Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bellfield Hall

Bellfield Hall: Or The Observations of Miss Dido Kent. Anna Dean. 2010. St. Martin's Press. 300 pages.

Bellfield Hall,
Monday 23rd September 1805


My dear Eliza,
I must begin another letter to you, although it is not six hours since I sent my last. I have some news to communicate which I think will surprise you not a little.

Miss Dido Kent hesitated, her pen suspended over the page. All her education and almost thirty years' experience of writing letters had not quite prepared her for this situation. As well as she could recall, the rules of etiquette said nothing about the correct way in which to convey the news that she now had to impart. However, her governess had once told her that the very best style of writing was that which gave information simply and clearly without any excess of sensibility.
She dipped her pen into the ink and continued.
There has been a woman found dead here -- in the shrubbery -- this evening. (13-14)
I really enjoyed this mystery novel set during one of my favorite time periods--the Regency. I enjoyed the narrator, Miss Dido Kent, very much. I found her pleasant company. This was one of those nice books to settle in with--perhaps not the most compelling read, when it comes to pace--but a pleasant, satisfying read all the same. 

Miss Dido Kent is visiting her niece, Catherine, who is distraught at the disappearance of her betrothed, Richard Montague. True, he sent her a note--a note begging her to break off their engagement. But she doesn't know why he wants to break it off. She doesn't know where he's gone. Until she knows why, she can't fathom breaking the engagement. Does he still love her? She needs to find him, to talk to him. But before that mystery can be solved, another begins. In fact, this dead body opens the novel.

Miss Dido didn't plan on solving a mystery--on trying to solve a murder case--but she happens to be in the right time and place. Who is the dead woman found in the shrubbery? How was she shot in the middle of the day with no one on the estate hearing it? Who among the house guests would have a motive for killing this mystery woman? Can Miss Dido solve this mystery while trying to comfort her niece? How many family secrets will she uncover in the process? 

I liked this one. I really liked it. I liked the setting. I liked the characters. It was interesting to meet all the different characters. I thought she did a great job with them! It was a very pleasant novel.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Tribute Books Mama 1:37 PM  

I also love this time period, will have to look into this one, thanks! for sharing.

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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
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I am not a fan of:

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  • 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.

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