Read The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders Online


Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon. Living in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Bentley, who once let rooms to John Keats, Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator. Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. FredeMrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon. Living in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Bentley, who once let rooms to John Keats, Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator. Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. Frederick finds the cases, and Laetitia solves them using her arch intelligence, her iron discretion, and her immaculate cover as an unsuspecting widow. When Frederick brings to her attention a case involving the son of the well-respected, highly connected Sir James Calderstone, Laetitia sets off for Lincolnshire to take up a position as the family's new governess--quickly making herself indispensable.But the seemingly simple case--looking into young Charles Calderstone's "inappropriate†? love interest--soon takes a rather unpleasant turn. And as the family's secrets begin to unfold, Laetitia discovers the Calderstones have more to hide than most.Dickensian in its scope and characters, The Secrets of Wishtide brings nineteenth century society vividly to life and illuminates the effect of Victorian morality on women's lives. Introducing an irresistible new detective, the first book in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery series will enthrall and delight....

Title : The Secrets of Wishtide
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 30222519
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Secrets of Wishtide Reviews

  • Paromjit
    2019-02-18 05:42

    The Secrets of Wishtide is an engaging and atmospheric Victorian historical crime story set in 1850. Laetitia (Letty) Rodd is the widow of an archdeacon. She has to work as she has been reduced to living in genteel poverty with her landlady and close companion, Mary Bentley. Mary helps Letty with her cases. Letty is a discreet, level headed, compassionate and intelligent woman. Her brother, Fred Tyson, is a successful criminal barrister and is the source of the cases that she gets. Letty goes to Wishtide in Lincolnshire to look into Helen Orme. Charles Calderstone, the son of Sir James Calderstone has fallen in love with Helen, who is deemed to be a unsuitable match for Charles. I thought that the narrative was a little too mannered in its style, but once I got into the story, I found it perfect for the story, for Letty, and the other characters. On arriving at Wishtide, Letty discovers that there are many secrets in the Calderstone family. Sir James is being blackmailed. Letty likes the gentle Helen, whose secrets tug at Letty's heart and arouses her compassion. It becomes clear that despite Helen loving Charles, she is no position to marry Charles. Helen intends to let him know that she cannot marry him. Helen is brutally murdered and Charles is arrested for her murder. Letty is convinced of his innocence and investigates. With a number of murders that include Winifred, Savile, and Lady Calderstone's french maid, Letty becomes aware of the existence of the Prince, a dangerous and ruthless character. Who is he? Will Letty be able to save Charles? This is a story of twists and deception. Letty finds herself becoming better acquainted with Inspector Blackbeard who comes to believe that Charles is innocent.This is a well plotted, compelling and gripping story that captures Victorian Britain and its attitudes. The precarious positions of women is highlighted and how women and their lives can be blighted and ruined by men. The poverty of so many can be observed through some of the characters in the novel. The book is a take on David Copperfield. A wonderful story which I can recommend without hesitation. Thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC.

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    2019-02-04 07:57

    I am vacillating between 3 stars and 3.5 stars for The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders.It was a perfectly pleasant read that got awfully complicated by the end, but it never really grabbed me. I never felt involved, or moved by anything I read, but neither did I ever contemplate not finishing this read. I liked Laetitia and her landlady, Mrs Benson. Letty's brother Freddy, I blew hot and cold on. I did wonder, with all his money, why he didn't help his sister out a bit more other than by giving her cases to solve, subsidise her living. I generally liked the Calderstones and Inspector Blackbeard. But as I said, the story did become unnecessarily complicated and I felt, also quite unrealistic.Also the title.......Wishtide is the country house of the Calderstones, and features only in the first part of the story. Although the Calderstones do have a few secrets, the major secret belongs to someone else entirely.So all up, I think 3 stars is a fair rating.Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for a digital ARC of The Secrets of the Wishtides by Kate Saunders in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

  • Nikoleta
    2019-02-16 01:32

    3,5/5 αστεράκια

  • Jane
    2019-02-16 02:42

    This book brings together a number of my literary loves:• Victorian England• Crime and detection• Literary allusions, and• A companion to take me through the story.It’s the kind of recipe that it is easy get very wrong, and so I was delighted to find that Kate Saunders gets it very right.Laetitia Rodd was the widow of an archdeacon, and, with limited means, she had taken lodgings with Mrs Mary Bentley, and they had become good friends.She had been offered a home by her brother, Frederick Tyson. He was one of London’s most celebrated criminal barristers, but was is also the father of ten children, with another expected, and his wife was a little inclined to see Laetitia as a poor relation and to expect her to take on the role of nurse of governess rather often. She loved the children, she was sorry that she had none of her own, and so she made diplomatic excuses and moved out.Fred understood, and he did what he could to help her. He knew that ladies could move in circles that gentlemen could not, and that they could find out things that no gentleman could ever find out for himself. And so, from time to time, he called on her services for work she described as ‘Management and Prevention of Scandal.’That role suited her well. She was what my mother would call ‘a people person’, and at fifty-two, with many years as a minister’s wife behind her she had the life experience as well as the good sense to deal with whatever was required her. She missed her husband and was glad to be kept busy; and that she had a little more money to make life more comfortable for herself and her landlady was a lovely bonus.I had been worried that this would feel a little contrived, but it didn’t at all. I was delighted that Fred had thought of a wonderful way to help both his sister and himself, and I was caught up with a wonderful band of characters, all so very well drawn, from the very start.I was a little sorry that all of this had happened before the story began, and that Laetitia already had a number of cases behind her, but the story had such promise, I was so taken with Laetitia’s storytelling, that I was eager to keep reading and to find out what her next case involved.Sir James Calderstone, head of the Calderstone family of Wishtide in Lincolnshire, had a problem that he wanted to be handled with tact and discretion. His only son, Charles, was set on marrying a lady who he believed was most unsuitable. Sir James wanted a wedding to be prevented at all costs, but he did not want his son to know what he was doing, and he did not want a breath of scandal.Charles is independently wealthy, thanks to an inheritance from his mother’s side of the family, so he had no need of his father’s approval. Except that the lady in question – Helen Orme, a young widow who had arrived at Wishtide to teach those same two girls to speak Italian, before catching the eye of their brother – had said that she would not marry him without his family’s consent.Laetitia was to travel to Wishtide as a new governess to ‘finish’ the two daughters of the house before they went out into society. And, by way of what her brother described as ‘a little genteel probing and perhaps a modicum of eavesdropping’, to uncover the past of which Helen would say very little.She found that there was a great deal wrong in the Calderstone family, that there was a great deal that Sir James hadn’t told her, that there was a great family secret; and when she met Helen she liked her very much ….I won’t say too much about the story, but I will say that it was very well constructed, that it drew in a wonderful range of characters and settings, and that I was always eager to keep turning the pages.The literary allusions are very well done. If you spot them you’ll appreciate them, but if you don’t it won’t spoil the story at all.There’s a nice streak of feminism; well planted in the story, because the characters and the events are firmly rooted in their own eraThose events escalated to a wonderfully dramatic ending.If I was picky I would say that I would have liked a few less crime fiction tropes in that ending, but I don’t want to be picky, because I was engaged and entertained very well by this historical mystery.I was sorry when the story was over; but I’m very glad that this is the first book of a series, and I’m looking forward to meeting Laetitia and her family and friends again.

