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Fortune's Slave by Fidelis Morgan
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This one is another gem, the fourth in the Countess Ashby series, set in
1699 England. In this book, we find the Countess and her friend Alpiew
flush with money for once, sitting on 100 guineas that was their payment
for the chaperone job they did in the last book. But they have no idea
what to do with such a fortune and they are thinking about investing
it. In the precess of researching proper investments, banks, stocks,
bonds, shares, etc., they once again encounter a motley group of
characters and a couple of dead bodies turn up in their house. There
are hangings and weddings, bandits and scrooges, eccentrics and bawds,
orphans and constables, and even a couple of monkeys. Again, Morgan
makes her characters come alive on the written page and spins her tale
with such skill that it is a delight to read. In fact, these books are
so rich with imagery, I honestly cannot imagine them ever becoming
movies because there is no way they could translate to the screen with
the same richness that appears on the written page. And the puns would
be impossible to convey with images, I believe.

I didn't figure out whodunit before the culprit was revealed in the
book, and I kind of hated finding out who it was, not because it was a
character I cared about, but because it heralded the end of the book. I
closed this one with a little sadness because it's the last one of the
series, so far, I think. There is something to be said for discovering
a "series" you haven't known about before because you have the option of
getting them all and reading them one after the other with the same
sense of wicked delight that you get when you stand by the kitchen sink
and eat a whole box of Girl Scout cookies, one right after the other.

The Countess Ashby is the Thin Mint of book series, I think. I
give this last one a 5.
  madamejeanie | Sep 21, 2008 |
no reviews | add a review
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"Unlikely as it may seem, the Countess Ashby de la Zouche finds herself with cash to spare when her gossip column and a lucrative sideline in sleuthing begin to pay dividends. Unlikelier still, she is determined to do the sensible thing and invest it, caught up in London society's new craze for speculation in bonds and patents." "Against the advice of an aspiring novelist with a grievance, the Countess and Alpiew seek sound investment tips from a variety of unsound bankers and brokers, and land themselves in all sorts of trouble. Supposing a treasure of unimaginable worth to be secreted in the ladies' run-down abode, burglars of every description - from hirsute fez-wearing dwarfs of amazing agility to runaway highwaymen and dusty Black Guard boys - are soon beating a path to German Street and leaving a trail of corpses in their wake." "Clueless, the ladies turn to Cupid for help. And as their quest takes them on a whirlwind tour of seventeenth-century London's more unsavoury attractions - Tyburn Tree, the Clink and Ludgate, not to mention Laura's Lace Emporium - with all manner of villains in pursuit, the Countess and Alpiew need all the help they can get."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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