Hazel's Reviews > Point of Honour

Point of Honour by Madeleine E. Robins
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's review
Jun 01, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: crime, fantasy

Oh, this was great fun.

Imagine a Regency detective novel. Imagine a Regency detective novel with a 'fallen woman' (Think Lydia Bennet if they hadn't paid Wickham to marry her.) as the private investigator. Imagine a Regency detective novel, with a 'fallen woman' private investigator who is physically courageous and well trained with a sword!

Of course this has to be an alternate history Regency period. Queen Charlotte is the regent here; the heroine's penchant for dressing as a man, sword and all, is merely frowned upon and much of the action takes place in or around houses of prostitution. There's a clever murder mystery, political intrigue, appealing characters, high-born and low, and a dash of romance to spice it all.

Very clever! Here's the opening paragraph.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Fallen Woman of good family must, soon or late, descend to whoredom. Indeed, a maidservant or seamstress might eke out her wages with casual prostitution, but a gentlewoman of damaged virtue is often so lacking in resources that dedicated harlotry is her necessary fate. The lower classes certainly provide the greatest numbers, but it is from the ranks of the gentle and nobly born that such courtesans come as understand not only the coarse principles of pleasure, but the nicer distinctions of rank and precedent, and the proper service of tea. The brothel is the lone institution in which persons of every rank mix, and there is no doubt a particular frisson for men in consorting with women better born than they, defiling the edifice of class in the pursuit of pleasure.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Beth (new)

Beth As always, an enjoyable and intriguing review.

Hazel Thank you, Beth. It's kind of you to say that.

message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Love this review!

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