As another reviewer stated, the book started off strong and then dissolved into a literary comparison/social studies/thesis-dissertation which sort ofAs another reviewer stated, the book started off strong and then dissolved into a literary comparison/social studies/thesis-dissertation which sort of leaves the reader wondering what happened to the "murder" portion of the book (that is dealt with fairly perfunctorily at the beginning). At times while reading I began to feel as though I were sitting through one of my less engaging lit classes (and I almost always enjoyed lit classes).
At the end of the day, if you are interested in reading this book for the murder, read the first couple chapters and you'll be done, no need to progress into the world of here-say, historical-fiction, and morality discussions that resulted because of it. Unfortunately, but as to be expected, there is no new information regarding the motives of the murder or just how culpable Martha Ray herself was in her own murder.
There is a wealth of information regarding the Georgian period however, so that helped me give it an extra star....more
Towards the end I couldn't stop thinking how this must be the equivalent of the penny-dreadfuls of yore. There were simply far too many small detailsTowards the end I couldn't stop thinking how this must be the equivalent of the penny-dreadfuls of yore. There were simply far too many small details that bothered me to the point of distraction. Why wasn't the daughter of an Earl EVER IN MOURNING DRESS (not to mention respecting mourning periods)? I'm no expert on this particular time period but I couldn't help but feel that their attitudes towards the "colonialist" in their midst (what with the American Revolutionary War going on and all) was a little blase, not to mention the fact that I felt the Earl and his family (Earls only below Dukes and Marquess in terms of ranking) were very familiar with servants and others of low birth--one just wouldn't mix. England ought to be hyperventilating over the colonial war for multiple reasons as it leads (in its own way) to the French revolution and the last thing the nobility wants is the people revolting and there should've been far more characters swinging at Tyburn. Don't get me started on her Irish husband.
The mystery, if we can call it such, did a little bit of twisting but in the predictable way that made it less interesting and instead left me sighing, rolling my eyes and wishing the author would get on with it so I could finish the book, put it down and never pick it up again....more
Bland, I think, would be the best description for this. It had all the ingredients to make an interesting read but it just didn't deliver. Part of theBland, I think, would be the best description for this. It had all the ingredients to make an interesting read but it just didn't deliver. Part of the problem, I feel, was the lack of character development--I simply didn't feel anything towards them, couldn't get a true sense of the character beyond what I was informed by the narrator and even then, the characters remained fairly one dimensional card board cutouts. Rather than being shown or immersed into the story, I was merely told a series of facts, like bullet points or some outlined draft. Overall, very disappointed as I had been looking forward to reading a Georgian-era murder mystery....more
While this wasn't entirely what I expected it was still interesting enough. Rather than ghost stories this read more like a catalog of haunted houses,While this wasn't entirely what I expected it was still interesting enough. Rather than ghost stories this read more like a catalog of haunted houses, ghost sitings, house "lucks", family curses and so on written by a Victorian/Edwardian skeptic. Which I suppose it was, really, though I'm almost inclined to treat this as a travel guide of stately homes that I might potentially visit if they are open to the public or now in the hands of the National Trust. Not recommended for those looking for a ghost story or chilling tale of dark, stormy nights and mysterious scratching at the door. ...more