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A Lack of Temperance (Hattie Davish Mystery #1)

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  68 reviews
From Anna Loan-Wilsey comes the first installment of a new historical mystery series featuring Hattie Davish, a traveling secretary who arrives in a small Ozark town only to discover her new employer has disappeared. . .

On the eve of the heated presidential election of 1892, Miss Hattie Davish arrives in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a scenic resort town where those without th
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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One of the best aspects of reading for me is the introduction to new places and historical connections. Anna Loan-Wilsey in her debut novel has given me both. I admit that I wasn't overly excited with the setting being in Arkansas, as I didn't think I would be that interested in it, but Eureka Springs was fascinating. That should teach me to make unsubstantiated locale judgements. I found myself getting up out of bed the night I started reading it and using the computer to look up the area to be ...more
With its picturesque setting, lively historical time period, and personality-filled cast of characters this cozy mystery is just as fun as it sounds. A Lack of Temperance is the first book in a series featuring botany-loving Hattie Davis who works as traveling secretary--which is a superb occupation to give a character for at least three reasons. Going from place to place to earn her own living means Hattie is forced to be more independent and resourceful than many of her 1892 peers, it’s a job ...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: It was chaos.

It's 1892. Self-described typewriter Hattie Davish has been paid to work for a Mrs. Edwina Trevelyan of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. She boards the train in Kansas City, and when she arrives in the resort town, the very first thing she sees is the American Women's Temperance Coalition (AWTC) trying their best to demolish a saloon. By the time she gets to the Arcadia Hotel, Hattie has learned that Mrs. Trevelyan is the president of the AWTC.

After a short battle of wills with
Jan Blazanin
A LACK OF TEMPERANCE, the first novel in a planned series, is a well-plotted historical mystery set in 1892. Hattie Davish is a traveling secretary whose sponsor sends her on assignment to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, to be personal secretary to Mother Trevelyan who is the leader of the Temperance Society. Hattie never has a chance to meet her employer because she mysteriously disappears after storming a saloon with a hatchet. When Mother Trevelyan's body is literally uncovered, Hattie becomes invo ...more
A Lack of Temperance is the first installment of a new historical mystery series featuring Hattie Davish, a travelling secretary who arrives by coach in a small Ozark town named Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It is the eve of the heated presidential election of 1892 and also the vote on temperance. A group of women have sojourned to Eureka to attend the American Women's Temperance Coalition. They wear blue and carry axes which the leader, Mrs. Trevelyan, is busy using on a saloon when Hattie arrives. ...more
Hattie Davish arrives on the train from Kansas City to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, eager to start her new assignment as personal secretary to Mrs. Trevelyan. Hattie is shocked to learn “Mother Trevelyan” is the leader of a woman’s temperance movement and isn’t afraid to express her strong views against liquor by taking an ax or setting fire to local saloons. Hattie never gets the opportunity to meet her new employer, because Mother Trevelyan is missing and later discovered to have been murdered. H ...more
The setting of the story, Eureka Springs, Ark. is wonderful. I had visited there for a flying one day stop several years back. Missed so much. Now I want to go back and really explore the place.
The book features Hattie Davish, a "typewriter" (secretary) in the 1890's who is hired by the head of a temperance organization having its convention in Eureka Springs. Soon there is dead body and Hattie is right in the middle of it assisted by the local doctor, and by two busy body elderly sisters, Lucy
This is a fun, light-hearted mystery with historical characters that give it a sense of the past. Easy to read, you could knock this off in an afternoon. I'm hoping the author continues to develop her character and that we will see more like this in the future. I'm one of those people who follow an author's characters down through the series - if I like the book. I'd recommend this book to all who like a diversion from everyday stress.
This is the first in the Hattie Davish series, which takes place in the early part of the 20th century. Hattie is a typewriter, and as such, she finds employment with people who need manuscripts typed or general secretarial work. In A Lack of Temperance we meet the women of a temperance group who are attempting to remove saloons from a small town in Arkansas. Anna Loan-Wilsey has a wonderful way of teaching her readers all about a subject while simultaneously involving us in solving a murder or ...more
I adore the whole Hattie Davish series, even though I started with book 3 and worked backwards, I enjoyed each one. I have just completed A Lack of Temperance and as each book is a stand-alone mystery, it didn't matter that it was the first in the series. You will fall in love with Hattie Davish who somehow manages to get herself involved in solving murders and I enjoy following her techniques even though she sometimes gets herself in trouble. You will love this series, no matter in what order y ...more
I absolutely LOVED this book. I picked this book b/c it takes place in Eureka Springs, AR, which is near (literally) and dear to my heart.

