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A Moment of Silence

(4 customer reviews)

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Author Anna Dean
Rights UK & Comm ex Canada
ISBN 9780749079109
Pages 288
Publication Date 23rd June 2008
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1805.  An engagement party is taking place for Mr Richard Montague, son of wealthy landowner Sir Edgar Montague, and his fiancée Catherine. During a dance with his beloved, a strange thing happens: a man appears at Richard’s shoulder and appears to communicate something to him without saying a word. Instantly breaking off the engagement he rushes off to speak to his father, never to be seen again. Distraught with worry, Catherine sends for her spinster aunt, Miss Dido Kent, who has a penchant for solving mysteries. Catherine pleads with her to find her fiancé and to discover the truth behind his disappearance.




It’s going to take a lot of logical thinking to untangle the complex threads of this multi-layered mystery, and Miss Dido Kent is just the woman to do it.


What The Critics Said

'Beautifully written. Characters one cares about immediately and a mystery which becomes more urgent with every page’

Anne Perry

Have Your Say

  1. L. J Roberts

    ‘First Sentence: My dear Eliza, I must begin another letter to you, although it is not six hours since I sent my last.

    Catherine Kent is engaged to Richard Montague. During a special ball at Betsfield Hall, Richard reacts strongly to a red-headed man and then disappears.

    Catherine’s father sends for his spinster sister, Miss Dido Kent. The same day Dido arrives, the body of a murdered woman is found under a hedge on the property and Dido decides it’s up to her to discover the killer.’

    Ms. Dean’s writing is literate, intelligent, funny and completely captivating. I give her top marks for sense of time and place, as well as dialogue, which is delightfully appropriate to the period. Her observations on women, marriage and inheritance are done with a light, but informative, touch.

    Dido Kent is a wonderful protagonist. She is smart and clever without being malicious; something of a Miss Marple of 1805, but better. I particularly enjoyed the letters to Dido’s sister, which convey Dido’s internal questions, observations and explorations. All the characters come to life under Ms. Dean’s deft hand.

    The story is very well plotted. Ms. Dean provides her readers all the clues as Dido uncovers them but, as one who let’s the protagonist solve the crime, I was delighted watching the solution unfold.

    Those who are fans of Jane Austin, traditional mysteries, and/or historical mysteries, should enjoy this book. Personally, I loved it!’

  2. Zhang Shirong

    ‘A Moment of Silence is an intelligent, literary whodunit set in the early 19th century. This is the world of Jane Austen: country houses and marriageable young women. It is a rich and multifaceted novel: Anna Dean creates a very satisfying and complex murder mystery through which she explores (light-heartedly) a number of early 19th century historical themes – love, marriage, property and the place of women. The lives of the main characters are told in elegant and witty prose which captures the tone and feel of Austen’s world with great skill. Much of the story is told through letters between the novel’s sleuth – Miss Dido Kent – and her sister Eliza. It is in these, especially, that the authentic voice of the period is heard.
    Dido Kent, is a very appealing detective. (Though that’s not a word she would use to describe herself. Dean is very careful about the vocabulary she uses and avoids anachronisms such as this.)
    As a murder mystery, this is at the `cosy’ end of the spectrum; if you like your crime writing `gritty’ this isn’t going to be your cup of tea. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, although the plot is good. Dean plays fair; all the clues are there (and anyone who knows JA’s work and life well may well get a few bonus clues).
    This is Anna Dean’s first novel in this genre. One hopes there’s more where this came from. A very enjoyable read.’

  3. John Benson

    ‘An excellent read,beautifully, delicately written, with the right amount of clues cunningly placed. This ticks all the boxes. At a guess I’d say the author is an outdoors person; her descriptions of the natural world are fresh and vivid and quite beautifully written. A clever plot and Dido is a charming detective. More please.’

  4. J. Goode

    ‘I loved every word of this. It’s clever, funny, poetic… beautifully phrased and cunningly plotted. Anna Dean seems to be having great fun exploring the concerns and language of Jane Austen’s world. But for me the affinity went deeper than that. In Austen’s books, great sadness is faced with pragmatism, bravery, humour, sensitivity and curiosity. Dido is just such a heroine. This is a book which you can curl up with, as a friend, a comfort and a bracing restoration of your faith in life!’

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