Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Counterfeit Guest

The Counterfeit Guest. Rose Melikan. 2009 [August 2009] Simon & Schuster. 432 pages.

On the Suffolk coast some eight miles east of Woodbridge stood what had once been a priory for women adhering to the Cistercian order.

The second novel following the adventures of Miss Mary Finch. (Read my review of The Blackstone Key.) The year is now 1797, and the French are still quite a threat to the English. Luckily, Miss Mary is still around keeping an eye out for villains and spies. Not that she expected to find one quite so close to home.

At the close of The Blackstone Key, Mary and Captain Robert Holland practically admitted they liked each other. Mostly. They even began a secret correspondence. Even though she's now a rich heiress, and he, well, he's not so well off financially, she's hopeful that they can make a match of it in the end. She does really like him after all. She's hoping her having money won't scare him off too bad. But after the funeral of a mutual friend, he becomes elusive once again. The letters stop. It seems something has come between them again. Bother, bother!

Susannah Armitage, one of Mary Finch's friends, has invited her to London--and then further invites her to their country home--to be her companion. She's newly married to a Colonel Crosby-Nash. It is not a love match. Mary doesn't think it is anyway. Crosby-Nash just doesn't seem like a guy anyone could easily love. But is her dislike of him, her distrust, founded in truth, in reason? Does she have a good reason to be worried about her friend?

I really liked this second adventure. The "adventure" part worked for me more this time around. If you like historical mysteries with tiny hints of romance, then you will probably enjoy this one. What I enjoyed about this one are the details, the rich creation of characters.

Here are some descriptions of Mrs. Tipton:

She was very well suited to giving advice, as there were few subjects in which she did not consider herself an expert, and this one was particularly dear to her. Some of what she said was nonsense, and some was worse, but she was a keen observer of her class--the rural gentry--and generally knew to a nice detail what could and could not be done. (40)

This discussion of love naturally developed into a lecture about the wrong sorts of husband. Mrs. Tipton ran briefly through the more significant masculine flaws--drunkenness, brutality, arrogance, lack of common sense. (41)

Mrs. Tipton objected to London (she had never been there) as a place where dangerous, loose-living men conspired to ruin inexperienced young ladies, both morally and financially. (64)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Anonymous,  8:47 PM  

Oh, it sounds just lovely! And just "my cup of tea".:) L.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP