent to India with all the other failed debutantes. Despite her considerable good looks, Rose's sharp intellect and radical ideas have served to repel her would be suitors. Rose's parents, unaware of the deception, are hardly thrilled that their only child is marrying a man in trade, but Harry comes from a good family, and at the very least, they hope he will keep their troublesome daughter out of mischief. Unfortunately, even a pretend engagement cannot save Rose from trouble. Bored with endless parties, teas, and balls, she befriends Dolly Tremaine, a beautiful young girl newly arrived from the country and overwhelmed by the demands of the Season. Rose is delighted to have a protégée but their friendship is cut tragically short when Dolly is found floating in a river. Harry is summoned immediately to help solve the mystery of Dolly's death, and to keep Rose from being the murderer's next victim. The title comes from Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Lines 71-72. "I am half sick of shadows," said The Lady of Shalott. Still, magic mirror or not, we get the sense that this is a pretty crummy deal for the Lady. 3* Snobbery with Violence 3* Hasty Death CR Sick of Shadows

  2. 4 out of 5

    Doreen

    There is one thing that annoyed me about this book - the engagement ring. In the book prior to this one called "Hasty Death" when Captain Cathcart asked for Rose’s hand in marriage this paragraph is in the book: "Harry stood up and fished in his pocket and drew out a little box. He opened it to reveal a sapphire and diamond ring. ‘Oh how beautiful’ said Rose, as he slid it on her finger." In this book, "Sick of Shadows": "She looked down at the small engagement ring on her finger. She had bought it There is one thing that annoyed me about this book - the engagement ring. In the book prior to this one called "Hasty Death" when Captain Cathcart asked for Rose’s hand in marriage this paragraph is in the book: "Harry stood up and fished in his pocket and drew out a little box. He opened it to reveal a sapphire and diamond ring. ‘Oh how beautiful’ said Rose, as he slid it on her finger." In this book, "Sick of Shadows": "She looked down at the small engagement ring on her finger. She had bought it herself out of her pin money, Harry having seemingly forgotten that he was supposed to supply one." GAAAAHHHHH. How annoying.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    I’m not sure what there’s even left to say about these books. The first two just about cover it: characters who we’re told are intelligent behaving like idiots, coincidences, despicable families who are at this point losing all vestiges of sympatheticness because they’re just that callous… It’s still kind of fun, in that really light way, but I wouldn’t have bought it or the last book on the strength of the first two; I only read them because I owned them. I really didn’t enjoy the Agatha Raisin I’m not sure what there’s even left to say about these books. The first two just about cover it: characters who we’re told are intelligent behaving like idiots, coincidences, despicable families who are at this point losing all vestiges of sympatheticness because they’re just that callous… It’s still kind of fun, in that really light way, but I wouldn’t have bought it or the last book on the strength of the first two; I only read them because I owned them. I really didn’t enjoy the Agatha Raisin books, and while it turns out Snobbery with Violence was a bit more fun than those for me, I think it was more by contrast and good timing. And yes, you’re probably going to see pretty much this review again when I get round to reviewing Our Lady of Pain. Originally posted here.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Laur

