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The Secrets of Wishtide

(A Laetitia Rodd Mystery #1)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,336 ratings  ·  795 reviews
Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, aged fifty-two, is the widow of an archdeacon. Living in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Benson, who once let rooms to John Keats, Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator.

Her brother, Frederick Tyson, is a criminal barrister living in the neighboring village of Highgate with his wife and ten children. Frederi
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published October 25th 2016 by Dreamscape Media, LLC (first published July 14th 2016)
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Teresa The second in the series is out. It's called The Case of the Wandering Scholar.…moreThe second in the series is out. It's called The Case of the Wandering Scholar.(less)
Asteropê The bot "onix ingram" added that book and all its data to the GR database. That might have been a older working title of the book. Or a purposed alter…moreThe bot "onix ingram" added that book and all its data to the GR database. That might have been a older working title of the book. Or a purposed alternative title that was axed at the last minute. Or it could have been a confusion with a real book, also published at the time. Either way, the data was incorrect and has been corrected. The bots (Amazon, publisher, etc) can be wrong with titles, covers, etc at times. I've had to correct many of their mistakes. Though some are understandable, especially with pre-publications as the titles and covers are often changing and fluid. Though it was silly when 1 book had its title changed 3 times before publication! LOL. (less)
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The Secrets of Wishtide is an engaging and atmospheric Victorian historical crime story set in 1850. Laetitia (Letty) Rodd is the widow of an archdeacon. She has to work as she has been reduced to living in genteel poverty with her landlady and close companion, Mary Bentley. Mary helps Letty with her cases. Letty is a discreet, level headed, compassionate and intelligent woman. Her brother, Fred Tyson, is a successful criminal barrister and is the source of the cases that she gets. Letty goes to ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I am vacillating between 3 stars and 3.5 stars for The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders.

It was a perfectly pleasant read that got awfully complicated by the end, but it never really grabbed me. I never felt involved, or moved by anything I read, but neither did I ever contemplate not finishing this read.

I liked Laetitia and her landlady, Mrs Benson. Letty's brother Freddy, I blew hot and cold on. I did wonder, with all his money, why he didn't help his sister out a bit more other than by gi
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book brings together a number of my literary loves:

• Victorian England
• Crime and detection
• Literary allusions, and
• A companion to take me through the story.

It’s the kind of recipe that it is easy get very wrong, and so I was delighted to find that Kate Saunders gets it very right.

Laetitia Rodd was the widow of an archdeacon, and, with limited means, she had taken lodgings with Mrs Mary Bentley, and they had become good friends.

She had been offered a home by her brother, Frederick Tyson.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 2018, mystery
This was a very enjoyable Victorian murder mystery in what appears to be a new series. Our sleuth is a middle aged widow, Laetitia Rodd (Letty), living in reduced circumstances whose brother Fred, a barrister pays her to help investigate his cases. His current case involves a wealthy family, the Calderstones whose son Charles wants to marry a woman his parents feel certain has a shady past. Acting as a governess to the Calderstone daughters at Wishtide, Letty soon discovers that both the parents ...more
Bonnie Shores
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Compared to many of my goodreads friends, I'm old. Even so, I have a "thing" for YA paranormal romance. It's my absolute favorite genre and, given a choice, I will always choose it first.

That being said, I've also always had a "thing" for tv shows like Murder She Wrote, Matlock and Perry Mason. I guess I've always been an "old soul". That must be why I absolutely LOVED this book!


Set in Victoria-era England, the story is told by Mrs. Rodd, a widow who is intelligent, intuitive and independent. He
Diane Barnes
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, I happened upon the first book of an excellent Victorian mystery series just weeks after publication, instead of playing catch up when the author gets a head start of several years on me.

Letitia Rodd is the widow of a curate and lives in "reduced circumstances" in a rundown section of London. Her brother is a successful attorney who gets her cases as a discreet investigator for pay to supplement her income. It seems a 52 year old widow dressed in black can go a lot of places and ask a l
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1850, this novel introduces us to Laetitia Rodd a widow who lives in ‘reduced circumstances’ with Mrs Mary Bentley (her previous tenants included Keats). Laetitia Rodd has moved out from her beloved brother, Frederick Tyson’s house. Fred is one of London’s most celebrated criminal barristers, but he is also the father of ten children, with another on the way, and childless, widowed sisters are too often expected to act as nurse or governess for Laetitia’s liking…

One way in which Laetitia
Primrose Jess
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a treat of story wrapped in its pages! I found the characters to be well developed, the story to flow smoothly, and the layers built into the mystery thick enough to leave a surprise at the end. The Secrets of Wishtide is my first introduction to Kate Saunders and her clever heroine, Laetitia Rodd. What a terrific way to be introduced as we delve into the first layer of the mystery set in Victorian England in 1850.