  • Bonnie Shores
    2019-02-11 04:50

    Compared to many of my goodreads friends, I'm old. Even so, I have a "thing" for YA paranormal romance. It's my absolute favorite genre and, given a choice, I will always choose it first.That being said, I've also always had a "thing" for tv shows like Murder She Wrote, Matlock and Perry Mason. I guess I've always been an "old soul". That must be why I absolutely LOVED this book!Set in Victoria-era England, the story is told by Mrs. Rodd, a widow who is intelligent, intuitive and independent. Her brother is a criminal barrister, with wealthy and influential friends, who employs his sister's talents by placing her undercover as a governess for the daughters of one such friend, so she can get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding their son's love interest.Mrs. Rodd is a proper lady. Her manners are impeccable. She tries to see the good in everyone and everything, showing kindess to all, regardless of their social status (or lack thereof). I really loved seeing how she maneuvered effortlessly through the customs of that time, in which women were basically second-class citizens, always managing to boldly speak her mind without offending.The story was well-written and engaging. The characters were well-developed and interesting. The plot had plenty of interesting twists and, although I was hoping for a different ending, the ending was satisfying nevertheless.If you're looking for a seriously good mystery without unnecessary gore and vulgar language and enjoy historical fiction, you'll love The Secrets of Wishtide.

  • Diane Barnes
    2019-01-27 03:02

    Finally, I happened upon the first book of an excellent Victorian mystery series just weeks after publication, instead of playing catch up when the author gets a head start of several years on me.Letitia Rodd is the widow of a curate and lives in "reduced circumstances" in a rundown section of London. Her brother is a successful attorney who gets her cases as a discreet investigator for pay to supplement her income. It seems a 52 year old widow dressed in black can go a lot of places and ask a lot of questions without raising any suspicions Pair that with a great women''s intuition and a logical mind, and voila!, a perfect little mystery with lots of Victorian era details. She is helped by her landlady, Mary, the elderly owner of her rental home, who once rented rooms to Keats, and knows how to boil confusing facts down to their essence.The author explains in an afterward that Dickens is her favorite authorand "David Copperfield" her favorite book. In fact, several of the characters in this book are based on minor characters from that one; she simply imagined a different ending for them. I thought the mystery was very well done, and will look forward to the next one. Lots of humor here as well, always a plus with me.

  • Susan
    2019-02-15 00:52

    Set in 1850, this novel introduces us to Laetitia Rodd a widow who lives in ‘reduced circumstances’ with Mrs Mary Bentley (her previous tenants included Keats). Laetitia Rodd has moved out from her beloved brother, Frederick Tyson’s house. Fred is one of London’s most celebrated criminal barristers, but he is also the father of ten children, with another on the way, and childless, widowed sisters are too often expected to act as nurse or governess for Laetitia’s liking…One way in which Laetitia does help her brother, is in the ‘management and prevention of scandal.’ So, when a note arrives saying, “Dear Letty, a matter has arisen…” she wastes no time in jumping in his coach and heading to his house. Sir James Calderstone, head of the Calderstone family of Wishtide in Lincolnshire, has a problem and needs someone discreet to investigate. His son, Charles, wants to make a bad marriage and Sir James wishes it to be prevented at all costs. Charles is independently wealthy, so does not need his father’s approval, but the lady in question will not marry him without his family’s consent. The woman that Charles has fallen for, Helen Orme, had arrived at Wishtide to teach the two daughters of the family to speak Italian. Now Laetitia heads to Lincolnshire to go undercover as a new governess to ‘finish’ the girls before they go into society. She determines to discover the truth, but manages to uncover far more than she anticipated before the end of this delightful novel. I loved Laetitia and all of the characters in this book. Although it is the first in a series, it is obvious that we meet Laetitia after she has already taken place in more than one investigation and so we meet Inspector Thomas Blackbeard, for example, who is already known to Fred and his sister.This is a really excellent historical mystery. I liked the setting, the characters and the storyline. Although much of the story takes place in the genteel settings of dining rooms and great houses, we are also taken to dangerous backstreet London inns and the depths of Newgate prison. With blackmail, murder and more to deal with, Laetitia needs her wits about her to solve the mystery of what is really going on at Wishtide. Hopefully, this will become a series and I really look forward to reading on. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  • Jess
    2019-01-31 07:40

    What a treat of story wrapped in its pages! I found the characters to be well developed, the story to flow smoothly, and the layers built into the mystery thick enough to leave a surprise at the end. The Secrets of Wishtide is my first introduction to Kate Saunders and her clever heroine, Laetitia Rodd. What a terrific way to be introduced as we delve into the first layer of the mystery set in Victorian England in 1850.Laetitia (Letty) Rodd, the widow of a beloved archdeacon, has not been left with a comfortable stipend. Teetering on the edge of poverty and frugality, she is determined not to end up as the poor female relation turned nursemaid to her brother Frederick's brood of children. She cannot allow her sister in law that satisfaction. She loves her brother, Frederick Tyson, prominent criminal barrister and eagerly helps him with the cases he consults her on. The money she makes from consulting helps a bit too. Fred brings her a new case which requires a delicate handling of matters that only a woman has. Wealthy coal industrialist, Sir James Calderstone has a most distressing family matter that needs to be handled with all manner of discretion. His twenty one year old son, Charles, has fallen in love with a most unsuitable woman. Mrs. Helen Orme is a widow with an unclear past. Charles is determined to tear the family apart in his pursuit of her and their pure love. Letty disguises herself as a governess in the Calderstone household to discover Mrs. Orme's true intentions and background. As Letty begins to take an accounting of the workings of the Calderstone home, she quickly realizes there is far more to this tale than prevention of true love. Sir James is being blackmailed. There are other secrets the Calderstone family does not want made known.Letty feels she has adequately discovered Mrs. Orme's true intentions and sets things right according to Sir Calderstone's wishes; yet she still feels like there is more to this that is unresolved. A string of murders soon occur that leads her to believe there is more to Mrs. Orme than met the eye. She soon finds herself and Fred working to absolve an innocent Charles Calderstone of murders he professes to not committing. Evidence is mounting against him, but Letty is determined to have justice be done.A lovely read with the poise and mannerisms of a true Victorian. I particularly enjoyed Letty's letters home to her companion, Mary. I was left with the wanting to try her mincemeat pie after the glowing description of it. The childhood game of Snapdragon between Letty and Fred was also extremely interesting. The historical references seem to be on point and it is evident much research went into crafting the details of this tale. A delightful way to spend an afternoon. My many thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  • Chrissa Vasileiou
    2019-02-12 03:33

