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Accomplished in Murder (Accomplished #1)

3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  315 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Murder was never so refined...

When her holiday on the coast of Cornwall takes a deadly turn, it is up to Drucilla Winterbourne to uncover the dangerous secrets the inhabitants of Blackridge House will do anything to conceal. But can a proper young lady from London society comprehend the dark motives of a killer?

Accomplished In Murder is the first in a series of historical
Kindle Edition, 64 pages
Published October 2011 (first published March 18th 2011)
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The following quote seems fitting when considering how I'd review this story. It was delivered by the villain to the amateur sleuth.
"You can be so clever at times and on other occasions so terribly unimaginative." This is an understatement. Cleverness would imply the sleuth hunted up clues but this is not really the case; she overhears a significant conversation by chance, lucks into finding another clue (which isn't shared with the reader) and then the killer reveals himself to her while she st
When Drusilla Winterbourne expects foul play when she arrives in Cornwall and finds her friend dead she will do anything to unmask the perpetrator. With the writing perception of a gothic novel the writer is able to transport the heroine to set the scene. There were no surprising twists and turns but the writing style was done really well.

Note: Won as part of the accomplished mysteries from the LibraryThing Member giveaways.
When Drucilla receives a letter from her newly wed friend, Celeste, she is immediately concerned. Celeste asks for Drucilla to come and visit her and the whole tone of the letter has Celeste sounding frightened and worried. Drucilla talks her elderly aunt into chaperoning her voyage and two of them start on a long journey to Cornwall.

Upon arriving at Celeste’s imposing new home, things are stranger and more serious than she had imagined.

This was a very entertaining mystery novelette. I can hones
Drucilla Winterbourne receives a somewhat worrying missive from her recently married friend, Celeste. Drucilla decides to make an unannounced visit so, with her elderly aunt in tow as chaperone, she heads to Cornwall. However, when they arrive, they discover that Celeste has died. Although the not-so grieving widower claims it was an accident, Drucilla suspects foul play and sets out to unmask the culprit who killed her friend.

Accomplished in murder has all the trappings of a gothic novel: a cre
I found this book to be over before I really got to sink my teeth in. It felt rushed and too quick to unmask the murderer. Honestly it didn't need to be so short, there was enough potential here to have had at least another 100 pages or so of more material. The author never took the time to explore any of the other suspects and so it made it too simple. I understand that its a novella but a story such as this deserved to be a full fledged novel.
Judy Tolley
This was a very disappointing book. It was more like a novella and read as if half the book was missing. There was no way to know anything about the characters and no building up of the story.
Short and exciting, not surprising however, at all, if you're looking for a who-done-it to keep you guessing this isn't it. But I liked Drusilla a lot, and it was quite enjoyable.
Cheryl Landmark
I love Gothic mysteries involving spooky mansions, suspense, deadly family secrets and intriguing characters. This one had most of those elements, except perhaps for the suspense part. The mystery was somewhat predictable, as was the villain. And, because this was such a short novel, everything felt a little rushed, especially the ending. Character development also suffered a bit from the brief length of the story.

For the most part, the writing was good but there was a glaring issue that was mis
J.R. Tomlin
Accomplished in Murder is a charming and well-written historical mystery set in Victorian England. It begins with the recently wed Celeste writing to her friend Druscilla Winterbourne to say that only if Druscilla joins her in Cornwall will Celeste feel safe. However, when Druscilla arrives, her dear friend has died under mysterious circumstances. Druscilla is determined, of course, to unravel the mystery.

I was very taken with Ms. England's writing. It had the right period feel without frills a
Karen Fowler
Accomplished in Murder, is the first in a series of historical mysteries featuring heroines of the Victorian era. To be clear, this is a novella, not a full length novel, though the story does not seem rushed or lacking in any way for it.

Drucilla is troubled by a letter she receives from her friend Celeste. Celeste has married and moved to a remote area of Cornwall, and she asks Drucilla to come for a visit. But when Drucilla arrives, to her dismay she discovers that Celeste has died under myst
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Accomplished in Murder
Mystery lurks at the Cornwall estate of Blackridge House, where a young bride has found fear and torment in place of the romance she once believed in. When her body is found at the foot of the cliffs, shortly after she wrote a letter summoning her best friend from London with hints of her unnamed fear, her death is attributed to accident. But was it? When Drucilla, the recipient of her hasty letter, arrives and learns of her death, she isn't convinced. What caused the unspo
Drucilla Winterbourne is a real Victorian lady, but also is a pretty good detective. When she received a strange letter from a friend, she sets out to visit her as soon as she can. However, despite her haste, she does not make it there before her friend is found dead. This is one strong lady, who sets out to find out who murdered her friend and why. During the time in which this book is set, showing such strength and intelligence can lead to some difficult situations, and Drucilla encounters the ...more
Two stars because I finished it.

The premise is good, the execution is not. We go from mystery to solved and just kind of skip the whole process of solving. Our Heroine stumbles across one clue, stumbles across another, then without seeing any reasoning OR EVEN WHAT THE SECOND CLUE REALLY WAS, it's accusations over the dinner table time.

