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Dido's Crown

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Set in Tunisia and France in 1935, Dido's Crown is a taut historical thriller influenced by Indiana Jones, The Thin Man, and John le Carré.

Mary Wilson MacPherson has always been adept at putting the past behind her: her father's death, her sister's disappearance, and her complicated relationship with childhood friends Tom and Will. But that all changes when, traveling to N
Paperback, 340 pages
Published September 29th 2016
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I read Rose's previous novel, Oleanna, about four years ago, and I still think about it. So it probably goes without saying that I've been on pins and needles for her next release.

This book couldn't be any more different than Oleanna, but it's just as enjoyable.  The elements in Oleanna that I loved are present in Dido's Crown: a strong sense of place, wonderfully deep relationships between the characters, and a heroine who is both classically "strong" and also delightfully human. (She realizes
Dido's Crown, the latest historical novel from Julie K. Rose, is an action-packed historical tale set primarily in mid-1930s Tunisia. The tale centres around the quest for a mysterious package purchased by a British academic that is also sought by British and German intelligence services. While the narrative is told from the perspective of several key characters, it is Mary MacPherson, wife of the British academic, who features most prominently. After attempting to pick up the mysterious package ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
4.5 stars. In "Dido's Crown," Mary is good at running. When she comes across a mysterious package and becomes embroiled in a chase, she realizes that she can't run from her problems and sometimes confronting them is the only way! Buoyed by two friends from school, Tom and Will, Mary will put together the pieces of a mystery that had me on the edge of my seat.

Julie K. Rose knows how to spin a good story! One way to describe this book is that it felt very movie-esque to me. It feels like a old bla
Mary MacPherson arrives at a party in Tunisia to retrieve a package for her husband. At the party, she is reunited with her two best friends, Will and Tom, who also want to know the package’s contents. Soon Mary, Tom, and Will find themselves amidst a dangerous conspiracy that could threaten both Britain and Tunisia. Mary and her three friends are determined to unravel the mystery of the package.

I really did not like Mary as the protagonist. I felt the author tried too hard to make her a stron
Anna Graham
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Action and intrigue meet head on in Julie K. Rose's third novel, Dido's Crown. Set in 1935 Tunisia, this story cleverly blends adventure, history, and family drama, leaving this reader turning page after page to find out what happens next. But like in any Julie Rose novel, there's a desire to savor each paragraph for the extensive attention to detail. Tunisia is vividly brought to life, sights and scents sending me back nearly one hundred years. I was captured both by the plot's mystery and wher ...more
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Another absolute stunner by Julie Rose. I have loved her other two books and this one was another wonderful read. As with her other books, the setting is almost a character unto itself. I actually felt I was was there with Mary having all of her adventures. This book starts off at a quick pace and never lets up. Highly recommended!
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. It was signed by the author.

I found the book to be ok, but nothing overly special. The story is billed as a female Indiana Jones influenced by "The Thin Man, and John le Carré." I haven't read The Thin Man or much of le Carré, but this book definitely wasn't Indiana Jones.

The story follows Mary Wilson MacPherson, an upperclass partier and history lecturer/antique hunter who is the somewhat estranged wife of another historian/antiques hunter. We meet
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Dido's Crown reads more like a screenplay than a novel: the characters are richly drawn, the landscapes vivid, dramatic, and well-researched, the dialogue is smart and snappy, and the plot chock full of twists and surprises. One can easily imagine Mary Wilson MacPherson and Frank Collins cast by Hepburn and Tracy, or in a more modern rendition perhaps, Kristen Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes, or even the spunky Daisy Ridley and Tom Hiddleston. Rose's ability to evoke scenes is simply that good, a ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
Dido's Crown starts off at a run and keeps gaining speed until it's climactic ending. In the uncertain political climate of 1935 as Hitler begins his ascent to power a mysterious package sparks an international game of cat and mouse. Only, in this case, we can never be sure who is the cat and who is the mouse. Mary MacPherson becomes an unwitting player as she travels to Tunisia at the behest of her husband, to whom she is unhappily married. As the mission he assigns her goes awry, Mary is reuni ...more
Megan Fisher
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I was drawn into Rose's world so quickly. The mood and scenery were so clearly painted in my mind. I could feel the heat of the sun on my face and smell the jasmine in the air.