Laetitia (Letty) Rodd, the widow of a beloved archdeacon, has not been lef
Claire Huston
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining, if unremarkable, mystery. 3.5/5 stars.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

This is a mystery/whodunnit set in the Victorian period and narrated in first person by Laetitia Rodd, an unusual cross of Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes (although more Marple than Holmes). When choosing this book I was hoping for an entertaining story with a strong heroine that would be a “break” after the dark psychological thrillers and fantasy novels I’ve been reading recently, and that’
Judy Lesley
I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA.

I absolutely enjoyed this novel from first page to last. I read a lot of historical mysteries and I'm delighted to say that Kate Saunders pleased me in all aspects of this novel. The only thing which would add to my enjoyment was knowing there will be more Laetitia Rodd stories. What a well constructed character she was, old enough to be settled and solid without being stodgy (52) and yet having the intelligence to work out f
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of Laetitia Rodd and her investigation at Wishtide, a great house in the English countryside in 1850. The mystery itself wasn't terribly complex, and I figured out who the bad guy was pretty early on. But I totally enjoyed the time I spent with Laetitia. She's a warm, compassionate woman, who is surprisingly open-minded for a person of 1850, and even chastises herself when thinks she isn't being tolerant enough.

Though she is initially tasked with digging up dirt
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a Victorian mystery fix, I can recommend this one.

This story is likely intended as the "pilot" for a series (although as of months later there's no sign of a sequel). We're dropped into her detecting career "in progress" as it were, since previous cases are referenced. Basically, she's investigator Paul Drake to her criminal attorney brother's Perry Mason. The action begins with Letty acting as governess to a noble family in order to ferret out a blackmailer; that angle is
In her acknowledgements at the end, author Kate Saunders references her love for Victorian novels and Charles Dickens, which are imbedded in “The Secrets of Wishtide.” I might have been better off knowing this at the beginning as I plodded through this book. A dark cloud looms over almost every aspect of the 1850 London and country life she describes. Laetitia Rodd, the fifty-two year old widow of an archdeacon, is the protagonist, now living in greatly “reduced circumstances” as a boarder in th ...more
I’d seen this title around for quite a while and yesterday I finally gave it a go - and I was pleasantly surprised. Saunders puts together a decent historical murder mystery, set in the mid 19th century.

I particularly appreciated her choice of main character, an older woman in her 50s, who recently lost her archdeacon husband, and who sustains herself by being a 'discreet investigator’, under the cover of unsuspecting widowhood. Not only this, Laetitia Rodd has a great relationship with her you
Susan in NC
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a delightful find - you know that wonderful feeling when friends tell you about a book that is right up your alley and you finally get hold of it and it's everything you enjoy and more? Well, this book did that for me - I only hope Kate Saunders is hard at work on Mrs. Todd's next mystery...

Historical mysteries are my favorite genre, and this sounded so appealing - well-researched, well-written, great characters, humor, historical accuracy, a very appealing heroine, exciting pace and grippi
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Laetitia Rodd is a widow with a knack for solving mysteries. Her brother, Fred, is a barrister and calls in Mrs. Rodd for consulting on cases that need a widow to do the dirty work. Adding to the cast of colorful characters is Mrs. Bentley, another widow who once let rooms to poet John Keats; and Inspector Blackbeard, a dour obstinate widower who seems to be set up as a potential romantic interest. So when Mrs. Rodd is hired to investigate the background of a woman known as Mrs. Orme, she d ...more
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is based on an ARC I received from NetGalley. It is an honest review and the advanced receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

Have you ever read David Copperfield by Charles Dickens? If you had and wished for some exploration on the characters or some slight differences in their outcomes then I whole-heartedly suggest you read this tale. If you have never read David Copperfield then no worries, if you like crime, mystery and suspense then I also suggest this book to you.
This cozy, if Victorian London can be cozy prone, stars a new series protagonist detective, Laetitia Rodd. She is a 52 year old widow whose brother is a London lawyer with a large growing family (10 kids and 1 more coming). It holds some intense characterizations. And of course, the avoidance of scandal is usually core to a snooping or travel for inquiry.