    Η άποψή μου για το βιβλίο στο site "Book City" και τον παρακάτω σύνδεσμο: Έγκλημα στην οικογένεια του σερ Τζέιμς

  • Claire
    2019-01-30 03:50

    An entertaining, if unremarkable, mystery. 3.5/5 stars.This review was originally posted on my book blog.This is a mystery/whodunnit set in the Victorian period and narrated in first person by Laetitia Rodd, an unusual cross of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes (although more Marple than Holmes). When choosing this book I was hoping for an entertaining story with a strong heroine that would be a “break” after the dark psychological thrillers and fantasy novels I’ve been reading recently, and that’s exactly what I got. I’ve always enjoyed reading detective-style mysteries set in Victorian England. No matter how dastardly the crime, there’s always something peculiarly genteel and comforting about the rational forces of good tracking down and putting away the villain/s of the piece, usually without gallons of blood and gore.I would recommend this book particularly to readers who enjoy murder mysteries but have had enough of stories which appear to be more about the investigator than the actual crime. Mrs Rodd is an easy detective to get along with and a personable narrative voice, but her own personality takes a back seat to her investigations. Sometimes this is a good thing, however, sometimes I did wish we knew more about her. More than once I felt as if I were reading the third or fourth book in a series and had missed some vital previous episodes which would have shown me how Mrs Rodd got into the business of being a private investigator. We are told how she came into her new career, but it would have been more fun to see this, and getting to watch her struggle and triumph in her first few cases might have made her character more sympathetic.The period detail is impressive and the author has clearly done her research. The plot is well-structured and we’re given information gradually in carefully-applied layers of intrigue. When all is finally revealed, events accelerate nicely towards the conclusion. I say “nicely” because I’m a firm believer that once we know everything there is to know, it’s time to skip to the end.Overall: a solid, if unremarkable series opener which fans of Victorian-period mysteries will enjoy.

  • Judy Lesley
    2019-02-13 07:48

    I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA.I absolutely enjoyed this novel from first page to last. I read a lot of historical mysteries and I'm delighted to say that Kate Saunders pleased me in all aspects of this novel. The only thing which would add to my enjoyment was knowing there will be more Laetitia Rodd stories. What a well constructed character she was, old enough to be settled and solid without being stodgy (52) and yet having the intelligence to work out feasible answers to the mysteries she investigated. Mrs. Rodd is the widow of a clergyman living in reduced circumstances but making the best of any difficulty she faces. Two years into her widowhood she still misses her husband dreadfully but has found that she can earn money to add to her meager income by helping her brother, a criminal barrister, in the investigations for his cases. Fred one time called her services "Management and Prevention of Scandal". He wasn't far from wrong. In this first book in the series Mrs. Rodd is hired to go to Wishtide in Lincolnshire on behalf of Sir James Calderstone. It seems that the son of Sir James has gotten himself involved with a woman his parents deem unsuitable and they want Mrs. Rodd to investigate and find out the true history of this woman. It all sounded so simple in the beginning.Taking place in 1850-1851 this wonderfully written period mystery novel has a reasonableness often missed by other authors I've read. I know the times were different then, but I still need to see the characters in a novel react to circumstances in a level-headed way. Too much flightiness and the characters seem to be caricatures of the times, too much stodginess and they are dull and boring. Ms. Saunders hit just the right note for me to like the characters she invented. That is what I always look for because I can't enjoy helping solve a mystery if I don't like the people I'm reading about. This book provided me with some lovely reading time and I'm looking forward to more novels in the future.

  • Lata
    2019-02-19 00:02

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story of Laetitia Rodd and her investigation at Wishtide, a great house in the English countryside in 1850. The mystery itself wasn't terribly complex, and I figured out who the bad guy was pretty early on. But I totally enjoyed the time I spent with Laetitia. She's a warm, compassionate woman, who is surprisingly open-minded for a person of 1850, and even chastises herself when thinks she isn't being tolerant enough. Though she is initially tasked with digging up dirt on a potentially scandalous marriage partner for the son of Sir James, owner of Wishtide, she takes such a kind, quiet, and respectful approach to the investigation that she soon has everyone involved thanking her for her courtesy and discretion. This investigation soon transforms into an investigation of a growing set of murders. Mrs. Rodd and Mrs. Bentley, the woman Laetitia lives with since the death of Laetitia's "beloved Max", support each other, and Mrs. Bentley provides Laetitia with different perspectives, good questions, and good ideas to further the investigation. I particularly liked their relationship.(From a professional perspective, I was slightly horrified by Laetitia's brother's insider trading activity, in response to Sir James' situation.)I really enjoyed this story, and would love to sit down again with Mrs. Rodd, a plate of cookies and a good pot of Assam.

