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Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman: A Mystery…

Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman: A Mystery (edition 2015)

by Tessa Arlen (Author)

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689175,945 (3.06)1
Title:Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman: A Mystery
Authors:Tessa Arlen (Author)
Info:Minotaur Books (2015), 320 pages
Collections:To read, Your library, Period Mysteries
Tags:ebook, Kindle, period mystery

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Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman: A Mystery by Tessa Arlen



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It's difficult for me to put my finger on one particular thing or another that made this book underwhelming for me. The cast of named characters was a bit too large for me, without sufficient time spent with any of them for me not to confuse some of the guests. I found myself much more interested in two side characters who were conspicuously absent than in seeing the murder solved. It's not a bad book, just never really seemed to grab me. ( )
  stormyhearted | Feb 5, 2017 |
Always happy to see a mystery series by a local author. I couldn't quite make it through this one. Read the first half and skimmed the rest. Just not quite believable; the dialogue, characters, and a touch didactic here and there. Didn't transport me. ( )
  charliesierra | Feb 20, 2016 |
Early 20th Century; genteel country life; clandestine relationships, blackmail and murder most hideous - what more can you ask of a mystery?! Tessa Arlen's debut novel is well-crafted and exquisitely told. It should appeal greatly to fans of Downton Abbey. Frankly, I kept hearing the actor's voices for the roles in the book which correspond to the roles in Downton Abbey. Reading Lord Montfort's outburst, "Good God, man" sounded just like something you'd hear Hugh Bonneville say in his role as the Earl of Grantham. Excellent debut and I eagerly await Arlen's next installment in this series.

Lady Montfort has been planning her annual summer costume ball for months, and with scrupulous care. Pulling together the food, flowers and a thousand other details for one of the most significant social occasions of the year is her happily accepted responsibility. But when her husband’s degenerate nephew is found murdered, it's more than the ball that is ruined. In fact, Lady Montfort fears that the official police enquiry, driven by petty snobbery and class prejudice, is pointing towards her son as a potential suspect.

Taking matters into her own hands, the rather over-imaginative countess enlists the help of her pragmatic housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to investigate the case, track down the women that vanished the night of the murder, and clear her son’s name. As the two women search for a runaway housemaid and a headstrong young woman, they unearth the hidden lives of Lady Montfort’s close friends, servants and family and discover the identity of a murderer hiding in plain sight.

In this enchanting debut sure to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, Tessa Arlen draws readers into a world exclusively enjoyed by the rich, privileged classes and suffered by the men and women who serve them. Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman is an elegant mystery filled with intriguing characters and fascinating descriptions of Edwardian life—a superb treat for those who love British novels. ( )
  KateBaxter | Feb 1, 2015 |
I'm a huge fan of British Golden Age mysteries...the problem being that there's only a finite number of them available! So I'm always excited to see a new series that tries to replicate the feel of those books--and especially when they feature a female detective.

There's a lot of potential in Arlen's setup here--the country-estate setting, the early-20th-century timeframe, and the upstairs/downstairs vibe are all very Downton-Abbey-esque. From that mix, Arlen brings together the unlikely pair of Lady Montfort (aka Clementine Elizabeth Talbot) and her housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson--two middle-aged women who both seem to have picked up on the restlessness of the "New Woman" and want more adventure in their lives.

They get it when Lady and Lord Montfort's nephew Teddy is found hanged by the neck on the gamekeeper's gibbet. The prime suspect is Lord and Lady Montfort's son, Harry, who Clementine saw arguing with Teddy the afternoon before he was killed. In order to protect her son, Clementine feels compelled to do some investigating on her own, and draws a reluctant Jackson into her plans.

As noted above, the setup is delicious, and the mystery itself is well plotted. Where this kind of fell down for me was in terms of characterization. While my sense is that it's Lady Montfort who's supposed to be the main detective figure, Jackson is the far more interesting and intelligent investigator. I assume that they're going to be a team in this series, but frankly, I'd prefer to see more of Jackson and a lot less of Clementine. Perhaps I'll feel less that way when Arlen fleshes her character out a little more: this first installment *tells* us, rather than *shows* us, that Clementine is "wayward and headstrong," the result, apparently, of her unconventional upbringing in India. Her actual behavior, however, doesn't really reflect that assessment.

But I'll definitely read the next installment to see how Arlen develops these characters. ( )
  rvhatha | Jan 29, 2015 |
Death Of a Dishonorable Gentleman is the debut novel by Tessa Arlen. It's a new mystery series in the style of Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs. Lady Montfort is the star of this novel. After spending an inordinate amount of time planning her summer costume ball, her world comes to a screeching halt when one of the guests is found murdered the morning after the ball. She fears the murderer might be someone she is very close to, so she enlists the help of her housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to help her solve the mystery.

Mrs. Jackson, however, is not as keen. She feels by helping and confiding in her mistress, she is breaking the class barriers. But eager to solve the mystery of the murder, she accepts. Not to mention a house guest and a maid have gone missing which adds to the drama. Both women--one upstairs, one downstairs--begin to unravel the mystery and put together the pieces.

Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman will keep you guessing as to who the murderer is until the last page. Arlen has written fantastic characters in a fantastic setting. Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson work well together. They could be the next Sherlock and Watson. Although for the sake of justice the killer needed to be found, I thought the killer should have been rewarded. Mostly because every fact that came out about the victim--if you can call him a victim--was heinous. The murderer did the world a favor.

I think readers will enjoy this new mystery series, even if you're not a fan of Downton Abbey. This book will keep you on your toes looking for clues. I'm looking forward to the next book in 2016.

Read more at http://www.toreadornottoread.net/2015/01/review-and-giveaway-death-of.html#JUMe2... ( )
  mt256 | Jan 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
4 Stars… “A gruesome crime occurs on a wealthy estate in this debut mystery set in 1912 England. In a time period where social classes were distinct and separate, a countess and her housekeeper cross class boundaries to investigate a crime. Good plotting and characterization drive the story, which is enhanced with vivid details of the everyday life of the privileged classes and their servants
added by tessaarlen | editRT Reviews (Dec 1, 2014)
"Incorporating exquisite period detail into her well-mannered mystery, Arlen offers readers an engaging peek into the lives of upper and lower classes of early 1900s England combined with a little history interspersed. Historical mystery fans who want to know more about the period may wish to check out the author's Redoubtable Edwardians blog (tessaarlen.com/redoubtable-edwardian), which features articles about some of the colorful eccentrics of the era."
added by tessaarlen | editLibrary Journal (Dec 1, 2014)
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