In this plot, Mrs. Rodd is undercover as a teenage girls' tutor/companion. But she is not just sitting in morning rooms or back parlors. Event
A perfectly delightful cozy mystery series opener set in Victorian England. Fifty-two year old widow Laetitia Rodd has difficulty making ends meet since her beloved archdeacon husband's death. She does small investigations for her barrister brother, and one such leads her to Wishtide estate to investigate the mysterious fiancee of the heir. She sorts that out, but those revelations lead to particularly gruesome murders--and her new job is to keep the heir, accused of those murders, from the gall ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite enjoyable; a nice period mystery wrapped up in interesting characters. I liked the way Mrs. Rodd was able to use her station in society as a way to learn about suspects in the murder. I enjoyed reading about an intelligent, intuitive sleuth, but I also liked that she made mistakes. Saunders did a great job of making her seem real and flawed. I also enjoyed watching the interactions between the characters—the adult siblings, the troubled marriages, the frustrating sister-in-law, the lovable ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 19th-century
Laetitia Rodd, widow, ekes out a living as a discrete private investigator. Living in reduced circumstances with her landlady, she was never wealthy, having been married to an archdeacon. Her brother is a successful barrister with a lovely wife and many children. Through his connections, Laetitia is approached with a case. She masquerades as a governess to prevent a beloved son of a wealthy family from marrying a woman of lesser status. When things go wrong, Laetitia must solve the case to save ...more
Barb in Maryland
3.5 stars to the first in a new series.
Pluses: Laetitia is charming, smart, well-fleshed out, as are her brother Fred and Mary Bentley. The murder mystery part is twisty. I even liked the 'just the facts, ma'am' Inspector Blackbeard, though I wasn't fond of his name. Blackbeard, really?
Minuses: The mystery solution gets just a bit too convoluted by the end. The sub-plots re: Sir James Calderstone, his wife and his mistress seemed to get out of hand. I was fine with who turned out to be the villa
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was a page turner from the start. The characters where well developed, and they made you feel lots of different emotions through out the book. I wish I had the next book, since this is the first in a series I am wishing that I had the next one, and that be able to continue on.

I would highly recommend it the main character Mrs. Laetitia Rodd, was a character to love and she is one that I would like to visit with again as well.

The way the author wrapped the book and made sur
I enjoyed the mystery and twists that came with it but the main problem I had with the book was the supporting characters - I simply couldn't sympathize or relate to them. It's not that they were unrealistic but rather exaggerated to the point I didn't care what happened to them.
On the other hand the heroine, Laetitia Rodd, was an interesting and enjoyable character, if the author continues the series I'll check the sequel out.
Mrs. Rodd is a Victorian Woman of a Certain Age who thinks for herself, doesn't need a man (she had a perfectly good one, who passed away), and who solves mysteries.
She uses her wits, her people skills and her intuition.
She is intelligent, likeable, methodical and there is just one problem with her. Kate Saunders appears to have written only one book about her.
Loved this book! Especially since it was based on characters from Charles Dickens's DAVID COPPERFIELD. Will be watching for more from this author! ...more
Kiki Z
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the mystery was solid, the (too many) characters weren't that great, the writing style was off-putting, and the book was far too long; I felt like it could have been cut down in several places without serious harm. The ending was also lackluster, and nothing about it felt particularly Victorian, and it didn't seem like there was enough investigating going on. Especially as several times, Mrs. Rodd learns information quite by accident. ...more
~Emily Bosanac~
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Lemme just say WOW. This book has everything I loved, twists in the plot, love (but wasn’t extremely there if ya know what I mean) and it had a great storyline

I loved reading this Victorian mystery and thought it was spot on. The characters where AMAZING especially Laetitia Rodd. She was a very inspirational character and I really connected with her. Again I absolutely fell in love with this story and thought it was spectacular! 😊
Janet Emson
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, owned-books
Laetitia Rodd has been engaged to investigate the background of a woman by Sir James Calderstone. Sir James’ son wants to marry Helen Orme and Sir James believes her to be hiding her true background and to therefore be unsuitable for his son. Disguised as a governess, Letty travels to the home of the Calderstones. There she discovers that it is not just Helen Orme who has secrets to hide. When a man is murdered outside a tavern Letty must investigate before the wrong person is tried for murder.

Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders is the first book of in a new series of six detective novels, featuring amateur sleuth Laetitia Rodd. This is a novel that easily reminds of a traditional English mystery novel, along the same lines as Agatha Christie.
The Secrets of Wishtide introduces the reader to a middle aged widow of an archdeacon, Laetitia Rodd. A significant shift in circumstances has lead to Laetitia having to find her own means to survive on a day to day basis. Laetitia decides
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Play Book Tag: The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders - 3 stars 1 19 Jan 11, 2017 05:11AM  

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Kate Saunders (born 1960) is an English author, actress, and journalist. The daughter of the early public relations advocate Basil Saunders and his journalist wife Betty (née Smith), Saunders has worked for newspapers and magazines in the UK, including The Sunday Times, Sunday Express, Daily Telegraph, She, and Cosmopolitan.

She has also been a regular contributor to radio and television, with appe

Other books in the series

A Laetitia Rodd Mystery (2 books)
  • Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar (A Laetitia Rodd Mystery #2)

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