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A Moment of Silence (Dido Kent, #1)
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A Moment of Silence (Dido Kent #1)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  1,208 ratings  ·  237 reviews
When Miss Catherine Kent's fiance Richard Montague disappears, she is distraught. Catherine sends for her beloved spinster aunt, Miss Dido Kent. But on the very day of Dido's arrival, a sinister discovery casts unwelcome suspicion on Richard's sudden absence. Long-hidden family secrets begin to emerge as Dido attempts to unravel the strange happenings. Dido uses her logica...more
Kindle Edition, 299 pages
Published March 7th 2011 by Allison & Busby (first published August 5th 2008)
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Tracey, librarian on strike
This was on my paperbackswap wishlist (I don't remember why); it became available, and I pounced. While still in a sort of "I don't care, there's too much crap going on for me to not just read what I want to read" mood I firmly ignored all the Netgalley books clamoring on the sidelines, picked this off the upper slopes of Mount TBR, and settled in.

I loved it from the start. I was a little afraid at first – the Regency period spinster aunt swooping in to Detect felt like a mish-mash of various s...more
First Sentence: My dear Eliza, I must begin another letter to you, although it is not six hours since I sent my last.

Catherine Kent is engaged to Richard Montague. During a special ball at Betsfield Hall, Richard reacts strongly to a red-headed man and then disappears. Catherine’s father sends for his spinster sister, Miss Dido Kent. The same day Dido arrives, the body of a murdered woman is found under a hedge on the property and Dido decides it’s up to her to discover the killer.

Ms. Dean’s wri...more
Ana T.
Miss Dido Kent is a spinster, she never married but she comes from a big family and her brothers occasionally ask for her help when dealing with their children. She has a special fondness for her niece Catherine who lived with her for a while when she was a young child and when she asks for her help Dido runs to her side.

Catherine had just become engaged when, during the celebratory ball at his parent’s estate, Bellfield Hall, the fiancé is approached by a mysterious man who, without a word bei...more
Feb 10, 2010 bookme4life rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of Charles Finch and Tasha Alexander; Fans of cozy mysteries

Reflecting back on this book, I would hold to my earlier assertion that it's a bit like Miss Marple in Jane Austen's world. Her curiosity and propensity to gently meddle are worthy of Miss Marple. Her niece describes her as casting a satirical eye on others -- I rather wished for a bit more of that from her, but I supposed what I was really craving was Jane Austen's wit.

Anna Dean spreads out the clues such that an attentive reader will have the satisfaction of guessing much of the myst...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
How refreshing to find an Austenite writer who can actually handle the Regency idiom properly! I thoroughly enjoyed this Austen-meets-Marple mystery, in which the murder is not the main puzzle. Who is the mystery corpse? Where did she come from, and how on earth did she end up in Sir Edgar's shrubbery? Why, when and how was she killed? More important (to Miss Kent and her niece)--did Richard Montague have anything to do with her death? And if not, why did he leave the house on the very evening o...more
Eustacia Tan
I actually finished this book quite a long time ago, but for some reason, I forgot to review it (._.)" But anyway, here it is~

Bellfield hall (subtitle: Or, The Deductions of Miss Dido Kent) reminds me of Jane Austen. Or at least, Miss Dido reminds me of Jane Austen - an "old" intelligent spinster. The world the novel inhabits is very much like a Jane Austen novel, which means it's "gentle".

Well, except for the murder. The murder sounds gruesome, although there isn't any violence. Even the descri...more
Pros: Really liked the main character, written in first person, her strengths (scary smart and acting with best of intentions) and weaknesses (at times not only judgemental but feeling justified in acting upon that judgement, at times being just as patronizing to younger women as she feels and is irritated by men acting patronizing toward her as a spinster woman) were believable and made her seem genuine. I wasn't able to predict the outcome, and the author does a good job of keeping the reader...more
I enjoyed this first novel with Miss Dido Kent investigating the goings on at Bellfield Hall where her young niece has been left by her fiancé with nothing more than a cryptic excuse for his departure.

I liked the clever narration that incorporated Miss Kent's letters to her sister so that we could have her first person perspective alternating with the third person narration. There are some very heavy issues that are addressed in this mystery but they are dealt with in a fairly light way so that...more
ilovebakedgoods (Teresa)
Apr 28, 2010 ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of mysteries, regency lovers
I read this book in one night. I really enjoyed the fast pace and the characters. It was fun to read a mystery that takes place in 1805, solved by a 'spinster' whose intelligence is apparently a turn-off to most men.