    I had a hard time getting into the plot of the whole thing, and it seemed light in the "mystery" department. Couldn't relate well to characters. Listened to the audio version - although the narrator was quite animated in delivery, it was almost a bit over the top (I kept picturing being scolded by a negative old crotchety woman who had a chip on her shoulder.) I don't know... not my cup of tea, but perhaps I'll try another in the series. I had a hard time getting into the plot of the whole thing, and it seemed light in the "mystery" department. Couldn't relate well to characters. Listened to the audio version - although the narrator was quite animated in delivery, it was almost a bit over the top (I kept picturing being scolded by a negative old crotchety woman who had a chip on her shoulder.) I don't know... not my cup of tea, but perhaps I'll try another in the series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    It never ceases to amaze me how I can love one series from a writer but not connect with other books that are written by the same person. For instance, Marion Chesney is also MC Beaton. I love the Agatha Raisin books, but there is something about the Edwardian Mystery series that does not work for me. Maybe it is something as simple as the fact that I do not like Lady Rose Summers. In the first book, Snobbery with Violence, there was a spark there that I liked, but as the series continued on, I l It never ceases to amaze me how I can love one series from a writer but not connect with other books that are written by the same person. For instance, Marion Chesney is also MC Beaton. I love the Agatha Raisin books, but there is something about the Edwardian Mystery series that does not work for me. Maybe it is something as simple as the fact that I do not like Lady Rose Summers. In the first book, Snobbery with Violence, there was a spark there that I liked, but as the series continued on, I lost interest in this woman and her silly goings on. Rose is still playing her games with Captain Harry Cathcart and the two have entered into an engagement of convenience. Meaning that she has told her parents that they are engaged only so they will not send her off to India. Being a failed debutant due to her intellect and unconventional ideas, Rose has to figure out this marriage thing – something that will give her a home of her own, but at the same time, not force her to be tied down with a husband and children. There is something about Captain Harry Cathcart, who has been around since book one, but since her family does not want their only child marrying a man in trade, other pickings are slim for Lady Rose. Rose is helping the beautiful Dolly Tremain in her very first debutant season. These are very treacherous waters for a young woman and when Rose sees Dolly about to make a horrible mistake she rushes to her aid only to discover that someone had murdered her and her body has been laid out to look like the Lady of Shallot. Soon Lady Rose’s life too is in danger and with the help of Harry and a small group of friends, the duo ferrets out the goings on of the rich and famous and those that will do anything they can to be a part of that world. I have tried my best with this series, but just do not think that I can force myself to read the final book. I wish Captain Cathcart and Lady Rose Summer my best, but they will have to get along without me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    A breathtakingly stupid novel. I actively disliked the hero and heroine.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brianna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There's no nice way to say this. I really disliked this book. The writing was just terrible. Maybe it was too simple for me, but there was was absolutely no detail. The conversation was stiff and I found it hard to believe. Even for an Edwardian era novel, the conversation was dry. People were killed off and parties were attended all in one paragraph. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters. Beautiful young woman just being introduced into society found bleeding in a boat? Meh. Two men are kill There's no nice way to say this. I really disliked this book. The writing was just terrible. Maybe it was too simple for me, but there was was absolutely no detail. The conversation was stiff and I found it hard to believe. Even for an Edwardian era novel, the conversation was dry. People were killed off and parties were attended all in one paragraph. I felt no sympathy for any of the characters. Beautiful young woman just being introduced into society found bleeding in a boat? Meh. Two men are killed in a car crash? Wait, where are we again? Rose and Daisy are kidnapped? I really want this book to be over. Maybe the writing style just wasn't suitable for me. I found this book boring to be frank, AND IT IS A MURDER MYSTERY. I often see people calling characters one dimensional in reviews, and I always dismiss them as pretentious. In this case, I have never seen so many characters underdeveloped. The relationships were confusing, dialogue was dull. Rose was annoying, Daisy spoke in an unappealing manner and never had anything interesting to say other than speak about her love, Becket. The whole "romance" between Rose and Harry was unbearable. Here is a brief summary: Rose: Hey, I only like Harry 'cuz I don't want to go to India! Harry: Out of the goodness of my heart, I stay with Rose. Rose: This engagement is in name only! (insert paragraph about her feelings for him) Harry: She is as cold as ice (insert paragraph about how he finds her aggravating but alluring) Rose: I want to help solve a murder! Harry: Rose, you will embarrass me *insert sexist comment here* Rose: *angry because Harry doesn't show up at a social function* (x12) Rose: Breaks off engagement Harry and Rose: Dang it, we actually like each other! Rose: Friends again? Repeat 2 times to get the general plot of the story. Also, as much as I love interesting historical facts, I was confused to know why I was reading quotes about George Pullman and his funeral arrangements while in the middle of a scene where the main character is travelling. This random factoid was interesting, but what the heck was it doing in the middle of the scene? I got a "hey look I did my research I'll prove it look" vibe. Grammatical inconsistencies were annoying. A character is referred to as "Mrs. Losse"in one chapter and "Mrs. Josse" in the next. There was also a comment about "his pore sister". Is the misspelled name just there to prove that Harry didn't know that girl? Is "pore" some phrase I haven't heard of? Either way, it was distracting. I try really hard not to bash writers as I know how much work goes in to writing a novel, and I respect anyone who has a love for it, but man, I really didn't like this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alice

