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Snobbery With Violence (2004)

Snobbery With Violence (2004)

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3.55 of 5 Votes: 3
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0312997167 (ISBN13: 9780312997168)
st. martin's paperbacks

About book Snobbery With Violence (2004)

Captain Harry Cathcart returns to England from the Boer wars as taciturn man. The younger son of a Baron, he used to be happy-go lucky, but the war changed him. Now he is home, aimless and poor. Until his name is given to the Earl of Hadshire as someone who could help him with a problem. The results of the small bit of detective work the Earl asks Harry to undertake are so successful that Harry suddenly finds himself in demand. Discreet word of mouth has it that for a hefty fee, Harry can "fix" things. Soon Harry is flush with cash and alive with purpose as he is helping the well-heeled upper crust discreetly fix their scandalous problems. But his biggest challenge comes when he is engaged to help discreetly cover up the death of a member of a house party. When it seems that the woman didn't simply die accidently but was murdered,Harry draws the line. Instead he begins to investigate the murder. To make matters worse, Lady Rose Summer, the daughter of his first patron, the Earl of Hadshire, is in attendance at the party and insists on being involved in every aspect of the investigation. Rose is a determined and surprisingly enterprising young woman and before he knows it, he, Rose, his manservant Beckett and her maid Daisy find themselves sleuthing around a drafty castle and hunting down a shifty murderer.I've read a few of Marion Chesney's regency romances back at the dawn of time, but I've never had the occasion to read any of her mysteries that she writes under the name of Mc Beaton. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Not just because it is just the type of cozy mystery I like to read just as a comfort read but I loved the setting and the characters.Since most of my lighter reading set in historical times is usually in the romance genre, I very rarely get a glimpse of time periods outside of the Georgian or Regency. So this was nice to read a book set in the Edwardian era where the world is on the cusp of entering the modern era. I also thoroughly enjoyed the characters, Harry especially. His change from the brooding veteran living frugally on his pension who is given a large berth by society because, well, he's depressing to the man who takes delight in playacting and detecting and enjoying the lucrative work is fun to see. I especially like how totally overboard he goes in some of his schemes to give his clients their money's worth. Harry was a great character and I completely and totally enjoyed him.It took me some time to warm up to Rose because at first I thought she was a bit of a naive idiot. But the author allows the reader some time with Rose to see why she is the way she is. Her parents, although they love her, largely ignored her and left her to a radical governess who really didn't prepare Rose well for her station. As a result, Rose is something of a fish out of water even in the world she is supposed to inhabit seemlessly. She is a proto-feminst and activist in a time that is extremely unforgiving of both of those things. She is also a shy woman who simply doesn't know how to go on. By the time the main mystery is in progress I am firmly on Rose's side. I especially enjoy how she simply has no delicacy when it comes to the less than savory parts of the mystery they are investigating. As it meanders into some fairly flagrantly sexual territory, some would think a young virgin like Rose would be dismayed with what she learns, but she is very matter of fact and frank when she discusses theories with Harry -- which completely flabbergasts him.She and Harry clash and obviously are attracted to each other although both are in deep denial. I see that there are four books in the series so I fully expect Rose and Harry at some point to realize how they feel. But until then I am enjoying him being perplexed by her and she being upset by him.Nice book with great characters main, colorful supporting characters, a great undertone of humor, and a neat little, albeit uncomplicated, mystery (I guessed the murderer fairly easily). I listened to this on audio and Davina Porter who reads it is excellent.Recommend!

