**spoiler alert** Wow. What a confusing and conflicting read. Guess that's what happens when there are few known facts about a famous author and her f...more**spoiler alert** Wow. What a confusing and conflicting read. Guess that's what happens when there are few known facts about a famous author and her family. Subsequent authors can conjecture anything they want with the facts they have on hand.
I'm not as disturbed by the conjecture that the author was murdered - supposedly, high levels of arsenic were found in her hair, preserved in memorial jewelry, that lead one to think she was deliberately poisoned. I have no idea if this is true or not. Never heard of this "theory" before.
I'm more disturbed by the portrait of her brother, Henry. In another fictional book, actually a series of mystery books, involving Jane Austen as an amateur detective, Henry is very engaging and likable. Here is is awful and very hard to believe. Not that bad things happen in families and why should the Austen family be immune. But really; having affairs and impregnating two of your sister-in-laws!!! It's just too much for me.
Henry is not Jane's killer, though she is sensitive enough and perceptive enough to caught on to Henry's deceits. (Deceits is a bit mild for what Henry has done; if he actually has did this.) No, another "family" member is to blame for Jane's untimely death.
I don't mean to down play the insinuation that Jane's death is the result of murder. That is really an amazing result to consider and embrace. It's almost fanciful in a way. From what little we truly know of Jane Austen, can she have really provoked and goaded someone enough to kill her? Doesn't seem really a likely outcome.
I'm still digesting this all. I really don't know what to think. (less)
These books are just so political and full of socio-economic issues. I can't keep up at times and frankly am not interested in keep up. I read books t...moreThese books are just so political and full of socio-economic issues. I can't keep up at times and frankly am not interested in keep up. I read books to relax and escape from my socio-economic issues. I don't want to get immersed in other issues.
However, I really have come to like Aimee Leduc and her partner Rene. Its these characters that make me come back, despite my dislike of the political tone of the books. In this book the political issues seems to recede to the background, as Aimee and Rene become entranced and engrossed in a weeks old infant left on her doorstep for safe keeping. Its a very new side to Aimee I would not have suspected from the previous books. A nice and very pleasant surprise. (less)
Love the lead character. I think this is why I have such a hard time not coming back. The political and sociological focus of the series leaves me con...moreLove the lead character. I think this is why I have such a hard time not coming back. The political and sociological focus of the series leaves me confused and befuddled. I find it to hard to follow all the political and sociological aspects of the story, while also trying to keep up with the mystery. It's just too, too much for me.
Yet, I can't help myself. I keep coming back. I just love Aimee, her business partner (and possibly something more; at least on his end)Renee and her godfather and best friend. They are a family I like and admire; though I'm having a hard time with the other aspects of the series. (less)
I don't think I can say any thing much different or more than I've said before about this series.
However, there is new pain for the tortured hero of t...moreI don't think I can say any thing much different or more than I've said before about this series.
However, there is new pain for the tortured hero of the series. He is so consumed by trying to recover from the horrors he experienced in WWI. He is trying to hold onto his sanity and get back to normal; which basically seems out of reach from time to time. His work as an inspector for Scotland yard appears to anchor him and give him a base to heal and grow from; though sometimes the particular case may actually make things worse.
Now, he finally seems to acknowledge and accept that he is in love with an acquaintance he met several books ago. His guilt over the killing of a soldier for insubordination has really put a road block - a massive wall, actually - in his healing and recovery. Hamish talks to Ian Rutledge in his head(mind) and is so real, Rutledge sometimes has trouble realizing he is not a physical being (actually sitting in the back seat of his car, so others can't get in) and no one else can hear Hamish.
He suspects, however, that Meredith Channing intuitively connects and understand more of what is going in with him than most people do; even his own sister. Her feelings for Rutledge are a bit hard to read in previous book, but it is clear in this book that she has growing feeling for Ian, as he does for her. Unfortunately, there's a big monkey wrench revealed (that I won't go into) and it's not even clear if Meredith will be around in future books.
This was a surprise, but not actually as disappointing as some of the unresolved endings the author has throw before. In fact, I think I'm heartened that Ian is actually allowing himself to feel something other than guilt. This makes me want more - much more. What a satisfying hero and series. (less)
I must admit, I'm addicted to this series. I am compelled to go on, even thought this one was less satisfying than the others. Inspector Rutledge is a...moreI must admit, I'm addicted to this series. I am compelled to go on, even thought this one was less satisfying than the others. Inspector Rutledge is a hero, a tortured hero, its true, but one you just have to love and admire. Well, at least that's my opinion.