  • Γιώτα Παπαδημακοπούλου
    2019-01-26 02:40

    Το φετινό καλοκαίρι η αστυνομική λογοτεχνία είχε την τιμητική της, με τις παραλίες να είναι γεμάτες με αναγνώστες του είδους, που επέλεξαν για συντροφιά τους πληθώρα τίτλων του είδους. Ανάμεσα σε αυτούς, χωρίς αμφιβολία, ξεχωρίσαμε το "Έγκλημα στην οικογένεια του σερ Τζέιμς", ένα βικτοριανό νουάρ που έκανε τη διαφορά, παντρεύοντας δύο διαφορετικά είδη αισθητικής, σ' ένα βιβλίο ικανό να ικανοποιήσει μεγάλο εύρος αναγνωστών. Η Kate Saunders, εμφανώς επηρεασμένη από ομότεχνούς της όπως η Agatha Cristie, μας ταξίδεψε στο χώρο και στο χρόνο, πλάθοντας μια άκρως ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία που δημιούργησε στο μυαλό μας εικόνες, και που μας παρέσυρε σ' έναν κόσμο μυστηρίου, βάζοντάς μας στα παπούτσια της ηρωίδας της και προσκαλώντας μας να πορευτούμε μαζί της λύνοντας από κοινού ένα μεγάλο μυστήριο.Βρισκόμαστε στο Χάμστεντ, ένα μεγάλο προάστιο του Λονδίνου, κάπου στα μέσα της βικτοριανής εποχής, όπου ο διαχωρισμός των κοινωνικών τάξεων είναι κανόνας, ενώ οι προσωπικές επιλογές του καθενός επηρεάζονται σαφέστατα απ' αυτόν. Ο γιος, όμως, της οικογένεια Κόλντερστον, Τσαρλς, ετοιμάζεται να κάνει τη μεγάλη ανατροπή, ζητώντας σε γάμο μία γυναίκα που δεν προορίζεται για εκείνον, σύμφωνα με τα πρότυπα της εποχής, κοντράροντάς τα και ακολουθώντας μονοπάτια επαναστατικά κι αντισυμβατικά. Ο πατέρας του, ο σερ Τζέιμς, καταφεύγει στον ποινικολόγο Φρέντερικ Τάισον, προκειμένου να ζητήσει τη βοήθειά του ώστε ν' ανακαλύψουν τα σκοτεινά μυστικά του παρελθόντος της Έλεν Όρμ, πριν να προλάβει αυτή να γίνει νύφη του, με τον Φρέντερικ, με τη σειρά του, να ζητάει την συμβολή της αδερφής του, της πενηνταδιάχρονης Λετίσια, χήρα αρχιδιακόνου και εξαιρετικά οξυδερκής. Η Λετίσια, λοιπόν, αναλαμβάνει χρέη γκουβερνάντας στην οικογένεια του σερ Τζέιμς, και κάτω από μεγάλη μυστικότητα, αρχίζει την ανεπίσημη έρευνά της, η οποία φέρνει στο φως μια σειρά από καλά κρυμμένα μυστικά, που όλα μαζί οδηγούν στα ίχνη ενός επικίνδυνου δολοφόνου. Η Saunders έχει επιλέξει την πρωτοπρόσωπη αφήγηση, μέσα από τα μάτια της Λετίσια, γεγονός που μας επιτρέπει να συνδεθούμε περισσότερο μαζί της, μα και να έχουμε μια πιο προσωπική εικόνα των γεγονότων, των καταστάσεων, μα και των εκάστοτε στοιχείων που κάνουν την εμφάνισή τους στο προσκήνιο, δημιουργώντας ένα ψηφιδωτό που αν όλα τα κομμάτια του μπουν στην σωστή θέση, έχουν μια πολύ ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία να πουν, μα και μια συγκλονιστική, συγκαλυμμένη αλήθεια, ν' αποκαλύψουν. Όλα είναι μελετημένα, σωστά δομημένα, και τοποθετημένα μέσα στο αφηγηματικό χρονοδιάγραμμα της ιστορίας αυτής με τέτοιον τρόπο που το ενδιαφέρον του αναγνώστη παραμένει αμείωτο καθ' όλη την διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης, με τις ανατροπές να είναι συνεχώς παρούσες, κάτι που ενισχύει το μυστήριο και την αγωνία, μα και την εξέλιξη της δράσης στην πορεία του μυθιστορήματος αυτού.Σημαντικό ρόλο παίζουν και οι εμπλεκόμενοι στην ιστορία αυτή, σε όποιο στρατόπεδο κι αν αυτοί ανήκουν, με την συγγραφέα να έχει δημιουργήσει ολοκληρωμένους και άρτια δομημένους χαρακτήρες, οι οποίοι διακρίνονται για την ρεαλιστικότητα και την αυθεντικότητά τους. Δεν θα λέγαμε πως υπάρχει ο χαρακτήρας εκείνος που ξεχωρίζει στη συνείδησή μας, αφού κανένας δεν υπερτερεί σε τέτοιο βαθμό που να κάνει μέσα μας τη διαφορά, όμως, καθένας από αυτούς, έχει μια ανθρωπιστική ταυτότητα που θα μπορούσε κάλλιστα να προσαρμοστεί στα δεδομένα και την πραγματικότητα του καθενός από εμάς. Με αγνά κίνητρα ή μη, οι ήρωες -ή και οι αντιήρωες- της ιστορίας αυτής, σκέφτονται, νιώθουν, δρουν, πράττουν και βιώνουν τις εκάστοτε καταστάσεις με απόλυτα αληθοφανή τρόπο, γεγονός που τους καθιστά πραγματικούς στα μάτια του αναγνώστη, ενώ του επιτρέπεται, με τον τρόπο αυτό, να ταυτιστεί περισσότερο μαζί τους, υιοθετώντας την σκοτεινή ή την φωτεινή πλευρά τους, εκάστοτε, προκειμένου να καταλήξει στα προσωπικά του συμπεράσματα.Σχετικά μικρό σε όγκο, αλλά χωρίς ν' αφήνει το παραμικρό αφηγηματικό κενό, το "Έγκλημα στην οικογένεια του σερ Τζέιμς" είναι ένα βιβλίο με σφιχτοδεμένη και καλοδουλεμένη πλοκή, αρκούντως ενδιαφέρουσα για να σε παρασύρει σε μια περιπέτεια αναζήτησης της αλήθειας, μα και ένα βιβλίο που εκτός από σκέψεις και συναισθήματα, δημιουργεί εικόνες και σε ταξιδεύει. Και μπορεί η ταυτότητα του δολοφόνου ν' αποκαλύπτεται αρκετά πριν το τέλος, όμως αυτό δεν μειώνει στο ελάχιστο τη δράση και την αγωνία μας, αφού η Saunders χειρίζεται την υπόθεση με τέτοιο τρόπο που την οδηγεί σε ένα άλλο επίπεδο, ίσως ακόμα πιο ενδιαφέρον στον πυρήνα του, που κρύβει μεγάλες εκπλήξεις και επικίνδυνες καταστάσεις που κορυφώνουν το σασπένς πριν η αυλαία πέσει οριστικά. Ένα βιβλίο που σίγουρα κέρδισε τις εντυπώσεις, και το στοίχημα σε μια κορεσμένη αγορά, που σας προτείνουμε ανεπιφύλακτα.

