counter create hit Snobbery With Violence - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Snobbery With Violence

Availability: Ready to download

When a marriage proposal appears imminent for the beautiful -- if rebellious -- Lady Rose Summer, her father wants to know if her suitor's intentions are honorable. He calls on Captain Harry Cathcart, the impoverished younger son of a baron, to do some intelligence work on the would-be fiancee, Sir Geoffrey Blandon. After his success in uncovering Geoffrey's dishonorable mo When a marriage proposal appears imminent for the beautiful -- if rebellious -- Lady Rose Summer, her father wants to know if her suitor's intentions are honorable. He calls on Captain Harry Cathcart, the impoverished younger son of a baron, to do some intelligence work on the would-be fiancee, Sir Geoffrey Blandon. After his success in uncovering Geoffrey's dishonorable motives, Harry fashions a career out of "fixing" things for wealthy aristocrats. So when the Marquess of Hedley finds one of his guests dead at a lavish house party, he knows just the man to call. But when Harry is caught between his client's desire for discretion and his suspicion that murder may indeed have been committed, he enlists the help of Superintendent Kerridge of the Scotland Yard and Lady Rose, also a guest at Lord Hedley's. Set in the Edwardian world of parties, servants, and scandal, Snobbery with Violence is a delightful combination of murderous intrigue and high society.


Compare
Ads Banner

When a marriage proposal appears imminent for the beautiful -- if rebellious -- Lady Rose Summer, her father wants to know if her suitor's intentions are honorable. He calls on Captain Harry Cathcart, the impoverished younger son of a baron, to do some intelligence work on the would-be fiancee, Sir Geoffrey Blandon. After his success in uncovering Geoffrey's dishonorable mo When a marriage proposal appears imminent for the beautiful -- if rebellious -- Lady Rose Summer, her father wants to know if her suitor's intentions are honorable. He calls on Captain Harry Cathcart, the impoverished younger son of a baron, to do some intelligence work on the would-be fiancee, Sir Geoffrey Blandon. After his success in uncovering Geoffrey's dishonorable motives, Harry fashions a career out of "fixing" things for wealthy aristocrats. So when the Marquess of Hedley finds one of his guests dead at a lavish house party, he knows just the man to call. But when Harry is caught between his client's desire for discretion and his suspicion that murder may indeed have been committed, he enlists the help of Superintendent Kerridge of the Scotland Yard and Lady Rose, also a guest at Lord Hedley's. Set in the Edwardian world of parties, servants, and scandal, Snobbery with Violence is a delightful combination of murderous intrigue and high society.

30 review for Snobbery With Violence

  1. 4 out of 5

    Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    After reading so many TSTL female heroines in YA fiction lately, I decided it was time for a change of pace. A nice, cozy turn-of-the century historical sleuthing mystery. Sure, why not? I generally love my historical female sleuths, be it the spirited Lady Julia Grey, the lovely and undaunted Lady Emily Ashford, or hell, even the admittedly grating and bookish Amelia Peabody. Surely, Lady Rose Summers would be just the thing to bring to a stop my current trend of face-palming every five second a After reading so many TSTL female heroines in YA fiction lately, I decided it was time for a change of pace. A nice, cozy turn-of-the century historical sleuthing mystery. Sure, why not? I generally love my historical female sleuths, be it the spirited Lady Julia Grey, the lovely and undaunted Lady Emily Ashford, or hell, even the admittedly grating and bookish Amelia Peabody. Surely, Lady Rose Summers would be just the thing to bring to a stop my current trend of face-palming every five second as I read about yet another dumb 21st century teenaged chick diving headfirst into danger or heading in the path of a dragon (true story, remember Jenny?). She sounds awesome, too!!! A suffragette, a privileged daughter of a peer, yet not indifferent to the plights of the working class. Surely this intelligent young woman and her gentleman detective friend will be just the thing to bring my spirits up and restore my faith in humanity (womanity?). Holy crap, I have never been so wrong. Ok, I did get some things right from the summary. She is a peer's daughter, she is sympathetic to those not of her privileged class, and she is a suffragette. On all other fronts, however, she is dumb, dumb, dumb. Our Lady Rose misguided, spoiled, and stubbornheaded to rival a bull, maybe a minotaur. A minotaur might be less annoying. Did I mention she is spoiled? She is the only child of a very wealthy Earl and his wife, and has gotten her way her entire life. Her mother is silly, her father your typical bluff, brash, genial, but extremely softhearted when it comes to his only child. As a result, Rose is permitted to do things and get away with things that would be unheard of for a peer's daughter. All she has to do is protest and her father gives in. She was brought into feminism and the suffragette movement by a governess, and like a willful child, uses the movement as her own means to behave like a willful child, rather than standing for its ideals. Even her former governess is disgusted by her actions. “Do you mean you consider me a disgrace?” “Unlike you, my lady, I have to earn my living. I was always of the opinion that you were a bit spoilt.” “Why didn’t you say so?” “It was not my place to do so.” Lady Rose feels she is superior to other debutantes, and after her disgrace regarding her confrontation with a suitor, she is severely lacking in friends. Only then does she realize that she has been a stuffy, superior pain-in-the-ass. She also has an annoying tendency to blame everyone and anyone but her own actions for her misfortune and fall from grace. The plot is unbearably stupid, and we don't even get into the real plot until halfway through the book. Within the first half of the book, we are introduced to Captain Harry, the idiotic Brooding Gentleman Rake Who Suffers From a War Trauma (sigh) and his various forays into amateurish sleuthing for money, as he is completely and utterly broke. He is not much better than Rose in terms of likeability. He is... "...bitter, brooding and taciturn, and he seemed unable to converse in anything other than cliches or grunts." And for your information, no, he does not improve throughout the book. Our introduction to him goes by ways of following him through his idiotic methods of solving petty crimes and problems, including making up a chicken pox outbreak and blowing up a train station to prevent the Prince from consorting with Lady Rose. His reasoning? "I had to make sure the palace thought it the work of the Bolsheviks. Anything less, and they might have suspected Lord Hadshire of getting up to tricks. The palace sent a telegram just before we left, cancelling the king’s visit ‘for reasons of national security.’" In this day and age, we would call that terrorism, or at the very least, extreme lunacy. Lady Rose and Harry hated each others' guts throughout most of the story; I actually hated them both for the entire story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Olga Godim