Not going into detail in this review, just wanted to make a short notation of my enjoyment of the book.
Dido, run, do not walk, run from this guy with the grasping, spendthrift son. The apple falls not far from the treeeee! And even if the dad is okay, you're still stuck with the son coming home, harassed by creditors, shamed by society, and probably scheming to get what little money is left.
This is a book for Jane Austin fans, a story set in a big manor house with secrets(tm) and engagements gone awry.
Miss Dido is invited to stay with her niece, who is upset by the disappearance of her fiance,...more
I am of two minds about this book. One one side, the writing was good, the style of the book (first person letters and third person narrative)was interesting. However, the mystery was very thin.
Our heroine, Dido Kent, joins a house party at Bellfield Hall to comfort her niece, whose fiance Richard ,a son of the house, has rather abruptly severed their engagement. The morning after Dido's arrival the body of a young woman is found on the grounds of the estate. Hmmm, what did Richard's disappeara...more
Talulah Mankiller
Miss Dido Kent, spinster and aunt extraordinaire, rushes to her niece Catherine’s side when Catherine’s fiance abruptly breaks off their engagement in the middle of their engagement ball. Catherine refuses to accept that her man is gone, and begs Dido to figure out what the eff is up. Shenanigans ensue.

I liked this. I think the first half dragged a bit–as evidenced by the fact that I was able to summarily abandon it in favor of The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patr...more
Bellfield Hall is an English country home murder mystery set during the Georgian era. Miss Dido Kent arrives at the hall after her niece summons her there- she soon finds out that not only has her beloved niece's fiancee called off their engagement, but also that a woman no one knows has been murdered in the shrubbery. Dido promises to help her niece discover why her fiancee so abruptly called off their marriage, and in the meantime, she does some of her own sleuthing on the murder.

I enjoyed thi...more
A MOMENT OF SILENCE (Hist Mys/Ama. Sleuth-Dido Kent-England-1805) - Ex
Dean, Anna – 1st book
Allison & Busby, 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780749079109

First Sentence: My dear Eliza, I must begin another letter to you, although it is not six hours since I sent my last.

Catherine Kent is engaged to Richard Montague. During a special ball at Betsfield Hall, Richard reacts strongly to a red-headed man and then disappears.

Catherine’s father sends for his spinster sister, Miss Dido Kent. The same day...more
A Moment of Silence is an entertaining murder mystery set in the early 19th century. It's the first in a series of novels featuring the wonderful Miss Dido Kent.

The story begins when Dido is summoned to Belsfield Hall, the country estate of the Montague family. Her niece Catherine is engaged to Sir Montague's son Richard - who has mysteriously disappeared during their engagement party. Dido agrees to help Catherine solve the mystery behind Richard's disappearance, but events soon take a more sin...more
Deborah Swift
Also published in the US as "Belfield Hall",this is a very clever and entertaining book which starts with a body in the shrubbery and then piles on layers of mystery for the reader to solve. Or rather, the reader follows breathlessly behind the delightfully astute Dido Kent, a Regency lady sleuth, who gently teases the truth from the clues. An excellently-crafted novel with all the atmosphere and wit of classic Jane Austen,I loved the wickedly observant Dido Kent and will be over to the bookstor...more
I often find that when authors try and muck the Jane Austen era and add modern murder mysteries to the parlor rooms, I am rarely a fan. They either come off as too modern and out of place with the setting or are just too similar to their period inspirations and are near impossible to follow. (A good example of this would be Death comes to Pemberley - enjoyed the miniseries adaptation, but couldn't make it more than a chapter or two into the book, with it's horrible period-esque writing style.)

Yvann S
When Catherine Kent's fiance suddenly breaks off their engagement and vanishes, she is distraught. Who better than maiden aunt Miss Dido to rush to the country house of Catherine's in-laws-to-be, to solve the mystery of the missing heir and groom? And while there, also to solve the mystery of the young woman found murdered in the shrubbery?