  • Kathleen
    2019-02-13 02:38

    In her acknowledgements at the end, author Kate Saunders references her love for Victorian novels and Charles Dickens, which are imbedded in “The Secrets of Wishtide.” I might have been better off knowing this at the beginning as I plodded through this book. A dark cloud looms over almost every aspect of the 1850 London and country life she describes. Laetitia Rodd, the fifty-two year old widow of an archdeacon, is the protagonist, now living in greatly “reduced circumstances” as a boarder in the home of kindly Mary Bentley. Apparently, since her husband’s death, she has acquired the detective skills necessary to assist her brother, Frederick Tyson, a lawyer, uncovering the goods on villains, to make ends meet. Oh, and Mary is no slouch as a consultant when reviewing the investigation.Laetitia is hired by Sir James Calderstone to attain background information on the lovely Helen Orme, hopefully enough to discredit her and convince his handsome son, Charles, she is unsuitable to marry a person of his class. Her “cover” to get into the Calderstone mansion, Wishtide, is to pose as a governess to Sir James’ two daughters, Blanche and Elizabeth (who are far too old to need a governess, by the way.) The governess act is abandoned when Charles is arrested for murder, and the entire family is relieved she is working with Fred to prove Charles’ innocence. And we enter the rabbit hole of secrets and deceit.I thought the author was heavy-handed with her Dickens’ themes. I got it the first time: women were treated as property in 1850 and did not enjoy any legal rights even when abused by drunken husbands or compromised by double standards of behavior or simply disregarded or disrespected. “Oh – yes, a perfect cover…Women are always having those (emergencies.) As to women, they are never radicals, so they’re the key to this election – we may have to resign ourselves to giving a ball…It’s a confounded nuisance, but it can’t be helped; thank the lord they don’t have votes of their own!”More Dickens’ influences: the novel is packed (an understatement) with the innocent and the worldly, those who are vulnerable and others with nerves of steel, those with a heart of gold and those driven by greed. Blanche, Elizabeth, Charles and Lady Calderstone, Helen Orme and her sister-in-law, Miss Winifred, cousin to Esther Grahame, Mr. Fitzwarren, the local clergyman, the Rutherfords and Adelina, and Inspector Thomas Blackbeard from the Metropolitan Police are only some of the players that the reader must keep track. The plot becomes more complicated with secrets and lies discovered almost single handedly by Laetitia Rodd, requiring one leap of faith after another for me. “But it’s also because I visited the scene of the outrage and felt its atmosphere. I never had such a sense of pure wickedness…It’s a sense you get in a place where someone has tried to drive out all goodness, all holiness – where, for a moment, a shadow has crossed the sun.”Saunders uses letter writing as a device for Laetitia to update her brother on her investigation progress. The letters include highly detailed accounts of conversations, which stretch credibility a bit. In addition to all the dialogue, the letters summarize Laetitia’s extensive sleuthing here, there, and everywhere moving the plot along conveniently for the author. On a more positive note, though, the brother-sister relationship is genuine and loving even when they are tracking a murderer.In the end, justice prevails (for some,) and the wicked are punished.

  • John
    2019-01-25 01:43

    If you're looking for a Victorian mystery fix, I can recommend this one.This story is likely intended as the "pilot" for a series (although as of months later there's no sign of a sequel). We're dropped into her detecting career "in progress" as it were, since previous cases are referenced. Basically, she's investigator Paul Drake to her criminal attorney brother's Perry Mason. The action begins with Letty acting as governess to a noble family in order to ferret out a blackmailer; that angle is seemingly resolved, until a member of that family is caught up in a series of (related) murders, so she and her brother are paid to continue working on the bigger picture. Plotting is well done, although the final showdown seemed a bit dramatic to me, even by Victorian standards. Some might see in-your-face feminism at times, but women were indisputably chattel, suffrage was the least of their issues in the mid 1800s.Audio narrator did a decent job overall, though I'll agree with others that her male voices ranged from okay to needs-work. Good fit for the material, hope she gets to read the next book.

  • Margaret
    2019-02-12 00:00

    Εντάξει η κριτική μου είναι απόλυτα αναξιόπιστη γιατί είμαι ερωτευμένη μ αυτό το είδος. Άμα διαβάσω τη φράση " ο εφημέριος του Αγριοραδικσον επισκέφθηκε τη λαίδη Βρεστον Χαστον " ξεκινάω από τα 4 αστεράκια. Άμα είναι και καλογραμμένο ,( κι αυτό είναι) τότε πενταστερο αβλεπι.

  • Maria
    2019-01-28 05:51

    Ένα αρκετα ευχάριστο και ευκολοδιάβαστο βιβλίο που το ευχαριστήθηκα σε όλα του τα σημεία. Το ύφος του και το έξυπνο χιούμορ του κάποιες στιγμές μου θύμισε την αγαπημένη μου Τζέην Όστεν και η συμπαθητική του πρωταγωνίστρια την μις Μαρπλ. Όσοι λοιπόν λατρεύετε τα συγκεκριμένα ειδη είμαι σίγουρη ότι θα αγαπήσετε αυτό το βιβλίο!

  • Anastasia
    2019-01-28 03:02Ένα από τα καλύτερα αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα που έχω διαβάσει. Βικτωριανό Λονδίνο, πολύ μυστήριο, πολλά μυστικά, συχνά plot twists, και η υπέροχη κυρία Λέτι που καθοδηγείται οξυδερκώς από τη διαίσθησή της. Για όσους θέλουν ένα κλασικό αστυνομικό μυθιστόρημα που παρασέρνει στο κλίμα που επικρατούσε στα μέσα του 19ου αιώνα, το συστήνω ανεπιφύλακτα!Δείτε περισσότεραεδώ .