    An average mystery set during the Edwardian era, this book left me cold. The writing was clean but primitive, and the characters only sketched out. Nobody is alive in the novel, and I didn’t care for anyone there. What the author does show is a huge class divide. It is gaping wide open, and the police is only free to do their jobs if the lower classes are involved. Murder is committed at a house party of a marquis, but nobody from the upper class could have done it. Aristocracy don’t commit crim An average mystery set during the Edwardian era, this book left me cold. The writing was clean but primitive, and the characters only sketched out. Nobody is alive in the novel, and I didn’t care for anyone there. What the author does show is a huge class divide. It is gaping wide open, and the police is only free to do their jobs if the lower classes are involved. Murder is committed at a house party of a marquis, but nobody from the upper class could have done it. Aristocracy don’t commit crimes, do they? No investigation is required, and a pressure is brought to bear on the police officer in charge to pronounce the death accidental. Or else. And he does what he is told. Even after out protagonists stir trouble, and a second body is discovered drowned in a moat, the author went out of her way to make the conclusion acceptable to the aristocracy, as if she wrote it in 1903 instead of 2003, the year of publication. No criminal is brought to justice, but all the loose ends are firmly tucked in. A faintly boring tale.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    I wasn’t a fan of M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series at all, so I was quite prepared to dislike Snobbery With Violence intensely. That might have been better for my TBR list, but it turned out that Snobbery With Violence hits the spot for me. It’s not Sayers, of course; it’s lacking in that incisiveness and depth of characters. But it is a fun quick read with characters you can more or less get along with: sometimes Rose is too spoilt, and Harry Cathcart too… blandly typical. I actually liked th I wasn’t a fan of M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series at all, so I was quite prepared to dislike Snobbery With Violence intensely. That might have been better for my TBR list, but it turned out that Snobbery With Violence hits the spot for me. It’s not Sayers, of course; it’s lacking in that incisiveness and depth of characters. But it is a fun quick read with characters you can more or less get along with: sometimes Rose is too spoilt, and Harry Cathcart too… blandly typical. I actually liked the side characters of Beckett and Daisy more; I like their relationship to each other and to their bosses. Lady Rose’s family, well, they’re pretty colourless and despicable in a hands-off, self-absorbed way that is neither engaging nor particularly original. In general, the characters around the main four feel like props. The mystery, too, felt like that. It’s all relatively by-the-numbers. Sometimes the things which happen are just too silly — the example I can think of is from the second book, but at times there’s a cascade of events like a comedy of errors which just… makes the book feel like it’s intended to be a comedy somehow. All of this is essentially damning with faint praise: I wouldn’t particularly recommend these books to someone specific, but since I have them, I’m reading them all and enjoying them. If you’re looking for something light with a bit of historical romance and a bit of mystery, this might be your thing. Objectively, it should probably be a two-star rating, but subjectively, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Originally posted here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa McShane