    I picked up this book not realizing it was by the same author as the Hamish Macbeth series. After reading several of those it is evident the reader is going to be constantly jerked around with the love interest angle. Basta! At first this seemed like a decent frothy bit of fun. The period details are charming. It is an extraordinarily fast read. The plot churns right along with the stock characters doing their bits. It's just that there just isn't anything at all there. Secondary characters are I picked up this book not realizing it was by the same author as the Hamish Macbeth series. After reading several of those it is evident the reader is going to be constantly jerked around with the love interest angle. Basta! At first this seemed like a decent frothy bit of fun. The period details are charming. It is an extraordinarily fast read. The plot churns right along with the stock characters doing their bits. It's just that there just isn't anything at all there. Secondary characters are killed off willy-nilly. The main characters are unbelievably juvenile. Too da loo Lady Rose Summer. I'd prefer Miss Marple or Poirot or the series by Victoria Thompson. This seems like the kind of thing one could write in one's sleep.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aneca

    I had a lot of fun reading this third entry in Marion Chesney's Edwardian Mystery series. Like in the previous books the mystery is actually only part of the charm as the story also deals with the relationship between the main characters - Lady Rose Summer and Captain Harry Cathcart - whose misunderstandings and continuous banter always brings a smile to my face, the situation of women, the contrast between the living conditions of the upper and lower orders as with several other aspects of the I had a lot of fun reading this third entry in Marion Chesney's Edwardian Mystery series. Like in the previous books the mystery is actually only part of the charm as the story also deals with the relationship between the main characters - Lady Rose Summer and Captain Harry Cathcart - whose misunderstandings and continuous banter always brings a smile to my face, the situation of women, the contrast between the living conditions of the upper and lower orders as with several other aspects of the Edwardian society. Although this is a mystery I think the main thing here is Rose and Harry's relationship and how Rose is growing from a naive young lady to someone with more substance. Rose and Harry planned a fake engagement to prevent her from being shipped to India by her parents. However Harry is very involved in his detective work and more often than not can't escort Rose to the social functions her family is invited to. This leads to much gossip and to Rose and her parent’s distress. Regarding the mystery in this story Rose befriends a young woman who is found murdered a few days later. Rose is the one who discovers the body and soon after there's an attempt on her life as the killer(s) seems to believe she knows more than she actually does. Her family decides she must go away to a secret location in the country with only her companion and Inspector Kerridge suggests they go to a family he knows where Rose starts by being a bit of a spoiled brat but ends up doing some growing up. The best part of the story for me is the relationship between the characters and Chesney funny humor. Especially Rose and Harry's on-again, off again engagement and their many misunderstandings but also their dealings with Daisy and Beckett and everyone else around them. Rose is bored an unhappy without Harry in attendance but he doesn't seem to understand that all would be solved by giving her more of his attention (which deep down he would really like to). While I much enjoyed their banter and misconceptions about each other I hope Chesney doesn't keep them like this in future books, they make up in the end so hopefully they'll stay that way in the next book. This is a light and fun series that gives you an insight on the Edwardian period and while being labeled as cosy mysteries there's no doubt that the characters and their involvement with each other takes center stage and the mystery is kept as a secondary thing. I can't wait to get to the next one! Grade: 4/5