After reading so many TSTL female heroines in YA fiction lately, I decided it was time for a change of pace. A nice, cozy turn-of-the century historical sleuthing mystery. Sure, why not? I generally love my historical female sleuths, be it the spirited Lady Julia Grey, the lovely and undaunted Lady Emily Ashford, or hell, even the admittedly grating and bookish Amelia Peabody.Surely, Lady Rose Summers would be just the thing to bring to a stop my current trend of face-palming every five second as I read about yet another dumb 21st century teenaged chick diving headfirst into danger or heading in the path of a dragon (true story, remember Jenny?).She sounds awesome, too!!! A suffragette, a privileged daughter of a peer, yet not indifferent to the plights of the working class. Surely this intelligent young woman and her gentleman detective friend will be just the thing to bring my spirits up and restore my faith in humanity (womanity?).Holy crap, I have never been so wrong.Ok, I did get some things right from the summary. She is a peer's daughter, she is sympathetic to those not of her privileged class, and she is a suffragette. On all other fronts, however, she is dumb, dumb, dumb.Our Lady Rose misguided, spoiled, and stubbornheaded to rival a bull, maybe a minotaur. A minotaur might be less annoying. Did I mention she is spoiled? She is the only child of a very wealthy Earl and his wife, and has gotten her way her entire life. Her mother is silly, her father your typical bluff, brash, genial, but extremely softhearted when it comes to his only child. As a result, Rose is permitted to do things and get away with things that would be unheard of for a peer's daughter. All she has to do is protest and her father gives in.She was brought into feminism and the suffragette movement by a governess, and like a willful child, uses the movement as her own means to behave like a willful child, rather than standing for its ideals. Even her former governess is disgusted by her actions.“Do you mean you consider me a disgrace?”“Unlike you, my lady, I have to earn my living. I was always of the opinion that you were a bit spoilt.”“Why didn’t you say so?”“It was not my place to do so.”Lady Rose feels she is superior to other debutantes, and after her disgrace regarding her confrontation with a suitor, she is severely lacking in friends. Only then does she realize that she has been a stuffy, superior pain-in-the-ass. She also has an annoying tendency to blame everyone and anyone but her own actions for her misfortune and fall from grace.The plot is unbearably stupid, and we don't even get into the real plot until halfway through the book. Within the first half of the book, we are introduced to Captain Harry, the idiotic Brooding Gentleman Rake Who Suffers From a War Trauma (sigh) and his various forays into amateurish sleuthing for money, as he is completely and utterly broke. He is not much better than Rose in terms of likeability. He is..."...bitter, brooding and taciturn, and he seemed unable to converse in anything other than cliches or grunts."And for your information, no, he does not improve throughout the book. Our introduction to him goes by ways of following him through his idiotic methods of solving petty crimes and problems, including making up a chicken pox outbreak and blowing up a train station to prevent the Prince from consorting with Lady Rose. His reasoning?"I had to make sure the palace thought it the work of the Bolsheviks. Anything less, and they might have suspected Lord Hadshire of getting up to tricks. The palace sent a telegram just before we left, cancelling the king’s visit ‘for reasons of national security.’"In this day and age, we would call that terrorism, or at the very least, extreme lunacy.Lady Rose and Harry hated each others' guts throughout most of the story; I actually hated them both for the entire story.

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I love historical fiction but it usually has such a sad undertone to it. Thought this would be more lighthearted and I was right. Mystery is a genre that I usually don't go for either although it isn't on purpose. The combination was good and it is a really fast read. The beginning is slow though not completely boring. I think what the author is trying to do is let the reader get an idea of what the characters are like. I was surprised to find that I liked Harry more than Rose. You get the point of view of both of them. Harry has more common sense than Rose and he never seems like a spoiled kid like Rose sometimes does. Once the girl is murdered things get more interesting. Okay that sounds bad, but you know what I mean. There is an actual purpose once the mystery goes underway. The mystery is very simple even though I really could not even begin to guess who was the murderer until close to the climax. The constant mentioning of how Rose is so bad at being feminine and proper felt like an excess. I was hoping it be more like, show don't tell; the author did both so it was somewhat overkill. When I found out who did it I was surprised, but how it got resolved seemed kind of easy. What made me bump it up a star was that I really liked the ending and how it sets the second book up. The book was entertaining and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. The whole series is finished and my library has all the books. I checked.

This book did not disappoint. I have enjoyed it very much. Chesney's style is a perfect blend of Agatha Christie's and Jane Austen's styles, but created for the audiences of today who mourn for the quality writing associated with classic literature. This is a very British book, with classic British humour. I could hardly keep myself from listening to it all day. The only reason I give this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that there was no proper ending to the romance portion of the story. While the mystery ended in a somewhat naive way, it looks as if this book will have a sequel for The Captain and The Miss (as I call them). I did not expect a sequel, and I was a bit irritated to find there was going to be one. However, I look forward to reading (or listening) to it in the future. Thank you Marion Chesney for brightening my days.
—Mili Fay

4**** Thoroughly enjoyed the book and will recommend itThis was my first Marion Chesney novel... I believe it would fall into the "cozy mystery" category rather than the historical romance category that I originally placed it in. I haven't read many historical fiction books that take place during the Edwardian Era so this one was definitely a treat. It really had that Downtown Abbey/Upstairs-Downstairs feel to it. The plot is simple: Rose Summers following a failed "season" attends a house party in the country where she meets Harry Cathcart - who to me reminds me of a much younger version of House MD with his bad leg and temperament. The house party takes a dark turn with two murders and Rose and Harry work together to help solve the murder-mystery. The book read very fast - I felt like it almost had an Agatha Christie quality with the reading breaks within the chapters. It has a hint of romance and I find myself looking forward to the next book where I believe Rose and Harry will meet up in the South of France. I also am hoping that Daisy & Beckett get their Happily Ever After - they remind me so much of Bates and Anna from Downton Abbey. Definitely recommend!5*****I loved this book, consider it an all time favorite4**** Thoroughly enjoyed the book and will recommend it3*** I liked it well enough,2** Brain Candy - It was okay. Writing mediocre, willkeep/re-read if part of a series1* didn't like/possibly not finished.
—Dani "The REAL Cullens_Girl since 2002"

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