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The Masterful Mr. Montague (Casebook of Barnaby Adair, #2)
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The Masterful Mr Montague (From the Casebook of Barnaby Adair)

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message 1: by HJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

HJ | 52 comments This new book is out today -- it's just arrived on my Kindle. I look forward to discussing it soon!


message 2: by E. (new) - added it

E. R. (dilawrosas) | 28 comments I aim to buy it soon. Not sure yet when though.


message 3: by Gay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gay | 3 comments I am reading it now and is very good.


message 4: by HJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

HJ | 52 comments I've finished it and would love to hear what everyone else thinks. But maybe we should wait a while if E. and others may be reading it soon but not right now?


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Just bought it yesterday. Can't wait to get started reading it.


message 6: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Viar (ashleyviar) | 13 comments I thought it was a good mystery but not great on the romance plot. I did like it though Stephanie Laurens is my favorite. I'm looking forward to her next one. I did not see who the killer was until very close to the unveiling. Love that! I like the mysteries in her books. I thought she could have put the main characters together more. But over all I thought it was a great book.


message 7: by E. (new) - added it

E. R. (dilawrosas) | 28 comments I agree w/ Ashley that it was more mystery than romance. Ms. Laurens did provide a wonderful mystery and I was half-correct in figuring out the culprits.

That said, to me the title was misleading a bit. I also felt that the focus was more on the Adairs and Stokes couples. Not that I'm complaining about them, but the relationship between Heathcote and Violet didn't progress in a way that I expected it to be. Therefore, I felt dissatisfied with the book.

What about you?


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura | 11 comments I thought it was more of a mystery than romance, and I was disappointed in the lack of romance between Heathcote and Voilet, it really didn't get going until the end. I really didn't need all of the couple stuff (adairs and stokes) and Penelope just annoys me. I honestly didn't know where her part was leading to or what the point was. I am however really looking forward to Rose and Malcolm's story

I will say she writes a good mystery lol. Though it's not the first time I couldn't figure out who the bad guy was. Was totally surprised in the Black Cobra series lol


message 9: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Viar (ashleyviar) | 13 comments Me too! I love when I can't figure it out until the end! The black cobra was some of my favorite. So very complex. This story was the complex part. Not the romance. Looking forward to next book. It looks like it will be more romance.


message 10: by Gretchen (new)

Gretchen | 5 comments I too was disappointed in the lack of a developing relationship between Heathcote and Violet. Slight smiles and innuendo do not make for a 'Masterful Mr Montague'. I know it's a Barnaby Adair case, but there was too much effort involved in the Adairs' and Stokes' sex lives and not enough in the title character. This is easily my least favorite of her books.


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy | 1 comments I agree, I too was disappointed in the lack of relationship between Heathcote and Violet. It was a great mystery, but needed more romance.


Lisadh | 3 comments Add me to the list of dissatisfied readers. Montague wasn't all that "masterful" and there was very little contact between him and Violet. That may be how it was in that time period, for that class, but not really why I read a Stephanie Laurens book.


message 13: by E. (last edited Oct 09, 2014 09:50PM) (new) - added it

E. R. (dilawrosas) | 28 comments I'm used to having more of the main couple think of each other and get closer as the book progresses. I didn't like how the progression was near the end, and felt that their relationship and courtship wasn't explored to its fullest.


message 14: by HJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

HJ | 52 comments I think that part of the problem is that the pre-publicity and blurb etc. focussed on revealing Montague and his relationship with Violet, but then the book was more about the mystery a bit too much of the other couples. We expected one thing and got another.


message 15: by E. (new) - added it

E. R. (dilawrosas) | 28 comments Hj wrote: "I think that part of the problem is that the pre-publicity and blurb etc. focussed on revealing Montague and his relationship with Violet, but then the book was more about the mystery a bit too muc..."

I agree. That blurb and title was misleading. That's why I'll always associate disappointment with the book just for that reason.


message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura | 11 comments I'd say that this book, rated by hit or miss - was a miss. Which makes me a little concerned on the next one but I still can't wait to read it. Hopefully SL gets back to her roots and what makes these characters and books so great- the romance.


message 17: by HJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

HJ | 52 comments I wouldn't actually mind that it wasn't a romance so much as a mystery, as long as that it how it is described. I like reading mysteries, and they are Barnaby's Casebooks after all. But then the blurb etc. should be clear that that is what it is -- mainly a mystery, with a bit of romance on the side. And the romance which is fitted in should be almost exclusively about the new couple, I think, if there isn't going to be much of it.


message 18: by KJ (last edited Jun 13, 2014 07:28AM) (new)

KJ Van Houten I think most of the comments are too harsh, but maybe that's because I don't expect much from any novella. I generally won't read them unless they are part of a larger series. I read these because 1) it's Laurens and 2) they do connect with characters from other novels sometimes. It's rare to find a novella that contains either good plot or character development. (At this moment I can only think of a handful of novellas that exceed my expectations.) I feel that Lauren's packed a lot of character interaction into this one considering its length, although yes, most of that was between already established couples and not that much between the new pair. I found this novella 'sweet'.


message 19: by HJ (last edited Jun 15, 2014 01:48PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

HJ | 52 comments I decided to re-read Where the Heart Leads, the book in which Penelope and Barnaby meet and marry, since they appear so much in this book. In Where the Heart Leads, Penelope is fully occupied administering the Foundling Home which she set up with Portia and Anne, her sisters, and which we've seen in, for example, Lost and Found (when Anne and Reggie tracked down a boy who'd been abducted). Penelope is particularly busy because both Portia and Anne are married and mothers, and have already left town for the country, but she was taking an active role in the Home anyway. It was her determination to track down newly-orphaned boys who'd been abducted before she could collect them which led to her meeting Barnaby.

Yet in this book, the Home is never mentioned. Instead, the only interest outside her marriage which she mentions is that she specialises in ancient languages and corresponds with other experts. Her facility with languages is mentioned in Where the Heart Leads as an explanation for her ability to sound as though she comes from the East End of London.

Does anyone remember reading an explanation anywhere, perhaps in another book, as to why Penelope is no longer involved in the Foundling Home?


message 20: by Gay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gay | 3 comments I wondered that myself. It would be nice to have some kind of explanation.


Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) | 28 comments I'm currently reading this one, just started Chapter 7 and I'm liking it pretty well so far :)


Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) | 28 comments Finished! I liked it pretty well, but I did want a little more time spent with Heathcote and Violet getting to know each other. The mystery was pretty good, kept me guessing throughout :)


message 23: by HJ (new) - rated it 3 stars

HJ | 52 comments Yes, I think most of us feel that about these Casebooks. I think it's a matter of adjusting our expectations; if we regard these as mysteries with romance on the side then they're excellent. It's just that we're used to Stephanie Laurens's books being first and foremost romances, with often a bit of a puzzle on the side.

It's fair enough that the Casebooks have the balance the other way. But I think those doing the marketing need to appreciate that too, and change the way they're presented.


Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) | 28 comments Now that they're all coupled up, I'm cool with the focus being on the mysteries, I think that will be an interesting direction to take the series in with the 6 of them investigating future cases.


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