Miss Hattie Davish is delightful. I adore her.

Miss Davish is called to work as a secretary for Mother Treveleyan, the leader of the temperance movement (and based on Carrie Nation, I'm certain). Before Hattie has even met her new employer face to face, it seems Mother Treveleyan has gone missing.
Hattie becomes invested in solving the mystery behind her disa
Diana Leigh
A LACK OF TEMPERANCE was a delightful read, and I'm not just saying that because I adore Eureka Springs. :) I love Hattie Davish as the amateur sleuth in this historical mystery. She is a savvy Victorian career woman working as a secretary to some very important and influential people.

In November of 1892, Hattie's work takes her to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a resort town famous for its healing mineral springs. It's also the meeting place for the American Women's Temperance Coalition, a group pas
The Baking Bookworm
For more of my book reviews please visit my blog, The Baking Bookworm (

My Thoughts: I really enjoy historical mysteries when I can learn a bit about history while enjoying an entertaining 'who dunnit'. Kind of a two for one deal, if you will. A little knowledge wrapped up into a nice, cozy mystery. Well, this book fits the bill.
I'm a little embarrassed to say that I have pretty much no knowledge of the temperance movement in the late 1900's. When I say 'pretty much
Sharon Aguanno
This is a well written mystery... I love the idea of a traveling secretary... It just opens up Lots of possibilities for Hattie to experience different towns and personalities.... Not to mention murder... The story moved along nicely and described the many characters in enough detail to imagine what they were like... There were certainly plenty of suspects making the real murderer a surprise near the end... I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series...
Hattie Davish arrives at her new job as a secretary to an older woman. But whe she get there, she finds that her employer is missing and she's right in the middle of a storm over temperance. Her employer is the presidents of a large protest organization and they're hosting a rally that week. But her new boss turns up dead and the police haven't got much to go on. Hattie better figure out what's going on before she become a victim herself.

I liked this series debut. The setting, Arkansas in the la
Linda C
Hattie Davish is a secretary (typewriter) in 1892, who has been hired by Mother Edwina Trevelyan, President of the American Women's Temperance Coalition. Before Hattie is even introduced to the lady she is murdered and Hattie begins investigating. With the help of a local doctor, Walter Grice she looks into the whereabouts of several of the ladies attending their convention and a couple of men who may be being blackmailed by the victim. There are several interesting secondary characters and Hatt ...more
Delightfully Unexpected

I would probably not picked up this mystery if it had not been my book club's selection. Historical cozies aren't my typical sub-genre. I am glad I did though! Hattie Davish is an interesting heroine. The cast of characters that will no doubt be part of future books is eccentric without being silly. Quite a delightful mystery series!
Meg Mims
I really admired the premise of this mystery series, featuring traveling secretary Hattie Davish. She's definitely smart and willing to put herself in danger to scout out the killer of her new employer, a suffragette leader. The mystery was well done, and Loan-Wilsey kept me turning the pages! Looking forward to reading the second book and see where Hattie ends up next.
Hattie Davish is a travelling secretary who's been sent to work for the leader of a women's temperance group. The leader goes missing before Hattie even has a chance to meet her and she's thrust into the mystery of what happened. All in all an excellent beginning although we're left with so many questions about Hattie's back story. Hoping more is revealed soon!
I really enjoyed this historical mystery. I liked the character of Hattie Davish. The storyline caught and held my interest, and I liked the Ozark Mountains are setting. I thought this was a great beginning to a new series, and I look forward to reading more about Hattie.