  • Minx -The Genre Minx Book Reviews
    2019-02-10 07:38

    This review is based on an ARC I received from NetGalley. It is an honest review and the advanced receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Have you ever read David Copperfield by Charles Dickens? If you had and wished for some exploration on the characters or some slight differences in their outcomes then I whole-heartedly suggest you read this tale. If you have never read David Copperfield then no worries, if you like crime, mystery and suspense then I also suggest this book to you.This book is touted as a new crime series and it is BUT what they are not touting is that this is a book about romance as well. I do not mean romance in the illicit sense; I mean that the underlying stories in this novel are all driven by love for good or bad. There is also the heartbreak of the widowed Laetitia Rodd, which was felt throughout the story. She loved her husband and misses him so and because of her experiences in love she views all the other interactions with the women that she sees through this lens. To me, it makes the story richer. Humans are driven by love and by lack of love and I like that the character is written in such a way that she can be compassionate to even the most vile of women because she can understand on a level what led them to their circumstances or situation.My work could be described as the Management and Prevention of Scandal (my brother used to enjoy making up facetious advertisements for my services – ‘Blushes Spared and Broken Commandments Mended!’) Laetitia Rodd is a clever sort of woman who uses intuition and spying to gather information for clients in her work as a private investigator. What could drive a woman in Victorian times to pursue a career as a PI? Well, after the death of her husband she was left near penniless and needed to find a way to support herself. Luckily she has a younger brother who is a barrister and recommends her for cases where discretion is advised for finding out the truth of the matter.It is due to this type of recommendation that Laetitia finds herself embroiled in a most unpleasant mystery that involves multiple murders all being orchestrated by an unknown master criminal that only goes by the moniker of “Prince.” True to fashion, this stubborn Victorian woman is not deterred by the circumstances and is bound and determined to bring this puppet master to justice. With the help of her brother, an inspector from the Metropolitan Police and her landlady, Mrs. Bentley, Laetitia is able to follow the trail of a murderer that is full of twists and turns and surprises. This story will keep you on your toes with suspense.There are truly no dull moments in this book and it is also a clean read. There are talks of scandals, adultery and harlots but it is all done without it being vulgar. All the characters are well fleshed out and even though this is most likely going to be a series, the ending is very tidy with no cliffhangers. I do not think that will be a deterrent for readers in not continuing the series though because Laetitia is a pip and they will want to see what she wanders into next. There is also the seeds of possibility of something with a certain inspector…it is after all a novel full of romantic notions. I highly recommend this book to all readers!*Thank you to Bloomsbury USA & NetGalley for this ARC of The Secrets of Wishtide*Find this review and more at The Genre Minx Book Reviews

  • Joyce
    2019-02-06 00:49

    A perfectly delightful cozy mystery series opener set in Victorian England. Fifty-two year old widow Laetitia Rodd has difficulty making ends meet since her beloved archdeacon husband's death. She does small investigations for her barrister brother, and one such leads her to Wishtide estate to investigate the mysterious fiancee of the heir. She sorts that out, but those revelations lead to particularly gruesome murders--and her new job is to keep the heir, accused of those murders, from the gallows. I enjoyed the witty and intelligent Letty and suspect her interactions with a particularly methodical and widowed policeman will lead to a more romantic relationship in future entries, but there are many and diverse characters from all social strata to make up an interesting cast; intricate plot with twists; details of Victorian social conventions; lots of dialogue and description; gentle, intimate tone. A very nice series start, and narrator Bentinck does a great job portraying Letty and the richly diverse cast. I'm ready for the next title in the series.

  • Mayda
    2019-02-02 05:34

    Laetitia Rodd, widow, ekes out a living as a discrete private investigator. Living in reduced circumstances with her landlady, she was never wealthy, having been married to an archdeacon. Her brother is a successful barrister with a lovely wife and many children. Through his connections, Laetitia is approached with a case. She masquerades as a governess to prevent a beloved son of a wealthy family from marrying a woman of lesser status. When things go wrong, Laetitia must solve the case to save him from the hangman’s noose. After a somewhat slow beginning, this novel takes off and grabs your attention as more details come to light and the characters evolve. Many twists along the way add to the suspense. A well-written mystery, faithful to its setting, with likeable and gentile characters. A great start to a new series.

  • Bonnie
    2019-02-07 01:45

    I loved this book. It was a page turner from the start. The characters where well developed, and they made you feel lots of different emotions through out the book. I wish I had the next book, since this is the first in a series I am wishing that I had the next one, and that be able to continue on. I would highly recommend it the main character Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, was a character to love and she is one that I would like to visit with again as well.The way the author wrapped the book and made sure to get the loose ends, it all was well done, and was sad to see the book end but so very thankful I was to read the book and glad I had the chace. Please if you get a chance read it, you will not be disappointed.

  • Ceki
    2019-01-24 05:39

    I enjoyed the mystery and twists that came with it but the main problem I had with the book was the supporting characters - I simply couldn't sympathize or relate to them. It's not that they were unrealistic but rather exaggerated to the point I didn't care what happened to them.On the other hand the heroine, Laetitia Rodd, was an interesting and enjoyable character, if the author continues the series I'll check the sequel out.