    This was okay. The mystery was solid, but everything around it felt a little haphazard. Lady Rose is an outspoken, intelligent young woman who is ahead of her time (which is the Edwardian era). Captain Harry Cathcart is a young man invalided out of the army and at loose ends. When Rose's father is concerned about her suitor, he hires Harry to investigate. Harry unearths a scandal, which, although completely the fault of the cad courting Rose, makes Rose unmarriageable. Rose resents Harry; Harry This was okay. The mystery was solid, but everything around it felt a little haphazard. Lady Rose is an outspoken, intelligent young woman who is ahead of her time (which is the Edwardian era). Captain Harry Cathcart is a young man invalided out of the army and at loose ends. When Rose's father is concerned about her suitor, he hires Harry to investigate. Harry unearths a scandal, which, although completely the fault of the cad courting Rose, makes Rose unmarriageable. Rose resents Harry; Harry thinks Rose is beautiful, but unwomanly. And then we get another fifty pages of meandering where it's established that Harry is now a private investigator, and Rose is still unmarriageable. The actual plot picks up when Rose is invited to a house party and one of the other guests dies from arsenic poisoning. Rose's host the Marquess would like this to be an accidental death, but Rose thinks otherwise. The Marquess calls in Harry, this time to cover it all up, but he's too honest and insists on investigating, with Rose's help, which he doesn't want. Chesney knows how to tell a mystery, so it's not unreadable. It's just really hard to warm to Rose. Normally, when you get a character who's told she's unwomanly and needs to learn to flirt and so forth, you know that's code for someone who refuses to be defined by society's unfair rules. But Rose really does come off as unsympathetic, hard, abrupt, and basically unlikeable. Yes, telling her she needs to learn to flirt is probably wrong, but she does need to learn to be more pleasant. I have a hard time believing Harry is attracted to her, nor her to him. Harry, for his part, has some hints of an interesting character, but rarely rises above the typical. There's also a too-heavy dependence on the disparity between Edwardian manners and actual Edwardian behavior, but this inadvertently promotes a commentary on women's roles, so I was willing to overlook this. I was very fond of Harry's manservant and Rose's maid (a former actress with hidden depth) and would like to see more of them. But with Rose as unsympathetic and Harry as underdeveloped as he is, I'm not sure I'll continue with this series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I love historical fiction but it usually has such a sad undertone to it. Thought this would be more lighthearted and I was right. Mystery is a genre that I usually don't go for either although it isn't on purpose. The combination was good and it is a really fast read. The beginning is slow though not completely boring. I think what the author is trying to do is let the reader get an idea of what the characters are like. I was surprised to find that I liked Harry more than Rose. You get the point I love historical fiction but it usually has such a sad undertone to it. Thought this would be more lighthearted and I was right. Mystery is a genre that I usually don't go for either although it isn't on purpose. The combination was good and it is a really fast read. The beginning is slow though not completely boring. I think what the author is trying to do is let the reader get an idea of what the characters are like. I was surprised to find that I liked Harry more than Rose. You get the point of view of both of them. Harry has more common sense than Rose and he never seems like a spoiled kid like Rose sometimes does. Once the girl is murdered things get more interesting. Okay that sounds bad, but you know what I mean. There is an actual purpose once the mystery goes underway. The mystery is very simple even though I really could not even begin to guess who was the murderer until close to the climax. The constant mentioning of how Rose is so bad at being feminine and proper felt like an excess. I was hoping it be more like, show don't tell; the author did both so it was somewhat overkill. When I found out who did it I was surprised, but how it got resolved seemed kind of easy. What made me bump it up a star was that I really liked the ending and how it sets the second book up. The book was entertaining and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. The whole series is finished and my library has all the books. I checked.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    "He [a servant] delivered Masie Chatterton's cocoa first and then hurried along to the other tower, where Lady Rose and Masie Chatterton had their rooms," writes the delightfully cheeky Chesney. A country manor estate party? With stains (!!!) on sheets not of blood? And apparently a ratio of one hooker per tower? With quiji boards and arsenic and things best left in the moat? If you're looking for a light, fluffy, diversion (I was, after Auster's 900-page door stopper, "4 3 2 1") this fits the b "He [a servant] delivered Masie Chatterton's cocoa first and then hurried along to the other tower, where Lady Rose and Masie Chatterton had their rooms," writes the delightfully cheeky Chesney. A country manor estate party? With stains (!!!) on sheets not of blood? And apparently a ratio of one hooker per tower? With quiji boards and arsenic and things best left in the moat? If you're looking for a light, fluffy, diversion (I was, after Auster's 900-page door stopper, "4 3 2 1") this fits the bill perfectly. Now, back to Hamish in this author's "Death of a Nag", as I'm gearing up for Volume Six of Proust's "Lost Time."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Felicia

