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The Daughters of Gentlemen (Frances Doughty #2)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  145 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The second book in the series of Victorian murder mysteries set in London, with a clever and determined female sleuth

Frances Doughty is a young sleuth on her first professional case, trying to discover who distributed dangerously feminist pamphlets to the girls of the Bayswater Academy for the Education of Young Ladies. Armed with only her wits, courage, and determination,
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by The History Press
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May 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Where I got the book: review copy provided by the Historical Novel Society. This review first appeared on the HNS website.

The strength, and possibly also the weakness, of this Victorian mystery lies in its intricate plotting. From the unpromising start of a minor puzzle involving the distribution of anti-marriage pamphlets in a private girls’ school, The Daughters of Gentlemen evolves into a complex tale of murder, blackmail, adultery and deception.

This second novel in the Frances Doughty myster
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of mysteries set in the 19th century, I enjoyed rejoining chemist's assistant turned private detective Frances Doughty for the second in this series. The book follows straight on from the first story, so I was glad to have read it recently.

The intriguing plot centres on a small private school for the "daughters of gentlemen". Frances is called in to investigate who delivered a leaflet to the school urging the girls not to marry. But the apparently minor inquiry soon leads her into a dea
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This novel is the second Victorian mystery by Linda Stratmann featuring Miss Frances Doughty, a nineteen-year-old gentlewoman with no pretensions of beauty, no family and limited means. Frances is asked to discover who and why disturbing pamphlets appeared in the desks of twelve schoolgirl. A disappointed bride? A strategy to instil scandal for a political appointee whose daughters attend the school? Or simply a malicious prank?

At first Frances' inquiries into takes her nowhere- until someone wh
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crimethriller
Took a while to get into, mainly because I can't seem to connect with Frances. The plot is complicated, and the mystery is unusual and I will persevere in the hopes that Frances grows on me.
Sharon Bolton
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
“You are the daughters of gentlemen, and this is not the kind of behavior your parents expect of you.”

If Jane Austen had lived a few decades longer, and spent her twilight years writing detective stories, they might have read something like this one. From the opening chapter of Linda Stratmann’s second Frances Doughty mystery, there is something very Austenesque about the quiet, clever writing, the subtle humour and the measured pace in which what appears to be a comedy of manners, sparked by an
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Frances Doughty has been asked to look into the distribution of a pamphlet at a school for girls encouraging young women not to marry. Such literature is not considered to be a good influence on the daughters of gentlemen who attend the school.

When the maidservant, who has a somewhat shady past, goes missing Frances finds herself involved in what turns out to be a murder enquiry. She is also finding her fame is spreading and she is being asked to undertake more work that she can possibly manage
May 25, 2012 marked it as to-read
In the London of 1880, Frances Doughty is a young sleuth on her first professional case, trying to discover who distributed dangerously feminist pamphlets to the girls of the Bayswater Academy for the Education of Young Ladies. Armed with only her wits, courage and determination, she finds that even the most respectable denizens of Bayswater have something to hide, and what begins as a simple task soon becomes a case of murder.

As election fever erupts and the formidable ladies of the Bayswater W
Mary  (Biblophile)
I found this historical mystery to be very slow and overly detailed. Frances Doughty and her maid Sarah are called in to investigate the finding of anti-marriage material at a prestigious school for girls. A very large cast of characters float in and out along with several other mysteries that are eventually tied to her original investigation. It wasn't until the last part of the book that the plot began to gel, the pacing increased, and my interest picked up. A tighter hand at editing some of t ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I like the series but there is something about the author's writing style that makes it difficulty to get through quickly. The premise, inflammatory pamphlets marriage being passed around a girls' school, is unique. Once again, there is a story within a story element. Yet there is something stilted about the flow of the story. Perhaps too many characters that are not distinct from one another. The author gives limited description, which is helpful in a mystery in order to create a visual. Still ...more
Sep 01, 2016 rated it it was ok

A female detective in Victorian England. A girls' school, a suffragette meeting.
There was so much potential but I found it rather slow-going. Perhaps it's the formal language used to give it an archaic feel. Here's an example; "Her fingers, slim as a spider's legs, moved nimbly as she worked a delicate blue and white scalloped edging around a dainty handkerchief."
The last third of the book is much better with the plot moving quickly and the loose ends coming together. All of the details do come
Sep 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Victorian psychological crime novel, with a great female protagonist and a cast of brilliantly drawn characters. Have never read a novel with quite so many parallel threads as this one & at one point my head was spinning with them, but all credit to Linda Stratmann for keeping all the plates balanced in the air beautifully and pulling all the threads together at the end. Couldn't put it down.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it liked it
A very good effort. I enjoy the sly, somewhat understated humor the author employs. She also shows a good plot sense. Her heroine, Miss Frances, continues to grow, asserting her independence more each day. She has every right to be botter, but she has chosen to grow and use her talents regardless. I like her.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Although I did enjoy it, I preferred the first in the series. An interesting plot and good historical detail but I found the number of characters confusing especially as, due to marriages, several of them were known by multiple names.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really like this series. Historically accurate, packed with interesting details and good page turning mystery. As ever a little slow to start establishing place and characters ( but I like that it gives me a handle on who's who) but from about 1/3 in it starts to race away.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another great read. I particularly like how the author gives a real feel for what life was in 1880 in London, weaving real events such as the election and suffragette movement with her fiction. Her heroine, Frances, is particularly great and believable as a character.
Why am I such a sucker for this simple formula: historical fiction + mystery + female detective? And given how many I have found, I am far from the only one
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Very enjoyable historical mystery I shall enjoy the series.
For a while, I thought this was going to be one of those books where the 'detective' stumbles around blindly for 300 pages until they stumble across the solution. Fortunately it got better.
Suzie Grogan
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed the clever and well maintained plot, the feisty and interesting heroine and the Bayswater detail. Bravo!
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another good entry although there was so much going on in terms of murder and mayhem, it was difficult to keep it all straight
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: miscellaneous
Unlike the first book in this series, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Her writing style reminds me of Jane Austin. Was surprised at the ending.
rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2015
Jade Atkins
rated it it was ok
Dec 29, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2012
rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2017
rated it liked it
Jul 10, 2014
John Bainbridge
rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2016
Sarah Roberts
rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2017
Brittany Wouters
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Mar 26, 2016
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Mar 02, 2015
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Linda Stratmann is a British writer of historical true crime, biography and crime fiction.
More about Linda Stratmann...

Other Books in the Series

Frances Doughty (7 books)
  • The Poisonous Seed (Frances Doughty, #1)
  • A Case of Doubtful Death  (Frances Doughty #3)
  • An Appetite for Murder (Frances Doughty #4)
  • The Children of Silence (Frances Doughty #5)
  • Death in Bayswater (Frances Doughty #6)
  • A True and Faithful Brother (Frances Doughty #7)