All the mystery happens before we start our journey with Miss Dido Kent, but we get plenty of shots at it with assorted re-tellings and interviews. Dido gets...more
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this mystery novel. I could have used a character guide at the beginning of the book to help me figure out all the relationships between all the people currently visiting or residing at Bellfield Hall at the start of the story, but other than that I (unlike Stephanie) felt it was really well written. I was intrigued by the mystery (mysteries?) Dido investigates, found her deductions intelligent and a little "Sherlock"esque in the way she noticed l...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I enjoyed this very much. I think that this is the closest that anyone modern (that I've read) has come to capturing the voice and style of Jane Austen.
I really wanted to like this as I'm a big fan of historical mysteries and just look at that lovely cover. However it just couldn't keep my interest enough to finish it.
Mar 12, 2010 Penelope rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys gentle historical or cozy crime.
Shelves: historical, crime
A sweetly told story which reminded me of a cross between Miss Marple and Jane Austen. Lovely historical setting and a amateur sleuth who is a pleasure to meet.
Definitely a quick read! A little suspenseful whodunit with a hint of "Austen" - really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next in the series!
Somjai Grice
Being a fan of the Jane Austen mysteries by Stephanie Barron, I felt sure I would enjoy this. I was right. It was a pleasant read and not too terribly difficult to figure out the myriad of mini mysteries that are in the book (it's always nice to feel clever when reading a mystery). I was a little disappointed in one facet of the Dido Kent (Jane Austen) character. She is obviously intelligent and savvy in the ways of society, yet the author would have you believe that our dear Dido is unaware of...more
I agree with other reviewers-this is a little like Jane Austen meets Miss Marple and this combination is quite entertaining! Dido Kent is a maiden aunt summoned to console her niece after her fiance suddenly breaks their engagement. A murder soon follows and Dido feels it is her duty to look into both mysteries. Dido is a refreshing heroine in an era where women aren't expected to have much intelligence and the little drama of the Harris sisters highlight this. I will certainly look for other Di...more
May 19, 2014 Meagan marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I'm leaving this unrated, because I didn't finish it. And here's why:

I'm not much of a mystery reader, so I was already reluctantly reading this. But I'm a readers' advisor, so I do my best to at least dabble in a wide range of genres. The regency setting and sassy spinster investigating the gentry to solve mysteries sounded closer than many mysteries to what I would like. And here's what I learned:

*This is a gentle mystery, with no vulgar language or (on-screen) violence, and no shocking sex sc...more
Brenda Mengeling
This is a hard book to review. On the one hand, I really enjoyed the character of Dido Kent, a spinster in Regency England who is quite smart and ends up solving a murder when she goes to help her niece deal with a broken engagement at the country house of her vanished fiance. On the other hand, the plot was entirely predictable, not just as to whodunit and why the fiance had felt the need to leave, but every turn of the story was predictable.

Ms. Dean writes well, and she makes clever use of ex...more
This was an entertaining historical fiction murder mystery. The main character, Ms. Dido Kent, is a "spinster" with a bright mind and a clever wit. She is called upon by her many relatives to help out with various problems, and has a tendency to get to the truth of the matter, sometimes whether the people around her want her to or not. The tone of the book is very fun, with a lot of victorian sarcasm poking fun of the times in which the characters live and back-handed insults and comments to som...more
Miss Dido Kent is 28 and unmarried and hence heading towards spinsterhood. Her beloved niece Catherine sends her word that Catherine's new fiance, Richard Montague, has upset her. Dido rushes to her niece's help to Bellfield Hall, home of the Montague family. She discovers that Richard has secretly broken off the engagement without any proper reason and since then disappeared. Then, a dead body of a woman is discovered in the garden. Are these incidences related? Dido wants to find out.

Given my...more
(3.5 stars) This is the first book in the Dido Kent Mystery series. Dido has been summoned to her niece's side when something goes amiss at her engagement party at the country estate of her fiance's family. Apparently, after seeing a man at the party, Richard broke off the engagement and ran off. His family claims that the engagement is still on and that Richard's leaving is not a big deal. Dido begins to delve in, making friends with the servants and observing that all is not right with the fam...more
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Anna Dean was born in Cumberland (now part of Cumbria) in England in 1956. She moved to the Midlands as a child but as she grew older she became determined to return to the Lake District and, after a few years living in Wales, she moved back to Cumbria in 1984. She lives near Ambleside with her husband.

Dean has worked as an assistant to a psychologist; she has worked for the National Trust; she ha...more
More about Anna Dean...
A Gentleman of Fortune (A Dido Kent Mystery #2) A Woman of Consequence (A Dido Kent Mystery, #3) A Place of Confinement (A Dido Kent Mystery, #4) A Moment of Silence

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“It was, of course, a great failure in a woman's life - to never have achieved even a doomed and unsuccessful love. But she was not quite sure whether she had failed or not.

When she was young there had been moments, of course. But those moments had never amounted to much more than a little fever of admiration - a little flutter and agitation in a ballroom - so slight a feeling that the cautious Dido had never considered it a secure foundation for a lifetime of living together. And then, sooner or later, she had always made and odd remark, or laughed at the wrong moment, and the young men became alarmed or angry - and the flutter and the agitation all turned to irritation.

Dido could laugh and gossip about love as well as any woman but, deep down, she suspected that she had not the knack of falling into it.”
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