  • kris
    2019-02-13 01:41

    Mrs. Laetitia Rodd is a widow with a knack for solving mysteries. Her brother, Fred, is a barrister and calls in Mrs. Rodd for consulting on cases that need a widow to do the dirty work. Adding to the cast of colorful characters is Mrs. Bentley, another widow who once let rooms to poet John Keats; and Inspector Blackbeard, a dour obstinate widower who seems to be set up as a potential romantic interest. So when Mrs. Rodd is hired to investigate the background of a woman known as Mrs. Orme, she discovers herself on the path of many secrets, most of the sordid and grisly. 1. If I'm right and the Inspector is a potential love interest, I'm declaring right here and now that Saunders is missing a huge opportunity with Mrs. Bentley. (Letty addresses her letters to her as "My dearest Mary"!!! THEY LOVE EACH OTHER OK!!) I, who finds chemistry in all the wrong places, didn't for a moment feel anything between Blackbeard and Letty. It felt forced and awkward and he was a bullheaded boy and ugh, whatever. 2. I called the 'twist' almost immediately, but I'm not sure if that's a bad thing? Like, it didn't necessarily feel like anyone else (other than Boring Blackbeard) was dragging their feet on the thing, so. It was obvious twist, even without any true foreshadowing. Also didn't feel like there were any other avenues that the case could have taken; it wrote itself into a cliched corner and resolved things in the only way it could.Which isn't to say it wasn't enjoyable because it was! for the most part! There are a few things (detailed below) that rather soured it for me, but I am so there for lady detectives being ON THE CASE. GET IT, GIRLS. 3. I felt like this narrative bought into the "Angels of the Homestead" Victorian bit too much: all the women are good-hearted and love the assholes they're partnered with in spite of the assholes being completely reprehensible in almost every case. Take Lady Calderstone, who invites her husband's mistress into her home so they can make amends. Or Mrs. Gammon, one of 3 so-called wives, who stayed loyal to her abusive drunkard of a partner. It all got to be a bit much, you know? 4. The source of conflict between Letty and Blackbeard is their methodolgy for solving cases. Early in the novel, Letty claims that she only cares for facts. But then Blackbeard is introduced and her preference shifts, ever so slightly, to be focused instead on the intuition that leads her to said facts. Blackbeard, meanwhile, is portrayed as methodical and plodding; he makes no sudden leaps of insights and instead must let the facts tell him how to get to a solution. Which--whatever. What yanks my chain is the fact that it leaves the ~~feelings in the hands of the female detective and the ~~logic in the hands of the male, furthering the gross gender dynamics I've detailed above. It's lazy, and kind of sloppy, and really the thing that soured my enjoyment of this book the most. 5. So Letty's husband died 2 (?) years before the book opens; in that time, Letty has come down in the world and has taken up solving cases. I.e., this is not her first rodeo. Which was disappointing from an origin story point of view. It's obviously not a huge set back, but it felt like a bit too much of the text was glossing over the meaty history beats: how Blackbeard first met Letty, how he handled her working a case; how she handled her first case; etc. It felt like a shortcut to telling a story, which was wildly disappointing. Also, the handling of Matt's death was just--not great. We never meet Matt (which, btw, can I just say how odd I found it that she called him MATT? There were actually a few phrases that kind of made me quirk an eyebrow because they didn't feel 'of the times'), so his death meant very little to me. And Letty--the POV character for the first person narration--spends a lot of time pining after her fond memories of him. But to me, an obviously disinterested 3rd party observer who is actually dead inside, it detracted from the story. I didn't care about Matt except in that he sounded like a too-good-to-be-true idol Letty couldn't let go of. WHICH IS A HORRIBLE FEELING TO HAVE?? I don't know: I wish it had been handled differently is all. 6. Also, in case you are scanning these bullet points quickly because I am far too verbose: IT'S IN FIRST PERSON???7. There was also kind of a gross "smizing down on the huddled masses" tone that crept into the text whenever the main characters were dealing with the working classes. It grated.

  • Janet Emson
    2019-02-19 02:59

    Laetitia Rodd has been engaged to investigate the background of a woman by Sir James Calderstone. Sir James’ son wants to marry Helen Orme and Sir James believes her to be hiding her true background and to therefore be unsuitable for his son. Disguised as a governess, Letty travels to the home of the Calderstones. There she discovers that it is not just Helen Orme who has secrets to hide. When a man is murdered outside a tavern Letty must investigate before the wrong person is tried for murder.This is what I would call a ‘gentle’ crime novel, or perhaps what would be called a ‘cosy’ mystery. It is not gritty or bleak but there is violence, though not as dressed or detailed as may be the case in the gritter novels of the genre. There is a warmth to the story telling, lent by both the historical era the book is set in and with the warmth of the characters. Letty’s investigations come at a time before DNA and fingerprints, before evidence collection and photographs were used to identify criminals. The tools available to Letty was her inquisitive nature and intellect, which she uses to brilliant effect.I was thoroughly charmed by this story, caught up in the first few pages. Letty is a delightful character, a mix of reserved widow, truly mourning the loss of her beloved husband Matt, and a modern forward thinking woman who doesn’t believe her status as a woman should prevent her from her investigative role. She is aware of her faults and embraces instances where her own prejudices have perhaps misled her. She has a lovely relationship with Mrs Bentley, her landlady, often taking charge to ensure the other woman’s health is maintained but there is genuine affection and caring working relationship between the two. Fred, Letty’s brother is funny and engaging, bouncing off the page as a larger than life character who feeds Letty’s investigative desires well. Inspector Blackbeard is the perfect foil for Letty. He is methodical, consistent and not compelled by violent emotions, preferring to find evidence rather than work on emotional instinct. However the relationship between the two thaws and the different investigative tactics work well together.The story is engaging, starting out with an investigation into the true nature of a woman’s background and resulting in murder, which Letty must investigate before the wrong person is tried for murder. I had figured out the perpetrator about half way through the book but it was enjoyable to read how Letty, Fred and Blackbeard would uncover the truth, given they only had questioning and intuition to aid their investigations. There were times I felt the story was a little long, partly because I had figured out the perpetrator and wanted Letty to twig too, but the story played out well.The story also focusses on the position women held in 19th Century life. The main theme of this is the double standards towards the actions of women. For example, a woman’s position regarding property or that a man was allowed to have a mistress, in fact it was almost expected, yet for a woman to commit adultery meant the worst of sins. Similarly, should a woman run away with a man and not marry she lost her position in society for ever. A man could continue to hold his head high. These issues aren’t dealt with in a dry or lecturing manner. They are dealt with in a manner that would be expected from a woman of the time, that is with quiet outrage and reluctant acceptance.In summary, an engaging, entertaining read. I enjoyed this introduction to Laetitia Rodd immensely and am very much looking forward to the next book in the series. If you enjoy historical crime novels, with engaging characters and a softer, cosier edge then this one is perfect to curl up with.My thanks to the publishers for my review copy of the book.