  10. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Lady Rose Summer is engaged to Captain Harry Cathcart, or so she tells her parents and society. It's only a ruse to keep the Hadshires from sending Rose to India. Society is beginning to gossip because Harry spends most of his time working. Rose is humiliated and considers a marriage of convenience to Sir Peter Percey, her frequent escort. She is bored with her life and longs to help someone. She befriends Dolly Tremaine, a country rector's daughter who is new in town. Poor Dolly is having a dif Lady Rose Summer is engaged to Captain Harry Cathcart, or so she tells her parents and society. It's only a ruse to keep the Hadshires from sending Rose to India. Society is beginning to gossip because Harry spends most of his time working. Rose is humiliated and considers a marriage of convenience to Sir Peter Percey, her frequent escort. She is bored with her life and longs to help someone. She befriends Dolly Tremaine, a country rector's daughter who is new in town. Poor Dolly is having a difficult season: she's beautiful but not bright and doesn't know how to go on in society, then she ends up dead, floating in a boat like the Lady of Shalott. Rose is the one to find the body and instantly becomes a media darling and also the target of a crazed assassin. Harry will do anything to keep Rose safe but Rose chafes at the restrictions he places on her movements. She's determined to solve the mystery on her own. This story is better than the last but not as good as the first. I guessed who murdered Dolly right away. I was pretty close to being right but second guessed myself as the plot moved on. I didn't like how the author stepped out of the story to explain historical background information. I also didn't like the relationship between Rose and Harry. There were too many stupid misunderstandings. There are some modern Americanisms that creep in - can we get a "What is a weekend?" I liked Rose a bit better in this story. We get inside her head a bit more. She can still be a you know what at times, but she's getting better. Harry is still brooding but we get a bit more of his motivation. I like knowing characters' feelings. The character I liked best was Aisla. She provides the comic relief. I like her better than Rose because she's smart and capable. The villains are bumbling fools. I look forward to the next book in the series. Graphic/Objectionable Content : violence (more graphic than the previous two books) homosexuality (view spoiler)[Homosexual love scene - no graphic content per se but one of the men suggests something kinky. It's handled with humor and is part of the plot. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lia Marcoux

    This was a strange, bland, shallow book that somehow combined a surprisingly high body count with the faint feeling of being educational.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dani(elle)

    Was MC Beaton LGBTQIA or just a really good ally? Because even when our mains are at their most annoying I cant help but stan how far they go out of their way to ensure their gay friends and acquaintances don't get arrested for being gay. And then there is how all the shitty people being shitty to the gays get punished. And, and, the gays get a happily ever after! It makes me happy. Was MC Beaton LGBTQIA or just a really good ally? Because even when our mains are at their most annoying I cant help but stan how far they go out of their way to ensure their gay friends and acquaintances don't get arrested for being gay. And then there is how all the shitty people being shitty to the gays get punished. And, and, the gays get a happily ever after! It makes me happy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sue Smith