He seemed more fallible in this book. He didn't seem on top of his game in investigating this latest murder he's been assigned to solve. That made this less satisfying to me. He seemed more in tune, more careful, more intelligent in previous books to instead fall for very convincing circumstantial evidence as he seems to in this book. However, that only adds to his appeal for me.
This man is fighting demons from his time as a soldier and leader in WWI. Despite this, he seems to be able to intelligently and diligently investigate the murders he gets assigned to as a Scotland Yard detective; even though his superior is out to get him and assigns him cases involving nobility or famous people which if he fails or bungles, will kill his career. So far, he perseveres; though in this particular book, he really seems a good bit off his game and gets caught up in hunting the murderer based on circumstance, rather than his more methodical, careful and intellectually considerate approach.
Despite a mild sense of disappoint in this particular book, I will go on to read the rest. I'm too invested in the character, at this point, not to do so. (less)
I just thoroughly enjoy this series. Very strong, interesting characters, good complicated stories, historical references. This is such a treat to rea...moreI just thoroughly enjoy this series. Very strong, interesting characters, good complicated stories, historical references. This is such a treat to read.
I just love the central hero, Sebastian St. Cyr. A man beset with demons and slowing learning his true history, but such an complex, intriguing and attractive hero. All the repeating characters are strong and complex. Just a great series. (less)
This series sounded interesting, so I decided to try it. It's a bit of a weird historical time period, in the sense that the author doesn't concretely...moreThis series sounded interesting, so I decided to try it. It's a bit of a weird historical time period, in the sense that the author doesn't concretely say when it is taking place. It is obviously sometime soon after WWII - the fact of the story confirm this; but exactly how long after WWII is unclear. It's definitely not current time, but that leaves a huge range.
While the time frame is intriguing to me, it doesn't distract from the story. I really enjoyed this. The heroine is a young woman in Paris, that is carrying on the detective agency her father ran. She becomes embroiled in the horror of WWII - the German purification of the Aryan race and the solution for handling those of Jewish orientation. I am still amazed, to this day, after all this time and evidence, that people do not think these atrocities happened. This controversy or denial comes up in this book. I found it interesting and intriguing.
I think this may be a keeper. I definitely will go on to the next to see where this leads. (less)
I really don't like this series as much as I did in the beginning and I think that is entirely due to Charles Lenox change in profession - from talent...moreI really don't like this series as much as I did in the beginning and I think that is entirely due to Charles Lenox change in profession - from talented amateur detective to member of Parliament. It appears Charles is also regretting his choice, some what. However, there is less of Parliament and more of detection of local vandalism and murder in the town near is uncle's home (really his cousin, but older so was known as uncle)in Somerset.
I also like the evolving relationship with his wife and now young daughter. That helps with the tedium of politics. I'm just not into politics. I'm into enjoyable mysteries. (less)
Great!!! After the last two books in this series, which really didn't resolve all the story lines or loose ends, this one has and ending. A bit of a f...moreGreat!!! After the last two books in this series, which really didn't resolve all the story lines or loose ends, this one has and ending. A bit of a flat ending, but an ending. I knew I liked, loved mysteries, since when I started reading them, they usually resolved themselves - a beginning, a middle and an end. I know, old school, traditional, but oh so comforting a read.
That being said, I am so drawn to Inspector Ian Rutledge and the torments he continues to battle after surviving his time of service in WWI. Its his torment, his sense of duty, his sense of guilt, his just sensitivity that keeps me wanting more and wanting to learn more.
In this book, he faces the possibility that he may have sent an innocent man to his grave, before his stint in the war. This is momentous, since he doubts his abilities and skills in his profession since returning from the war. Now, he feels he may never have had the abilities and skills he had before the war, since they are called into question now. What can he count on, in his precarious mental state.