Hattie Davish arrives in the Ozarks to find that her new employer is the leader of a women's temperance movement which is causing chaos in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. When Hattie's new employer is murdered, Hattie investigates to
Great first novel with a very intriguing mystery that definitely kept me entertained! This is what I would classify as the "cozy" mystery but make no mistake, there is action enough to keep you interested and wondering who is behind the shenanigans. Well done!
Candace Davidson
This book takes place in the late 1800's. This is different than the cozy mysteries I normally read. It was a nice change. The author did a great job describing the scenes, it made you feel you were back in those days.
I enjoyed learning about the temperance movement in the midst of a mystery. The mystery was well written and the women in the story were complex.
Interesting mystery, set in the days before prohibition. Most of the characters were involved in the Women's Christian Temperance Union.
Eleanor Kuhns
Charming. I learned a lot about the temperance movement and I have to say I would probably have been a lady in a blue sash. I will read others by this author.
Hattie is a typewriter girl and has a new job for the president of a temperance league. Hattie arrives in Eureka Springs and gets busy organizing the mail and typing responses while waiting to meet her new employer. The next day, Hattie enjoys a hike near the springs and spends the rest of the day doing more typing and looking for her missing boss. Hattie earlier the next day does find her missing boss but it is not pretty.

A mystery in history, when women were trying to get others to accept tem
I liked this book. The historical aspect of it was fascinating to me. I loved that she was a typist and traveled with her job to new locations . There was also enough hints of other scenarios and acquaintances that would provide interest in other books. Criticism would be that the character development wasn't the best. Some of the attempt at emotions felt wooden and lacked the right amount of explanation. The main character also made a lot of lists and insisted that she was organized, but some o ...more
Mike  Davis
This mystery held some additional interest for me because I'm familiar with the location of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, though it didn't play much of a factor in the overall story. The thread unravels gradually and ended with a bit more complexity than I expected from early pages. Although there is nothing ground-breaking with most mystery novels these days, this was a well written book and a fine mystery, especially for a debut author. I suspect we'll see more from this author.

This was an early r
Private secretary Hattie Davish is hired, sight unseen, to work for the leader of the American Women's Temperance Coalition, Mother Trevelyan. The AWTC is meeting in Eureka Springs, AK and ardent plant collector Hattie is glad for the chance to see new flora. But her employer seems to be missing, and the police think she's fled after setting a local tavern on fire. There's a handsome doctor who takes more than a professional interest in Hattie on hand, and a number of AWTC members who are jockey ...more
Christine Roberts
This book was my first foray into the "Historical Mystery" genre, and I enjoyed myself a great deal. Hattie Davish is spunky and modern, reminding the reader of Jo March or Anne Shirley. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of five, is that there was a little too much drawing out of the introductory part of the book, the first fifty pages or so had me thinking I wasn't going to enjoy it. I'm glad I stuck it out, I'll be looking for the next book in the Hattie Davish series at my loca ...more
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As a biologist and a librarian, Anna Loan-Wilsey tracked down mysteries every day. Now as the bestselling author of the historical, cozy Hattie Davish Mysteries Series, she enjoys creating them. Anna combines her love of history and travel by sending her crime-solving Victorian private secretary to a different historic town in each book: A Lack of Temperance,an Amazon #1 Historical Mystery bestsel ...more
More about Anna Loan-Wilsey...

Other Books in the Series

Hattie Davish Mystery (4 books)
  • Anything but Civil (Hattie Davish Mystery, #2)
  • A Sense of Entitlement (Hattie Davish Mystery, #3)
  • A Deceptive Homecoming (Hattie Davish Mystery, #4)
Anything but Civil (Hattie Davish Mystery, #2) A Sense of Entitlement (Hattie Davish Mystery, #3) A Deceptive Homecoming (Hattie Davish Mystery, #4)

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