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Death of a Dancer by Caro Peacock

Death of a Dancer

by Caro Peacock

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9819123,235 (3.22)3
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    The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry (ddelmoni)
    ddelmoni: Perry's Thomas & Charolette Pitt Victorian mystery series.

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A historical fiction mystery set in London around the time that Queen Victoria takes the throne. It has interesting characters and a good mystery. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 15, 2016 |
I rarely pay attention to book reviews which proclaim any novel to be 'a real page-turner' that the reviewer simply 'couldn't put down'. The second novel in Caro Peacock's Liberty Lane series, however, finds me sorely tempted to employ such enthusiastic praise myself. I enjoyed the first novel, Death at Dawn, which I read last year, but must have been in the right mood when I picked up the sequel today, because I read from cover to cover without pause. Really!

My introduction to Liberty Lane, an amateur lady detective of independent spirit if not means, was slightly hazy when I started reading, and for once I was glad of a brief update in the first few chapters. After the death of her father and the departure of her brother, Liberty has established herself in a modest home of her own, with the company of Mrs Martley the midwife, and a protective circle of friends including Amos Legge the groom, and musicians Toby Kennedy and Daniel Suter, old friends of Liberty's father. Confident and practical, Libby is outraged by her brother's suggestion that she should marry Daniel for security, but when she goes to talk with her friend at the theatre, she finds that his heart is already engaged to a young dancer. After a catfight on stage, Daniel's lover is framed for the poisoning of the prima donna, and Liberty is once again personally involved in a murder mystery.

Even though I will admit to not being overly familiar with the dawn of the Victorian era, the historical accuracy - and atmosphere - of Caro Peacock's novels are near flawless. From the streets of London to the workings of a theatre, the reader is drawn into Liberty's world. The first person narrative is also engaging, and Liberty is the type of strong, active heroine who can carry a whole novel. Her voice is friendly without being introspective, instructive but not patronising, and filled with personality. Yes, the 'Victorian lady detective' is a rather overused character trope at the moment, but even though Liberty has rather radical views for her time, situation and gender, her independence is somehow fitting and never anachronistic. Daniel is also endearing, and I hope that he returns in the next two stories.

The identity of the murderer kept me guessing until the end, but then I never try to solve the mystery ahead of the detective anyway. The clues are there, I think, and the denouement contains a surprising twist. Liberty's clandestine alliance with Disraeli, her mysterious yet respectful sponsor, continues from the first novel, and he looks set to make a career out of her amateur sleuthing. I can't wait to read on! ( )
1 vote AdonisGuilfoyle | Jul 22, 2011 |
I'd forgotten about this series. This is the second book by Caro Peacock - the author is a literary reincarnation of Gillian Linscott. By the looks of it I really enjoyed the first in the series when I read it a couple of years back but I'd since forgotten about it. This story took me a little while to get into but I romped through it after that. The central character is Liberty Lane - a feisty young lady in early Victorian London - I suspect the author has thought it all through and Liberty isn't completely anachronistic, though even if she is it doesn't change the fact that this is well written and entertaining. I think I'll read the third in the series soon before I forget about it again! ( )
1 vote nocto | Dec 30, 2010 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A nice fast read. I wish I'd had the first book in this series, because it sounds interesting. I like the Victorian setting, and the main character is just the sort of unconventional heroine to catch my attention. She's not too shy and demure to act on hunches or hold her own against people who should be able to best her. I wish it had been longer. I'm not sure if this is more geared toward kids or adults--there are adult themes but it doesn't seem any more explicit or gory than a lot of the YA out there. The inclusion of Disraeli is fun, and I'd like to see what the next book in the series is capable of. ( )
  etoiline | Aug 24, 2009 |
Spunky gal of no means accepts money from Disraeli, of all people, to investigate a murder. ( )
  picardyrose | Aug 16, 2009 |
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A Dangerous Affair is the same book as Death of a Dancer.
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Liberty Lane, still in her early twenties, is doing her best to make a new life for herself in London after being bruised by loss and treachery. But there's no chance for her to settle down as a conventional young lady. First, a disturbingly attractive young politician, Benjamin Disraeli, wants her to use her contacts in the theatre world to find out more about a prima ballerina with a notorious love life called Columbine. He hints that some important interests may be at stake. Then Columbine is murdered in her dressing room, after an on-stage brawl with a younger and less successful dancer, who becomes prime suspect. Liberty is at the center of the investigation because one of her dearest friends, Daniel Suter, is convinced of the girl's innocence and will put his own neck in danger to save her.… (more)

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