    I enjoyed this book for some reason, nice crossing of my corset romance fixation and a straight mystery. Distinct style of writing that I didn't like at first but enjoyed as I got into it. The main character is very mercurial and sometimes makes bad choices, which I found interesting. I will definitely try another!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    I've read some of M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth mysteries, and I have a few Agatha Raisin mysteries on my pile, so when I saw this book at a used bookstore I grabbed it. I love historical mysteries, almost more than typical mysteries, but it doesn't seem like I read them as often as I should. So, last night when I was staring at my shelves trying to find something to read, I saw this book and I tentatively started reading. I'm glad I did, because I enjoyed this book a whole lot! Lady Rose is not a I've read some of M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth mysteries, and I have a few Agatha Raisin mysteries on my pile, so when I saw this book at a used bookstore I grabbed it. I love historical mysteries, almost more than typical mysteries, but it doesn't seem like I read them as often as I should. So, last night when I was staring at my shelves trying to find something to read, I saw this book and I tentatively started reading. I'm glad I did, because I enjoyed this book a whole lot! Lady Rose is not as much of a Lady as her parents would like her to be, at least by their standards. She takes part in suffragette rallies, and gives little thought to getting married, and for that I loved her. She was extremely typical for a MC, but she was also engaging. I really hope she and Harry have more parts together in the next book. Harry is also an enigma, we know some about him, but other things we know nothing about. I really enjoyed reading his character, also. The setting was dismal, but it was supposed to be. The mystery was okay. It was well plotted, but it lacked many suspects and it went along one train of though for most of the book. Overall a good book, I enjoyed it and it was a very quick read. I will be reading the next one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    This was just awful. Horrible, horrible writing, perhaps the most lamely plotted mystery I've ever read, and characters that don't approach 2 dimensional, let alone 3. I don't mind a light read at all, but this isn't even helium.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aneca

    I really do enjoy cosy mysteries and I prefer historical to contemporary so it was with great expectation that I started this Snobbery with Violence, an Edwardian murder mystery. I must say that I enjoyed it very much and I almost laughed aloud at times. Lady Rose Summer was almost unbelievable at times, as she was much focused in the women's rights movement and the equality of rights between the lower and upper classes but at the same time, she seemed unaware of the proper behaviour to live in p I really do enjoy cosy mysteries and I prefer historical to contemporary so it was with great expectation that I started this Snobbery with Violence, an Edwardian murder mystery. I must say that I enjoyed it very much and I almost laughed aloud at times. Lady Rose Summer was almost unbelievable at times, as she was much focused in the women's rights movement and the equality of rights between the lower and upper classes but at the same time, she seemed unaware of the proper behaviour to live in polite society and without proper knowledge of what being of the lower classes might entail. The story starts with Lady Rose being pursued by a gentleman who is taking its time with the marriage proposal, Lady Rose's father hires Captain Cathcart to discover which are the man's intentions and unfortunately those were less than honourable. I understand Rose's anger at him and wanting to shame him publicly but it seemed odd that she did not know the double standard would actually make her an outcast while his sins would be quickly forgotten. Rose and Captain Harry meet again when he is hired once more by her father to stop a visit from the king to their estate. It has come to the Earl's attention that the king wants to try his luck with Rose now that she is a fallen woman. Harry comes up with the idea of blowing up a bridge on the estate and blaming it on the bolshevists, which effectively scares the royal guest to be. Due to her reputation, Rose is then invited to a house party on a strange fake castle where Lord Hedley has decided to gather those girls whose season was a failure and helping them find husbands. Not that Rose wants a husband of course. And here is where the mystery really starts. One the guest is found dead of what seems to be arsenic poisoning and the police are called to investigate but progresses little as the influences of the upper classes manage to call off the inquest. Rose immediately decides she must investigate and since Harry had been invited by Lord Hedley to try to solve the investigation discreetly there is nothing more obvious than bringing those two together. This is a light and fun read and I think Chesney strong point is the characters she creates. Becket, who is Harry's man, and Daisy, a former dancer girl who becomes Rose's lady's maid are interesting characters and so is Inspector Kerridge. The police detective who keeps trying to solve the murders and mysteries he comes across only to see his actions stopped by the upper classes. The book is full of information about the distinctions between classes and about women’s role in society. I did like Harry and Rose although Rose did sometimes sound a bit TSTL and too socially awkward to truly be real. They are attracted to each other but spend most of the book in denial or misunderstanding each other's intentions. The mystery ends up being solved by both of them after investigating everyone’s history and possible motives and Rose cannot resist a final confrontation with danger. A nice and entertaining read! Grade: 4/5