    Entertaining with a burgeoning romantic avenue between the main characters. It did get a wee bit eye-rolly once in a while though and I thought it was going to actually go somewhere - but, alas - no, it did not. So perhaps in the last one, it will come to fruition.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Enjoyable story, but the character development is ponderously slow. If anything, it seems like the characters are forever fighting and becoming friends again, which is amusing for the first couple books, but begins to wear by the third. Lady Rose seems never to learn from her repeated and varying stupid mistakes, which again, was amusing at first, but begins to wear thin when repeated so frequently. I begin to wonder if the author is just too lazy to think up new problems for her characters to s Enjoyable story, but the character development is ponderously slow. If anything, it seems like the characters are forever fighting and becoming friends again, which is amusing for the first couple books, but begins to wear by the third. Lady Rose seems never to learn from her repeated and varying stupid mistakes, which again, was amusing at first, but begins to wear thin when repeated so frequently. I begin to wonder if the author is just too lazy to think up new problems for her characters to solve. I want the next book to have new character development! Maybe a different formula for the murder mystery too...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Not bad. I picked this up at a book sale - it's the third book in the series. Set in Edwardian England, Lady Rose Summer is very spirited and feels constrained by expectations for socializing in polite society and the pressure to marry well. She is engaged to Captain Harry Cathcart, a private investigator (alas, a tradesman). They have an engagement "of convenience" to prevent her from being sent off to India with other young women who need to find husbands, but Harry is not a very reliable suit Not bad. I picked this up at a book sale - it's the third book in the series. Set in Edwardian England, Lady Rose Summer is very spirited and feels constrained by expectations for socializing in polite society and the pressure to marry well. She is engaged to Captain Harry Cathcart, a private investigator (alas, a tradesman). They have an engagement "of convenience" to prevent her from being sent off to India with other young women who need to find husbands, but Harry is not a very reliable suitor and Rose would rather be having adventures or helping him with investigations than participating in social events. When a beautiful young woman whom Rose befriended is murdered, Harry assists Scotland Yard with the case, and later Rose is targeted by an assassin who thinks she knows something about the murder. The book goes back and forth between the investigation, Rose defying her parents and getting involved, and misunderstandings between the couple. I liked some of the supporting characters - Rose's companion Daisy who is in love with Harry's valet, Becket and others. The characters are likable and the book illustrates the restrictions on women during the time - wearing corsets, Rose having her mail opened by her father, and in general not being taken seriously. A light, enjoyable mystery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Actual rating: 3.75 stars. I've decided for this short series of books to review them as a whole. I read them one after the other in about a 24 hour time period, so they all sort of seem like one really long book to me, and I am not at all sure that I could review them separately. My plan is to copy and past the review to each of the four books, so I will post most all of the review under a spoiler cut, because I am sure that I will mention things that would be considered spoilerish. My overall rat Actual rating: 3.75 stars. I've decided for this short series of books to review them as a whole. I read them one after the other in about a 24 hour time period, so they all sort of seem like one really long book to me, and I am not at all sure that I could review them separately. My plan is to copy and past the review to each of the four books, so I will post most all of the review under a spoiler cut, because I am sure that I will mention things that would be considered spoilerish. My overall rating for the series is 3.75 stars...ok, actually it was 3.63, but I rounded it up. The books are all light, breezy, and very quick reads--all of them clocking in at just under 225 pages. I enjoyed the books as a whole, the characters (while sometimes extremely frustrating to me) were engaging, the writing style was pleasing, and while the books were mostly lighthearted and amusing, there were a few tense moments as well. The mysteries were pretty easy to figure out, and therefore didn't require much thought...which is something that I sometimes look for in a book. (view spoiler)[I think the thing that frustrated me the most was the back and forth between Lady Rose and Captain Harry. They both loved each other, but neither could admit it to themselves, much less the other. The on again/off again engagement of convenience between the two grew very tedious very quickly as did the 'I love you but am to scared to show it so I act as if I hate you' trope that the author employed througout the series to create conflict between the two. One would see or hear something about the other that they'd misunderstand and then go off in a snit until they found out they were wrong. I could see that happening in the first book since they didn't know each other that well, but by the time the fourth book rolled around there really should have been some other means of conflict between the two or just have them get together and acknowledge their feelings for each other . I don't know...maybe it wouldn't have bothered me so badly if I hadn't read all four of them so quickly. I liked both Harry and Rose, though both--at times--made me wish I could shake them, for the reasons mentioned above as well as for other things. Though both did show some emotional growth and maturity during the series...Rose especially. I liked the secondary storyline between Harry's manservant, Becket, and Rose's lady's maid/later companion, Daisy. Two characters I could hardly find any redeeming qualities in at all were Rose's parents. OH MY WORD what an insufferable pair they were! I've read that the author isn't planning on writing anymore books in this series, preferring instead to concentrate on her two other series, so I'm glad that this one ended the way it did. The implied happy ending is there, but it is also open ended enough to pick the series back up should the author ever change her mind. (hide spoiler)]