Well, he pulls through. I shouldn't have doubted him. Yes, he is human. He can be wrong, he has his faults. But I have become so fond of him that I am so thrilled he resolved the doubts he has and concludes both mysteries he faces in this book. (less)
I'm truly enjoying this series. However, I really am getting annoyed with the author ending this book and the previous one abruptly (or so it seems to...moreI'm truly enjoying this series. However, I really am getting annoyed with the author ending this book and the previous one abruptly (or so it seems to me), without tying up all the story lines. He even alludes to the open ending of the previous book in this one - but does he provide any more clarification or information? NO! Instead, this one also ends without tying everything up; but with far fewer lose ends than the previous book.
I know I'm one of those people that love mysteries because you usually have a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. They usually tie the story lines up at the end, but not always. I can live with that for the most part. I like things neatly resolved, but I'm not discombobulated if they are not tied up in the end. I like a certain amount of suspense and uncertainty at times.
In this case however, we have a tortured hero to begin with - a Scotland Yard Inspector struggling with demons from his time in service during WWI. Then, when you have his unending struggle while he tries to get back to his life, you end up with story lines that don't resolve. Its just a tad too much for me, as much as I love the novels.
I'll continue - I'm not annoyed or frustrated enough to stop. However, I hope future books will resolve some of the issues or at least start to address some of them. Even a little resolution will go a long way with me.(less)
These are complex and surprisingly enjoyable read. I say surprising because of all the angst and heartache and demons Inspector Rutledge is battling w...moreThese are complex and surprisingly enjoyable read. I say surprising because of all the angst and heartache and demons Inspector Rutledge is battling with after returning form WWI to his former life as a Scotland Yard inspector. Such a tortured man, but such an intelligent one as well. For all his personal troubles, he still has retained the ability to appraise the character of people and have compassion in evaluating the situation and the participants.
Rutledge is tormented in his mind by the voice of a soldier, Hamish McLeod he needed to execute for cowardice. He his tortured by what he needed to do to keep up the moral and courage of the rest of the troop, by having this one man executed; and all for naught in a sense, since just after, they were shelled and the man would have been killed, without Rutledge having to execute him.
Lo and behold, in this book, Rutledge comes face to face with Hamish's fiancee, the accused murderess. What a shock for Rutledge and the man lodged in his head. What an intense story. (less)
Oh, I am enjoying this series so much. Sarah Brandt, a midwife in the late 1800s in New York City, is a daughter of one of the wealthy, original Knick...moreOh, I am enjoying this series so much. Sarah Brandt, a midwife in the late 1800s in New York City, is a daughter of one of the wealthy, original Knickerbocker families (early Dutch settlers). She married outside her class and was estranged from her family for many years; just recently re-approaching and reconciling with them - especially her mother.
When her husband, a doctor, was killed a few years ago, she did not turn to her family for support or to rejoin them until she married, again. Instead, she used her training as a nurse and became a midwife to support herself and stay independent. Her duties as a midwife seem to embroil her in various murders. Whether police sergeant, Frank Malloy, calls her in to use her entree into the high society murders he needs to investigate (and that she is tangentially involved in) or she stumbles upon murder and calls him in - there is a definite love/attraction going on between the two. However, Frank is more often chagrined that he needs to involve her or that she inserts herself into the investigation, to her own peril.
I just love these two characters - both strong, smart, multidimensional people. This has been the lure for me all along. I do think Sarah oversteps bounds many times and if she was less compulsive and less "nosy" she wouldn't find herself confronting a killer who has turned on her. I am so fond of her; so involved in the forbidden love (for the time) between her and Frank, that I forgive her immediately. I just want to read more. (less)
Wow! What and engrossing and engaging series that I am thoroughly enjoying. I’m so, so sad that I’ve just read the last book in the series, thus far....moreWow! What and engrossing and engaging series that I am thoroughly enjoying. I’m so, so sad that I’ve just read the last book in the series, thus far. I want more!!!
A smart, strong nurse, serving in France during WWI is the heroine. This would not typically be an era that would interest me. It’s the lead character and her family that have hooked me and reeled me in – I am caught and just love this series.
The mysteries are complex, though you can follow them, and not at all obvious; at least to me. While Bess Crawford, the nurse, does stick her nose into situations where she probably should not go, she is not overly reckless and often is side-tracked by tending to her actual duties as a nurse. What a concept. What a delight. Bess is a singular character - one that is actually focused on and does her work; instead of neglecting it to investigate the latest mystery.
I hope there is another book in the works. This is too short a series to be dropped now. (less)