  11. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    The book's cover proclaims happily "M.C. Beaton writing as Marion Chesney" though I don't know the publisher's motivation in giving readers two authors when one will do. The story is rifled with Characters and Plot that are as flat as paper (though I'm sure, very well-researched in Edwardian History and Setting) and a Mystery that was simply un-mysterious. I don't mean to say that "whodunit" was apparent from the get-go and therefore boring, but that a good hundred pages go by before we stumble The book's cover proclaims happily "M.C. Beaton writing as Marion Chesney" though I don't know the publisher's motivation in giving readers two authors when one will do. The story is rifled with Characters and Plot that are as flat as paper (though I'm sure, very well-researched in Edwardian History and Setting) and a Mystery that was simply un-mysterious. I don't mean to say that "whodunit" was apparent from the get-go and therefore boring, but that a good hundred pages go by before we stumble on our murder mystery at all, and as a reader I never cared "whodunit"--the writing was so dry (not British-witty-dry, but I've-been-drooling-and-my-mouth-is-dry) and the characters really were so thinly written that I wouldn't have minded them being killed off systematically, but then--that didn't even happen. No danger, no tension, and certainly no suspense. Having happily read Patricia Wentworth, Ngaio Marsh, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, and many other Edwardian-style murder mystery authors, I feel confident in saying that the lack of love I feel for this book is genuinely because it did not deliver on its murder mystery. The writing is flat and uninteresting, the characters seem to be props instead of people, and the windy night in a huge old house on the moor with a crazed murderer on the loose feel is simply never there. While this book is easy to read, it is not worth the read if murder is on your mind.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bookish Ally

    I was having a bad run with books that were leaving a bad taste in my mouth and so I started searching for a good little mystery and landed upon this cozy fair. Very well done for its genre, and part of a short series, to boot! Quick and fun reads, these.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    The first and best of this Edwardian series. We are introduced to Lady Rose and her penchant for "Bolshie" causes like women's suffrage and improving the lot of villagers who have the bad luck of a penny-pinching noble landlord. Harry Cathcart makes a delightful first appearance as a dour unpopular veteran of the Boer wars who turns out to have a gift for ridiculous disguise and a talent for burglary with intent to recover blackmailing letters, as well as a love-hate relationship with the social The first and best of this Edwardian series. We are introduced to Lady Rose and her penchant for "Bolshie" causes like women's suffrage and improving the lot of villagers who have the bad luck of a penny-pinching noble landlord. Harry Cathcart makes a delightful first appearance as a dour unpopular veteran of the Boer wars who turns out to have a gift for ridiculous disguise and a talent for burglary with intent to recover blackmailing letters, as well as a love-hate relationship with the socially disabled, compulsively encyclopedic Lady Rose. Not to mention Daisy, one of the masses turned inept lady's maid. The quotations heading the chapters are choice. A few examples... "All the world over, I will back the masses against the classes." William Gladstone. Bolshie, ha! "O blind your eyes and break your heart and hack your hand away, And lose your love and shave your head; but do not go to stay At the little place in What'sitsname where folks are rich and clever; The golden and the goodly house, where things grow worse for ever; There are things you need not know of, though you live and die in vain, There are souls more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain." G. K. Chesterton

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gerry

    A debutante's first season, a country house party and, perhaps not surprisingly, a murder or two! Lady Rose Summer, one-time Suffragette, is the deb involved. The attempt by her parents to put her in the limelight for her first season is an unmitigated disaster as she gets involved in trying to sort out who killed who and why. There are plenty of characters to consider, sometimes too many to keep in mind, but, with the help of Harry Cathcart, who at first is something of a leper, she eventually u A debutante's first season, a country house party and, perhaps not surprisingly, a murder or two! Lady Rose Summer, one-time Suffragette, is the deb involved. The attempt by her parents to put her in the limelight for her first season is an unmitigated disaster as she gets involved in trying to sort out who killed who and why. There are plenty of characters to consider, sometimes too many to keep in mind, but, with the help of Harry Cathcart, who at first is something of a leper, she eventually unravels the mystery and it is then planned to send her to India where, as one observer commented, 'she will probably start another mutiny'! However, those plans do not materialise and she and her maid end up going to Nice, where, quite independently Harry Cathcart has gone ... and Rose did begin to find she had a soft spot for him. Whilst it is an enjoyable read the characters are not quite as solid as dear old Agatha Raisin or phlegmatic Hamish Macbeth and consequently one is not attracted to them in quite the same way.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sonia189

    It has one or two things I didn't care about but overall, it was so easy to read and to enjoy what was happening... I laughed too, which was good. Now I'm very curious to see what happens with the main characters for I'm sure their adventures have to go on!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janis

    What an entertaining book. Looking forward to reading more of Marion Chesney!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andree