  17. 5 out of 5

    Roberta

    All four skinny books in this series add up to only one decent mystery/romance. Others have already given multiple synopses and reviews, so I shall use my space to nit pick. Page 68 Kerridge finds a photo in the dead man's wallet and asks the police photographer to copy it. It occurred to me that with all the detecting that Harry is doing, there is no mention of him owning a camera. The Brownie Box Camera was introduced in 1900 and cost about a $1.00. Even the Brownie 2 that came out in 1901 was o All four skinny books in this series add up to only one decent mystery/romance. Others have already given multiple synopses and reviews, so I shall use my space to nit pick. Page 68 Kerridge finds a photo in the dead man's wallet and asks the police photographer to copy it. It occurred to me that with all the detecting that Harry is doing, there is no mention of him owning a camera. The Brownie Box Camera was introduced in 1900 and cost about a $1.00. Even the Brownie 2 that came out in 1901 was only $2.00 (about £0.50 at the time). So a camera was not out of Harry's price range and it certainly would have been useful in his work. Page 71 we have an exploding puddle of petrol. Technically, a puddle of petrol won't explode by dropping a match in it; it's the fumes in the air above the puddle of petrol that catches on fire. Of course, if you're the one who set it off, it probably makes no difference -- you're still toast. In Hasty Death (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #2) on page 216 Rose receives an engagement ring from Harry. In this book, which is Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #3, on page 90 Rose receives another diamond engagement ring from Harry. So what happened to the first ring? Did she hock it or what?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    Third in the Edwardian Murder Mysteries series. More of the same, but not in a bad way. Harry and Rose still can't figure out how to tell each other of their feeeeelingsss. These are more like "romance novels with a thin veneer of mystery" than mystery novels with a dash of romance, but M.C. Beaton/Marion Chesney does such a good job of characterizing that it's easy to be involved and invested in Harry and Rose's relationship (as well as Daisy and Beckett's). I also enjoyed hearing how Rose and Har Third in the Edwardian Murder Mysteries series. More of the same, but not in a bad way. Harry and Rose still can't figure out how to tell each other of their feeeeelingsss. These are more like "romance novels with a thin veneer of mystery" than mystery novels with a dash of romance, but M.C. Beaton/Marion Chesney does such a good job of characterizing that it's easy to be involved and invested in Harry and Rose's relationship (as well as Daisy and Beckett's). I also enjoyed hearing how Rose and Harry are finally coming to the realisation that they are extremely privileged, and that they have started to try to make a difference in the lives of those who have less. I am excited to listen to the final book - can Harry and Rose resolve their miscommunication and FINALLY get married? (I mean, obviously, but I still want to hear how it all plays out.) Another shout-out to the divine Ms. Davina Porter, who not only has a different voice for each character, but also effectively and believably uses different acccents (when needed). Harry's new secretary is Scottish, so we hear Ms. Porter using a Scottish brogue; whenever Ireland is mentioned (briefly, several times towards the end of the story), it's said with an Irish accent. She is simply amazing as a narrator.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Annabelle

    Is it fair to list an audio book? I listened to this on the 12 hour drive to Nederland. I liked the period piece of imperial England. Lady Rose has an arranged engagement to Captain Harry Cathcart, so her parents won’t send her to India to find a husband. She is an early day feminist riding bicycles in Hyde Park with a split skirt and wanting to detect the murderer of one of her new friends, who is laid out in a boat as a Lady of the Lake. There is tension between Rose and Harry from the start. Is it fair to list an audio book? I listened to this on the 12 hour drive to Nederland. I liked the period piece of imperial England. Lady Rose has an arranged engagement to Captain Harry Cathcart, so her parents won’t send her to India to find a husband. She is an early day feminist riding bicycles in Hyde Park with a split skirt and wanting to detect the murderer of one of her new friends, who is laid out in a boat as a Lady of the Lake. There is tension between Rose and Harry from the start. It is well plotted and the manners and history of turn of the century England, particularly the women’s clothes and the bizarre customs of visiting, chaperons and dances were captivating. There are nice surprises in the mystery and a strong statement for feminism.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veronica

    I am still very much enjoying the series but I am starting to notice little things that annoy me. First, the engagement ring. Harry, in the last book, gave her an engagement ring when he proposed, but in this book it says that he forgot a ring so Lady Rose had to buy her own. Inconsistencies like that bother me. There are also a bunch of spelling mistakes (that I had noticed in the first two books). Daisy is also starting to get on my nerves. She seems to have lost all of the depth we saw in the I am still very much enjoying the series but I am starting to notice little things that annoy me. First, the engagement ring. Harry, in the last book, gave her an engagement ring when he proposed, but in this book it says that he forgot a ring so Lady Rose had to buy her own. Inconsistencies like that bother me. There are also a bunch of spelling mistakes (that I had noticed in the first two books). Daisy is also starting to get on my nerves. She seems to have lost all of the depth we saw in the first two books.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Antoinette