And she gets confirmation basically through ZE EVIL VOICE - which comes from a brilliant sketch from "That Mitchell & Webb Look". Basically she has no reaso
A charming Victorian lady-sleuth!

Drucilla Winterbourne (love that name) knows something is off with her newly married friend Celeste. Her friend's letters have become increasingly strange and Drucilla is determined to travel to Cornwall to the little village of Morcastle to find out what's going on. She has to drag her crazy old cat-obsessed auntie with her as a companion but she makes the trip only to find out that her friend has been murdered.

I love the lush descriptions of the setting which g
Josephine M Sheehan
A Fast paced, Thrilling Victorian Adventure

A Fast paced, Thrilling Victorian Adventure

I chose this five star rating because I thoroughly enjoyed this read. It had everything one desires in a good period novel, well defined characters, a fast pace, an excellent plot, and scope for the imagination.

A great mystery that has it all. A desperately unhappy newlywed, a brooding husband, a nosy friend, a huge house on a cliff... And an untimely death...
A quick little historical mystery with a very small field of suspects. It's well-written enough and the setting of Victorian-era Cornwall is nicely evoked, but the glaring flaw for me was behavior by the characters that just didn't ring true for the time period. It seemed highly unlikely to me that the Litchfields would so frankly discuss family matters with a total stranger whom they'd barely known for a day, and even more unbelievable that Drucilla would blurt out a serious and deeply personal ...more
I felt like this was a decent novella for the 99cent kindle price tag. I thought that the villain was overly obvious, and a good portion of the story was pointless details. I really don't need to read about the aunts cats fighting in their basket.

Additionally there are many loose ends to be caught up at the end but are left to leave you wondering. Some of these could be excused, but others just seem sloppily done, as if the author had forgotten that an event or person existed.

Not a horrible wa
Tara Chevrestt
I thought this was a thoroughly enjoyable little mystery. My only quibble is at times, except for the arranged marriages and transportation, it didn't feel historical, but that's me being nit picky.

Drucilla's bff has a quickie wedding and then send Drucilla a letter implying that she's scared of something. So Drucilla head off to her friend's to find out what troubles her only to discover her friend is dead.

Full review on Book Babe:
Lacey Graham
I would give this story (too short to be considered a novel) two stars, but the grammatical errors and inconsistency was too much. Several times, the main character's name changes from "Drucilla" to "Pricilla" and back again. To me that is an amateur mistake that should have been noticed fairly quickly. Other than that, the story develops rather quickly and ends somewhat the same way. I finished the story mostly because it can be read in under an hour or so.
Kyrana Jones
The Accomplished Mysteries by Dara England are a pair of delightful mini-mysteries in a Victorian era setting. Well-written in an easy to follow format, these novellas are an excellent choice for young readers who enjoy tracking clues and trying to solve a crime story. This reader would have preferred a deeper treatment of the story arc and expect to see more of this bright author. I look forward to the future adventures of our capable, headstrong heroine.
Yolanda Sfetsos
When Drucilla Winterbourne decides to visit her recently married friend unannounced, she gets there to find that Celeste is dead. And it doesn't take long for her to realise that there's something off about the family living in Blackridge House.

This makes her determined to figure out how Celeste really died.

I enjoyed this small-sized historical mystery. It was well written and kept me reading to the end.
Angie Lisle
A hybrid of Victorian Romance and a cozy murder mystery series - I hesitate to dub this neo-Gothic romance because of the lack of foreshadowing. The writing itself is fine but the story lacks substance. Clues are thinly veiled and I'd like to know more about the characters, especially the main character Drucilla.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Fast, easy read.
Okay this one wasn't going to strain the brain cells by any imagination. And it was pretty darn easy to figure out the killer by the 3rd chapter. However, it is a really quick read, the characters are fun, and it's relatively well written. Sort of a Harlequin Romance for mystery lovers it was a nice & quick diversion in the middle of some heavier stuff.
This was a quick "who-done-it" story. Drucilla goes to visit her long time friend Celeste and ends up having to figure out how & why Celeste dies. There are a whole host of characters to choose from that could have wanted Celeste dead. I guessed right. This was nicely written and I enjoyed it. I will go and look for others in this series of stories.
I was really liking this book and ended. It was so abrupt it felt as If I had just skipped 5 chapters and Bam! The end. The killer was fairly obvious from the beginning, but that wouldn't have been a problem if the story was well developed. I still rated it with three stars because it was all good for me until the last 20% of the book...
Oct 22, 2011 Misti rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebook
I didn't realize this was just a novella. It felt too short and there wasn't really time to go into detail with the murder investigation. After one little clue, the murder was solved. I thought the writing was good so I'd probably try another book by this author. I'll just check first to see what I'm getting into.
This is listed as the first book but it read more as prequel written to fill in backstory. I enjoyed it and the gothic atmosphere was light but well-done. Despite the gothic setting, it also fits into the cozy mystery genre with it's amateur sleuth, light detecting and emphasis on characters.
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