    Read this earlier in the week. To be honest, it might be more accurate to say I read the first half and straight up skimmed the second, out of mild curiosity over two of the secondary characters. I thought this was fairly terrible. Didn't like the writing style, didn't like the mystery, didn't like that it took over half the book to get to the mystery, and really, really didn't like the main characters. Rose is the specialest of most special snowflakes. She is better than other girls of her age/so Read this earlier in the week. To be honest, it might be more accurate to say I read the first half and straight up skimmed the second, out of mild curiosity over two of the secondary characters. I thought this was fairly terrible. Didn't like the writing style, didn't like the mystery, didn't like that it took over half the book to get to the mystery, and really, really didn't like the main characters. Rose is the specialest of most special snowflakes. She is better than other girls of her age/social class because she has a better education and she cares about the working classes. Neither of these is bad in and of themselves, but they manifest in pretty much the most obnoxious way possible. Because her education seems to be entirely fact-based, in that she's well-read. But she's also spoiled and oblivious. She's done all this reading but somehow not managed to glean any information about how the society she lives in actually functions? Which, I guess would be possible if you limited your reading to textbooks and encyclopedias, but its also implied that she keeps up on current events, which I assume in part means the newspaper, which means HOW DO YOU NOT TAKE IN BASIC CONTEXT RE: YOUR SOCIETY, EVEN UNINTENTIONALLY? Rose does not seem to. She's blunt and rude and dismissive and just downright unpleasant for most of this, while also not displaying any common sense or making any particularly useful contributions to anything. She's also spoiled. She has fond but also essentially absent parents who apparently indulged her every whim, and has made no friends of any kind in her entire life (I guess, because no one seems to have told her anything useful, and we're led to believe that she's gained all her information through extensive reading)? I really couldn't stand her. And Harry's not much better. He's dismissive and also bordering on rude. His detective skills are mediocre at best. (His plan to stop the king from visiting Rose's parents - to seduce her since she is 'a challenge/ice queen/whatever I was paying minimal attention to these sorts of details - involves blowing up a railway station and a bridge so people suspect local terrorism. That's right, his plan involves a terrorist act, and blaming it on the Bolsheviks, AS YOU DO.) The only semi-interesting part of this mess was Rose's maid Daisy, and Harry's butler, whose name I can't remember. They are the reason I skimmed the second half instead of just cutting my losses. I do not expect 100% accuracy in my romance/mystery novels. I do not expect brilliant mysteries. What I do expect is that the characters are some combination of likeable/quirky/interesting, and the setting is fun. I'll handwave away details, but you've got to make the reading experience enjoyable. This was not. Also, I read the descriptions of the later books, and I can predict how this series is going to go down. I also couldn't help noticing that in the next one Rose apparently goes to London to work for her living, instead of being a pampered Earl's daughter and is surprised at how hard it is. I will definitely not be following her.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Reggie Billingsworth

    While I enjoyed the Hamish Macbeth TV series of some years ago (despite it's rather odd slide into Twin Peakish territory here and there) the books of M.C. Beaton seemed a strangely thin source of inspiration. After a few dabbles in her Agatha Raisin series, (an impossible character to even understand never mind "like") I gave it up. This author's writing always struck me as minimally entertaining, repetitive, and unoriginal. Mindless pap if I am perfectly honest. However, "Snobbery With Violence While I enjoyed the Hamish Macbeth TV series of some years ago (despite it's rather odd slide into Twin Peakish territory here and there) the books of M.C. Beaton seemed a strangely thin source of inspiration. After a few dabbles in her Agatha Raisin series, (an impossible character to even understand never mind "like") I gave it up. This author's writing always struck me as minimally entertaining, repetitive, and unoriginal. Mindless pap if I am perfectly honest. However, "Snobbery With Violence" suggested she was trying a new tact so what did I find? Well...little change. With this Edwardian series it appears that Marion Chesney (aka M.C. Beaton and a long list of other monikers) has merely transferred her peculiar oevre to just another currently trendy historical period. Random historical references are spread about to prove she has done "research", but her weirdly disconnected style reigns supreme...it almost hurts to read, the obvious smoothing out could be so easy to do and yet...no chance. I guess if Dreck sells, you don't change the formula, even if it is still Dreck. Despite her pretensions to head each chapter with some appropriate quotation from literature (I strongly suspect she got a Famous Quotations for Christmas) Chesney's peculiarly dribbling plot and disjointed dialogue jolts about even worse that normal for her, and stoutly remains bereft of nuanced psychological insight. Never let it be said she (or any responsibly Editor) would allow a gentle segue of decent atmospheric description to relieve the stilted pace. Worse still, the jumpy writing suffers from sloppy editing at it's most basic level: 'by dint', a phrase that is fine used once but too uniquely obvious to allow its use three times within the same few pages; miss-matched verb and subject agreements; tense slips; even directional description where two different characters are placed on the right of the protagonist...the list of simple mechanical editorial errors goes on and on. Where the hell are her editors? Chesney is no LeCarre, or even Christie. She was never a strong 'quality' writer, content instead to rely heavily on a cliche-knitting procedure and creaky plot constructions of her comic book worlds. But the gagging quality of this effort ensures I definitely will not bother to investigate her work further. Is Chesney losing it? I suspect she has been running on empty for years. Inexplicably, she has a wildly loyal audience but the absent editorship suggests her publishers are cynically happy enough to squeeze out every last profit margin they can, ready to exploit her fan base by throwing out thinly cobbled junk from an author who clearly should give it a rest for the love of decent literature. Please...make it stop.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    One of the recommendations from a FB link, "If you like Downton Abbey, try these books," Snobbery with Violence was poorly written but entertaining nonetheless. Chesney, who also writes as M.C. Beaton, crammed way too much into too few pages, ending up with a bewildering panoply of characters who were thinly developed. The focus was dizzying, swooping from one paragraph that zeroed in on the deep personal secrets of one minor character to cover a day or a week of action in a few lines. "Tell, do One of the recommendations from a FB link, "If you like Downton Abbey, try these books," Snobbery with Violence was poorly written but entertaining nonetheless. Chesney, who also writes as M.C. Beaton, crammed way too much into too few pages, ending up with a bewildering panoply of characters who were thinly developed. The focus was dizzying, swooping from one paragraph that zeroed in on the deep personal secrets of one minor character to cover a day or a week of action in a few lines. "Tell, don't show," becomes Chesney's motto--the whole piece feels rushed, as if she was trying to crank out the story without truly developing its structure. Still, somehow, the character of Daisy the maid and the few glimpses of historical facts about the upper classes views of the middle and lower class make the novel a 2 star read rather than a 1. *If you're craving a good and somewhat similar historical novel, try Katherine McMahon's The Crimson Rooms (my next review). It's excellent!*