    This i the first book I've read in the Edwardian Mystery series by M. C. Beaton. I know her Agatha Raisin series, which I do not enjoy, and the Hamish Macbth series. I do enjoy once in a while. I think I like the Edwardian mystery series better, because I like historic mysteries. The Edwardian period is new to me although I have read many Victorian mysteries. It was a welcome change. The characters hare barely believable, verging on caricatures but the plot was interesting and the culture and mo This i the first book I've read in the Edwardian Mystery series by M. C. Beaton. I know her Agatha Raisin series, which I do not enjoy, and the Hamish Macbth series. I do enjoy once in a while. I think I like the Edwardian mystery series better, because I like historic mysteries. The Edwardian period is new to me although I have read many Victorian mysteries. It was a welcome change. The characters hare barely believable, verging on caricatures but the plot was interesting and the culture and mores of the period sustained my interest.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Selah

    Lady Rose will walk blindly into ANY trap, but at least she has become a little more self aware and a little less selfish. Daisy is still a far superior heroine. I was quite annoyed that the author seemed to forget about the engagement ring from the end on the last book. :/ 2.5 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    Lady Rose is a pain but I really like her and Daisy. A good reread.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Pedestrian Edwardian mystery with awkward prose and pacing. Was curious about author (who is also published as MC Beaton.) Will not explore her massive ouevre further!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Gates

    Not very good at all. Smacks of bottom drawer work pulled out for some extra cash requirement. Stock characters tediously following their noses through labyrithine predictability. Disappointing.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Kilpatrick

    This book followed well on the Edwardian heels of the first two. I've been enjoying this series for the sole reason I need airy and these novels are incredibly light-weight, cozies in the true sense of the sub-genre word. I'm not a fan of the perpetual misunderstandings. After a while, it's hard to respect characters with hair-pin triggers and the two main characters are that, jumping to big conclusions. At least there is some sorting out in this book. All of the mystery elements are so outrageo This book followed well on the Edwardian heels of the first two. I've been enjoying this series for the sole reason I need airy and these novels are incredibly light-weight, cozies in the true sense of the sub-genre word. I'm not a fan of the perpetual misunderstandings. After a while, it's hard to respect characters with hair-pin triggers and the two main characters are that, jumping to big conclusions. At least there is some sorting out in this book. All of the mystery elements are so outrageously silly that it's hard to take anything seriously. I'd go into some but that would be divulging the plot. This is an old series, repackaged after 15 or so years. I do seriously resent paying $9 for books that are that old, and from reading reviews on amazon.com anyway, and seeing how it rolls, I think I'll save the money and not buy #4. These books should be $5.99 max, imo. In which case I'd buy 4 but since they are not, I won't. I'll move on to other mysteries. I admit I'm not much of Cozy fan to begin with and for me, there's not the substance of a harder mystery that has to hang together and would have readers screaming about acts-of-god and endless-coincidence elements to move a plot along. No reader of a decent PI, police procedural, or coroner story would tolerate such slip-shod silliness, but I suspect it's normal in cozies. To me, this type of facile story doesn't warrant the cost, especially after a decade and a half. For example, Patricia Cornwell's 15-year-old titles in her Scarpetta series sell for $10. These (her early titles) are meaty books as compared to the cotton candy of the Edwardian Mysteries. At least for me, I'll pay for meat but not for cotton candy. Mileage varies among readers. I should have given it 3*s--so many errors--but gave it 4*s because I knew what I was getting into.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marfita

    There's a lot to recommend these books, balanced off by what annoys me. I know I swore I'd never read another one, but I got desperate. And now I'm going to start a fourth. Anyway, Chesney has a lively sense of humor. Captain Cathcart's secretary is an alcoholic which he is not aware of. Her problems with alcohol actually advance the plot humorously. But there's still the problem of the relationship between Lady Rose and the Captain. They are continually misunderstanding each other and their serv There's a lot to recommend these books, balanced off by what annoys me. I know I swore I'd never read another one, but I got desperate. And now I'm going to start a fourth. Anyway, Chesney has a lively sense of humor. Captain Cathcart's secretary is an alcoholic which he is not aware of. Her problems with alcohol actually advance the plot humorously. But there's still the problem of the relationship between Lady Rose and the Captain. They are continually misunderstanding each other and their servants/companions/whatever are continually trying to patch things up for them, if only for their own selfish interests (because they are in love). And I mean continually. It happens again and again and again in the same 215 pages. I find it tiring. Chesney also rushes plots a bit. This is more apparent after reading Huber's series. Huber is all about description and one might think, Oh, get on with it! Chesney barely lets you catch your breath. Here's Lady Rose at a ball. She meets someone. She finds her new friend dead. Whoa! Of course, there's a bit more in there. Lady Rose gets to be annoyed that Captain Cathcart has again neglected to escort her to a function and to develop a bit of jealousy over the attention a new belle of the ball is receiving before her hem or something needs seeing to and the plot gallops on. So, there's humor and it's not boring. Hardly a chance to get boring in only 215 pages.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Ann