The intrigue had my mind racing. I was left hanging and wondering what was happening and who I could trust the entire time. The execution was so skilled that the author even had me questioning the motives of some of the main characters at times! I just really felt pulled in and each of the
Jackie Rogers
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a spy novel taking place in and around 1935 and in Tunisia. Is about Mary MacPherson and her family and friends. Made me laugh and made me cry. Made me want to kill. Such is the material of a well written book. Has adventures, mayhem, and killing. Will read this author again. Thanks to Goodreads.
Agnes Marshall
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It was interesting and also intriguing. The Glossary and the Author's Notes helped make it easier to relate to the language and the place of this story in history. ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book; well-drawn characters, exotic setting, compelling plot.
Frankie J. Greer
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
V.E. Ulett
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Set between the two world wars, Dido’s Crown is a literary thriller with a fine ensemble cast. Mary is in Tunisia for the Grand Prix, and to distance herself from a husband whose character she’s begun to suspect. Coerced into collecting a package while in North Africa, Mary lands in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy and is reunited with two friends from the past. The charming duo of Will Simpson and Tom Harris, once assistants to Mary’s professor father, have their own intrigues and interests ...more
Linda Ulleseit
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. This is a thrilling mystery set in Tunisia, a part of the world I don't know much about. I felt like I was there in the country, as well as in the time period, in this book. The characters have been friends since childhood who have drifted apart in adulthood as childhood friends do. The reader gets a true sense of their complicated bond--underneath the baggage and the current mess they truly love each other. ...more
Disclaimer: As stated in my GR profile, my personal rule is to rate, but not comment on a book if I know (or have ever known) the author. Most of my friends know I have this crazy ethical quirk on the topic. They're either OK with it or they know me well enough to know I'm just going to dig my heels in if challenged on it. Also, given Amazon's review guidelines, which would be logical to assume are now shared by Goodreads, I'm not going to risk throwing a good book under the bus.

So, yes, I know
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: The author is a friend of mine. However she did not ask me to read her book, nor did I receive a review copy

I very much enjoyed this book - I read it on a long plane journey and it kept me turning the pages to find out what happened next. It's a great blend of fairly pacy plot with convincing character development, and as the book goes on we get to understand more about the 3 main protagonists and how their friendship has developed over the years. The real star for me though was Juli
Joan Mettauer
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
I found this work of historical fiction quite hard to read, and in fact I'm sorry to report that I had to skim quite a lot of it out of sheer boredom. The author, while quite evidently knowing her history, has overused the 'show, don't tell' secret to good writing! Descriptive adjectives are used to the extreme - likewise with descriptions of setting/scene. I'm truly sorry, but I just didn't enjoy it. I won this book on Good Reads Giveaways. ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. My expectations were not that high, but it was a fun ride. Often while reading I felt like I was in an Agatha Christie book- other than including some more adult themes/language occasionally that Christie would not have used, it felt authentic. I can't say I am an expert or anything, simply a book lover who has read many mysteries/adventure/spy thrillers from that era. I feel that Julie K. Rose really captured the essence of that genre and time period. ...more
Dianna Rostad
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brave and sassy young woman gets drawn into an epic tangle of international spies in pre WWII Tunisia. Having no understanding of the times and politics in this place and period, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dido's Crown for all the texture she applied to this world. (I am now craving Harissa) The characters are lovingly unforgettable. A must read for those who appreciate history and spy thrillers! ...more
Robert Nelson
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love espionage thrillers and this was a terrific read...great characters, snappy dialogue and "keep 'em guessing" plot. ...more
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Julie K. Rose is an author of historical fiction, fascinated by stories and settings slightly off the beaten track. From 12th century Burgundy in The Pilgrim Glass, to early 20th century Norway in Oleanna, to 1930s Tunisia in Dido's Crown, she has a deep love for history and a terrible case of wanderlust. Her love of language, history, and art history led her to degrees in Humanities and English – ...more

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