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Author: Anna Dean
Genre: Crime, Mystery & Thriller
Rights: UK & Comm ex Can
Pub. Date: 20th August 2012
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Dido Kent's sister-in-law Margaret is attempting to marry her off to the ghastly clergyman Doctor Prowdlee, with his abominable side-whiskers. Dido, however, is determined to refuse him. As punishment she is sent on a journey as companion to her rich, hypochondriac Aunt Manners – whom the family wants to keep on the right side of.
When they arrive at Charcombe Manor, Aunt Manners' childhood home, they find a mystery lying in wait for them. The rich heiress Letitia Verney has disappeared while visiting the house, and Mr Tom Lomax is suspected of abducting her. Dido, upon hearing his story, is inclined to believe in his innocence – but how is she to explain the impossibility of Miss Verney vanishing into thin air?
And there is also the abandoned wing of Charcombe Manor to be considered. Why do lights appear there at night? The house is full of enigmas, with its memories of old family quarrels and its crying ghost that keeps visitors awake. As the mystery intensifies, Miss Dido Kent embarks on her most intriguing investigation yet...
'This entertaining series set in 1805...is historical mystery at its most effective. The author manages to create a period ambience from her sound knowledge of the era, making the right sort of underpinning for the adventures and romance. In keeping with the sort of gothic tales so beloved of the times, there is an involved plot containing ghosts, a secret room, people vanishing, mysterious visitors and the inevitable old sins that continue to cast long shadows. The romance is there, but nicely incidental and underplayed in what never stops being a mystery novel. I read quite a number of novels set in this period, and I continue to be impressed by this authorís ability to nicely sidestep the usual pitfalls many historical novelists tumble into. If you are looking for a quality historical crime series to get stuck into, then you have just found it.'Historical Novels Review
'There is something delightfully gothic about Ms Deanís tales of Dido Kent and her investigations. Throw in ghosts, secret rooms, the sins of the past and at least one body and you have a good mystery to read far into the night. Add in a little romance and a good underpinning of period knowledge and you have a very well rounded novel that Jane Austen herself might have enjoyed, not to mention Georgette Heyer...Highly recommended.'My Shelf