  20. 5 out of 5

    ☆Ruth☆

    I'm being very generous in giving this two stars. It was pretty awful, but I did finish it (kept hoping it would improve) so it gets the extra star. Very mediocre writing, poorly developed plot and shallow characterization. I found it impossible to engage with the main protagonists who engendered no feelings of empathy or interest. I certainly wouldn't recommend it and I won't be reading any more of this author's books.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sue Smith

    Murders and mayhem in a crusty upper class castle filled with guests that have been gathered together for a possible matching scenario. Think of Gosford Park, with a lot more silliness.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Felicia Allen

    I started reading M.C. Beaton/Marion Chesney with her Hamish Macbeth books. I was devastated when she passed away, and felt really let down with Death of a Love wasn't released when it was supposed to be. I have been craving her writing since the last Hamish Macbeth novel (not a huge fan of Agatha) At first, I felt like I was going to be disappointed. I didn't like the characters that much. The storyline seemed to not be very detailed. I kinda had a hint at the murderer. BUT, I fell in love with I started reading M.C. Beaton/Marion Chesney with her Hamish Macbeth books. I was devastated when she passed away, and felt really let down with Death of a Love wasn't released when it was supposed to be. I have been craving her writing since the last Hamish Macbeth novel (not a huge fan of Agatha) At first, I felt like I was going to be disappointed. I didn't like the characters that much. The storyline seemed to not be very detailed. I kinda had a hint at the murderer. BUT, I fell in love with this book. I read it in one sitting! Lady Rose became more developed as the storyline developed and Captain Cathcart was great. This had a Downton Abbey feel to it with the servants and the propriety and how shallow the people were. I liked that Lady Rose wants to change the world and has no idea how to do it. On to reading number 2.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Not perhaps as great a disappointment as the other reviewers found it but nothing remarkable. The introduction is rushed, the romance stereotypical Clueless Male Cannot Deal With Intelligent Woman But Falls For Her Intelligence Anyway, and the general tone completely inappropriate (conversationally, that is) for the era (sexually transmitted diseases, affairs, etc). It felt a bit like a Miss Fisher's Murders Mystery...but without Miss Fischer's strong personality. I picked up the series because Not perhaps as great a disappointment as the other reviewers found it but nothing remarkable. The introduction is rushed, the romance stereotypical Clueless Male Cannot Deal With Intelligent Woman But Falls For Her Intelligence Anyway, and the general tone completely inappropriate (conversationally, that is) for the era (sexually transmitted diseases, affairs, etc). It felt a bit like a Miss Fisher's Murders Mystery...but without Miss Fischer's strong personality. I picked up the series because book 4 caught my attention so perhaps I'll make my way towards it. It is a pity, really, that this book was so disappointing. It had quite a lot of potential. However, it hovers around 'what the heck is going on?! instead of getting on with anything.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