  • Susan in NC
    2019-02-16 06:56

    What a delightful find - you know that wonderful feeling when friends tell you about a book that is right up your alley and you finally get hold of it and it's everything you enjoy and more? Well, this book did that for me - I only hope Kate Saunders is hard at work on Mrs. Todd's next mystery...Historical mysteries are my favorite genre, and this sounded so appealing - well-researched, well-written, great characters, humor, historical accuracy, a very appealing heroine, exciting pace and gripping mystery - almost too good to be true! But for me, recently widowed Mrs. Rodd, her smart, funny, irreverent and successful criminal barrister brother, Fred, and her canny, unflappable confidant and landlady Mrs. Bentley delivered in spades. Mrs. Laetitia Rodd is the widow of an archdeacon; she still misses her beloved Matt greatly two years after his death, and Saunders writes effectively of how the bottom fell out of our heroine's world. Matt was her true love and best friend but they never had children and he died unexpectedly so she felt truly isolated and set adrift when he died; Saunders wonderfully sums up how desolate Letty was, and how vital her beloved younger brother Fred and dear Mrs. Bentley were to her slowly rebuilding her life after such devastating loss. It really made me warm to all of these characters and appreciate their goodness and strength - and yes, especially the dark humor and pragmatic view they bring to investigating Fred's thornier cases!Letty earns her living carrying out extremely sensitive and discreet investigations for Fred; Matt's unexpected death left her with very little, and homeless, which is how she came to board at Mrs. Bentley's house. She loves Fred and his bustling brood of 10 (going on 11) children, but the thought of living under his roof with his flighty wife as an unpaid dependent nursemaid leaves Letty cold; she and Mrs. Bentley have become fast friends and the landlady's common sense are invaluable in Letty and Fred's investigations.This time out (there have clearly been previous cases, time will tell whether Saunders chooses to write them up for our delectation!), the son of the extremely powerful and wealthy Sir James Calderstone has gotten involved with a highly inappropriate young woman; he swears he will marry her, much to the dismay of his parents. Letty heads to Wishtide, the family's Lincolnshire estate, to investigate this young woman - but what seems like a straightforward mystery soon takes an unexpected and ugly turn...No spoilers, but I found this such an intriguing and satisfying puzzle - despite the Victorian setting it was also gripping in parts, not easy to do when the best one could manage was the pace of a fast carriage! It truly was a fun adventure and I hope I can look forward to another visit with Letty, Fred, Mrs. Bentley and even Inspector Blackbeard!

  • Jeanette
    2019-02-13 03:55

    This cozy, if Victorian London can be cozy prone, stars a new series protagonist detective, Laetitia Rodd. She is a 52 year old widow whose brother is a London lawyer with a large growing family (10 kids and 1 more coming). It holds some intense characterizations. And of course, the avoidance of scandal is usually core to a snooping or travel for inquiry. In this plot, Mrs. Rodd is undercover as a teenage girls' tutor/companion. But she is not just sitting in morning rooms or back parlors. Eventually there are numerous assaults, and more than a couple murders. It was hard to follow because of dual names, or several imposter or disguised (except to the people of long past acquaintance) prime characters. It's also too long, IMHO. But then there are dozens of introductions. Her brother Fred, her housemate of some years, and a young man accused that is innocent of the violence- all are finely depicted. And the controlled chaos of London in these times seemed well done. Also, I cannot forget, that Laetitia consistently refers to her departed husband, Matthew, a cleric- which is also at times amusing. If you like this period of strong facades for people who often have feet of clay- you'll like this new series. Kate Saunders has a cozy winner here, I would think. For some reason of strange serendipity I have just read three books that occur in 1876-78 and around the same areas. It's not my favorite time at all, and this aspect, plus its length redundancies probably lost an entire star for me. If you like the Dickens type stereotype (the good are angels and the bad seem of cartoon appearance and cruelty) Londoner gent or pub bar swindler or stolid country squire or sweet 16 year old innocent milk maid country girl with red cheeks- you'll like this one.

  • The Book Maven
    2019-01-21 01:36

    After her beloved archdeacon husband died, Mrs. Laetitia Rodd soon found herself to be in a financially straitened situation similar to many of the parishioners she once cared for. She now lives as a boarder with a beloved friend, Mary Bentley, making ends meet by discreetly handling scandalous messes--which, as we all know, are the bane of the polite society of Victorian England. When her brother, a prominent barrister, brings her a wealthy gentleman willing to pay handsomely for her to investigate the seemingly innocent woman that his son wishes to marry, it seems as though Mrs. Rodd will have enough for the quarter's rent and a few hocks of ham besides. However, rumors of scandal soon turn into worse, as associates of with the woman she is investigating soon turn up brutally bludgeoned to death--and then the woman does too.Like just about every mystery ever written, Laetitia Rodd must use all of her skills and wits not only to solve the case and save a man from the hangman's noose, but to keep herself alive.This was, hands down, one of the most enjoyable books I read this year--I tore through it in an evening. Parts of it remind me vaguely of Anne Perry's Thomas and Charlotte Pitt mysteries, but I daresay this series won't be as dark. There are a few moments of subtle humor, and Mrs. Rodd has a keen sense for the injustices that women must endure, without coming across as anachronistically feminist. The author captures Victorian Highgate splendidly, and the plot--while somewhat twisty--still kept me engaged. Best of all, there is a host of characters, intriguingly flawed and yet prone to delightful moments of humanity. I've read that this is a debut of a new series, so I can't wait for the next one!

  • Damaskcat
    2019-01-27 04:53

    Laetitia Rodd is the widow of an Archdeacon and now living quietly in Hampstead. She undertakes confidential investigations, usually brought to her by her brother Fred who is a criminal barrister. She is asked to look into the background of a Mrs Helen Orme by Sir James Calderstone as his son, Charles wants to marry her and Sir James believes her to be an unsuitable wife for him.Laetitia travels to the frozen wastes of Lincolnshire ostensibly to be a governess to Sir James' tow daughters and she quickly discovers that the Calderstones have secrets they want kept hidden which are every bit as damaging as those of Mrs Orme. Letty will need to use all her intelligence and powers of observation after a murder takes place and she and Fred have their work cut out to rescue their clients.I really enjoyed this entertaining Victorian mystery with its evocative pictures of many aspects of Victorian life and its strong minded and intelligent heroine. I also liked Inspector Blackbeard of Scotland Yard and Letty's brother Fred who is a larger than life character. I liked the combination of humour - Letty and Fred often find themselves in funny situations. I also liked Mrs Bentley - Letty's sensible landlady. If you enjoy historical crime mysteries then you may enjoy this one. It is well written with string characters and an interesting plot and I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series when it is published.

  • Barb in Maryland
    2019-01-19 07:51

    3.5 stars to the first in a new series.Pluses: Laetitia is charming, smart, well-fleshed out, as are her brother Fred and Mary Bentley. The murder mystery part is twisty. I even liked the 'just the facts, ma'am' Inspector Blackbeard, though I wasn't fond of his name. Blackbeard, really?Minuses: The mystery solution gets just a bit too convoluted by the end. The sub-plots re: Sir James Calderstone, his wife and his mistress seemed to get out of hand. I was fine with who turned out to be the villain--didn't feel the need for his family. The wrap up at the end was, I felt, inadequate. I wanted to know what happened to Sir James , his wife and their younger daughter. And other bits and pieces.However, in spite of my quibbles, I will gladly read the next whenever it becomes available.