    Lady Rose Summer & Captain Harry Cathcart are at it again: A country preacher's daughter, Dolly, is out for the season in order to find a suitable husband. But Dolly is unhappy and turns to Rose for help. When Rose shows up the next morning to meet Dolly, she finds Dolly very much dead & laid out in a rowing boat arranged to look like the Lady Shallot. As the story moves along: Rose begins to receive threatening letters and is sent to the country w/ Daisy, her companion; she breaks her engagement Lady Rose Summer & Captain Harry Cathcart are at it again: A country preacher's daughter, Dolly, is out for the season in order to find a suitable husband. But Dolly is unhappy and turns to Rose for help. When Rose shows up the next morning to meet Dolly, she finds Dolly very much dead & laid out in a rowing boat arranged to look like the Lady Shallot. As the story moves along: Rose begins to receive threatening letters and is sent to the country w/ Daisy, her companion; she breaks her engagement to Harry & to avoid being sent to India, proposes to her friend Peter. Peter is then set up in a homosexual scandal and flees to France (Harry & Rose then work to turn the tables). Daisy & Becket, Harry's valet, are still very much in love but are continually being thwarted by Lady Rose's & Harry's on again/off again relationship. I'm becoming rather bored w/ Rose & Harry's on-off relationship.... it is tiresome and the problems are mostly caused by his continually being unavailable to attend society functions, where his presence is required and their total lack of communication. I found the ending to be not very well though out...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    I read it. I kinda liked most of the main characters although not sure what to make of Lady Rose. Her character pretty much felt like a roller-coaster. One moment I liked her the next she felt very exasperating, but then again that is how her fiancée seemed to feel about her too. Over all it was a nice gap filler book, although some of the cast seemed to be fillers, thrown in as red herrings but at the same time by the time you ended the book you wonder why did the author bother with them? Then I read it. I kinda liked most of the main characters although not sure what to make of Lady Rose. Her character pretty much felt like a roller-coaster. One moment I liked her the next she felt very exasperating, but then again that is how her fiancée seemed to feel about her too. Over all it was a nice gap filler book, although some of the cast seemed to be fillers, thrown in as red herrings but at the same time by the time you ended the book you wonder why did the author bother with them? Then again if she hadn't the book would have been thinner, they helped fill out some pages after all. Mind having said that this was the first book I have read by this author. I found in some ways it was predictable, and as I mentioned the red herring cast, even though they were interesting felt a bit disjointed in some ways, almost like something was missing to make it more believable that they could have been the culprits.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Squirrel

    Thoroughly enjoying this installment the second time around. On this second reading, I've read the 4th in the series, Our Lady of Pain, prior to this book, and that seems to make a huge difference. Here I am enjoying the complexities, the ins and outs, the imaginative responses to different situations and perils. Perhaps reading them in sequence led me to focus on the romances instead of appreciating the development and details for all the other characters? I for one still hope for a 5th installme Thoroughly enjoying this installment the second time around. On this second reading, I've read the 4th in the series, Our Lady of Pain, prior to this book, and that seems to make a huge difference. Here I am enjoying the complexities, the ins and outs, the imaginative responses to different situations and perils. Perhaps reading them in sequence led me to focus on the romances instead of appreciating the development and details for all the other characters? I for one still hope for a 5th installment, how do Lady Rose and Captain Harry, Beckett and Daisy, fare as they grow older? Rose is not even 20 (or maybe just?) when the series leaves off. People do change over time - who do these engaging characters become?

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