    This is written by the same author who writes the Agatha Raisin series (and the MC Beaton series), but not under that name (which I'm too lazy to look up). While I liked the change of milieu and era, this book suffers from the same issues that her other 2 series does: absolutely no character development, as individuals and inter-relationally. They are cardboard shadows manipulated as the plot demands. That said, it was practically perfect for my lazy Sunday afternoon, but it's not a book I would This is written by the same author who writes the Agatha Raisin series (and the MC Beaton series), but not under that name (which I'm too lazy to look up). While I liked the change of milieu and era, this book suffers from the same issues that her other 2 series does: absolutely no character development, as individuals and inter-relationally. They are cardboard shadows manipulated as the plot demands. That said, it was practically perfect for my lazy Sunday afternoon, but it's not a book I would purchase or read again. Her books are a bit like marshmallows: sometimes that's all you want, but really, they're just fluff that melt away to nothing quite quickly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cara Noyes

    This was a great novel. It was a quick read, and the main characters drew me in. I look forward to more in the series. I love the Agatha Raisin stuff, and I can see this author knows the craft and the country of England well.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heatherinblack

    daisy is great this first book was quite far reaching. a lot happened but i was impressed with how it set up the characters. seems as though harry would lose his success as everyone came to know him as “the fixer”. and what of Nice?

  27. 4 out of 5

    MsAprilVincent

    I love Beaton’s mysteries. They’re short and funny and just right for battling a reading slump.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dani(elle)

    I appreciate the "eat the rich" undertones.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    Captain Harry Cathcart returns to England from the Boer wars as taciturn man. The younger son of a Baron, he used to be happy-go lucky, but the war changed him. Now he is home, aimless and poor. Until his name is given to the Earl of Hadshire as someone who could help him with a problem. The results of the small bit of detective work the Earl asks Harry to undertake are so successful that Harry suddenly finds himself in demand. Discreet word of mouth has it that for a hefty fee, Harry can "fix" Captain Harry Cathcart returns to England from the Boer wars as taciturn man. The younger son of a Baron, he used to be happy-go lucky, but the war changed him. Now he is home, aimless and poor. Until his name is given to the Earl of Hadshire as someone who could help him with a problem. The results of the small bit of detective work the Earl asks Harry to undertake are so successful that Harry suddenly finds himself in demand. Discreet word of mouth has it that for a hefty fee, Harry can "fix" things. Soon Harry is flush with cash and alive with purpose as he is helping the well-heeled upper crust discreetly fix their scandalous problems. But his biggest challenge comes when he is engaged to help discreetly cover up the death of a member of a house party. When it seems that the woman didn't simply die accidently but was murdered,Harry draws the line. Instead he begins to investigate the murder. To make matters worse, Lady Rose Summer, the daughter of his first patron, the Earl of Hadshire, is in attendance at the party and insists on being involved in every aspect of the investigation. Rose is a determined and surprisingly enterprising young woman and before he knows it, he, Rose, his manservant Beckett and her maid Daisy find themselves sleuthing around a drafty castle and hunting down a shifty murderer. I've read a few of Marion Chesney's regency romances back at the dawn of time, but I've never had the occasion to read any of her mysteries that she writes under the name of Mc Beaton. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Not just because it is just the type of cozy mystery I like to read just as a comfort read but I loved the setting and the characters. Since most of my lighter reading set in historical times is usually in the romance genre, I very rarely get a glimpse of time periods outside of the Georgian or Regency. So this was nice to read a book set in the Edwardian era where the world is on the cusp of entering the modern era. I also thoroughly enjoyed the characters, Harry especially. His change from the brooding veteran living frugally on his pension who is given a large berth by society because, well, he's depressing to the man who takes delight in playacting and detecting and enjoying the lucrative work is fun to see. I especially like how totally overboard he goes in some of his schemes to give his clients their money's worth. Harry was a great character and I completely and totally enjoyed him. It took me some time to warm up to Rose because at first I thought she was a bit of a naive idiot. But the author allows the reader some time with Rose to see why she is the way she is. Her parents, although they love her, largely ignored her and left her to a radical governess who really didn't prepare Rose well for her station. As a result, Rose is something of a fish out of water even in the world she is supposed to inhabit seemlessly. She is a proto-feminst and activist in a time that is extremely unforgiving of both of those things. She is also a shy woman who simply doesn't know how to go on. By the time the main mystery is in progress I am firmly on Rose's side. I especially enjoy how she simply has no delicacy when it comes to the less than savory parts of the mystery they are investigating. As it meanders into some fairly flagrantly sexual territory, some would think a young virgin like Rose would be dismayed with what she learns, but she is very matter of fact and frank when she discusses theories with Harry -- which completely flabbergasts him. She and Harry clash and obviously are attracted to each other although both are in deep denial. I see that there are four books in the series so I fully expect Rose and Harry at some point to realize how they feel. But until then I am enjoying him being perplexed by her and she being upset by him. Nice book with great characters main, colorful supporting characters, a great undertone of humor, and a neat little, albeit uncomplicated, mystery (I guessed the murderer fairly easily). I listened to this on audio and Davina Porter who reads it is excellent. Recommend!

  30. 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)]

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.