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A Study in Scandal Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

DeHart's light historical romance is a sweet if unsatisfying morsel, featuring familiar characters caught up in a bloodless whodunit. Enthralled by the fictional Sherlock Holmes, Victorian aristocrat Lady Amelia Watersfield has recruited three reluctant friends to form the Ladies' Amateur Sleuth Society, meeting weekly to "unravel mysteries by ferreting out secrets at all costs." The society gets its first case when Amelia's widowed father, the kindly but feebleminded Lord Robert, discovers a beloved antique bust missing. When her father calls in private investigator Colin Brindley, Amelia is determined, despite Colin's protests, to become Watson to his Holmes. The premise is promising, but sadly falls flat; for lack of real stakes, the mystery drags, and for all the Sherlock references, Colin's sleuthing ability rivals Scooby Doo's. Fortunately, far more of the book (the first in a series) is devoted to the duo's love affair, at turns competitive, comical and sexy. If one can believe a 19th century English lord would allow his daughter to weekend unchaperoned with a young bachelor, the ensuing sex scenes are steamy enough to satisfy while awaiting the next clue. (Mar.)
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About the Author

Robyn DeHart always knew she wanted to be a writer, but it took a while to discover precisely what she wanted to write. Reading Kathleen Woodiwiss's A Rose in Winter sealed the deal, and she's been reading and writing romance ever since. She should have realized she was destined for this career when her Barbies insisted on hosting elaborate masquerade parties, complete with stolen kisses in the moonlight. Researching her novels is always exciting, but when it involves eating chocolate, it's especially sweet. She lives in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, with her incredibly supportive husband and two very spoiled cats. She loves to hear from readers.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (February 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060782161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060782160
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,320,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

National Bestselling author, Robyn DeHart's novels have appeared in the top bestselling romance and historical romance lists. Her books have been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her historical romantic adventure series, The Legend Hunters, were not only bestsellers, but also award-winners, snagging a Reader's Crown and a Reviewer's Choice award. She had three releases in 2013 and 2014 will see four more, all set in the popular historical romance Regency and Victorian eras.

Known for her "strong dialogue and characters that leap off the page" (RT Bookclub) and her "sizzling romance" (Publishers Weekly), her books have been featured in USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. A popular writing instructor, she has given speeches at writing conferences in Los Angeles, DC, New York, Dallas, Nashville and Toronto, among many others.

When not writing, you can find Robyn hanging out with her family, husband (The Professor) a university professor of Political Science and their two ridiculously beautiful and smart daughters, Busybee and Babybee as well as two spoiled-rotten cats. They live in the hill country of Texas where it's hot eight months of the year, but those big blue skies make it worth it.

You can find Robyn online in a variety of places.
Sign up for Robyn's newsletter www.robyndehart.com/newsletter/
Robyn's website www.robyndehart.com
Robyn on Twitter twitter.com/RobynDeHart
Robyn on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/Robyn-DeHart-Historical-Romance-Author/221241264564538
Robyn on Goodreads www.goodreads.com/author/show/288853.Robyn_DeHart

What others say about Robyn's books.
"Robyn DeHart's vibrant characters sweep the reader into a clever and sensual romp that is not to be missed." - Julia London, NYT Bestselling Author
"Robyn DeHart proves that falling in love is the greatest adventure of all." - Teresa Medeiros, NYT Bestselling Author
"Sizzling romance...DeHart makes the romance believable and enticing." - Publishers Weekly
"DeHart is a genuine treasure." - Booklist
"Robyn DeHart has become one of my favorite authors...where she shines is in creating character.... DeHart's romances are tender and adventurous, and funny enough you may laugh your nethers off." - FreshFiction
"One of the best historical romance authors writing today." - Shana Galen, National Bestselling Author

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Amelia Watersfield is twenty-four years old and still unmarried, which in Victorian England means she is likely to stay unmarried. So she spends her time reading Sherlock Holmes stories and running a detective club with her three best friends. When her father's favorite Egyptian artifact disappears, he hires Colin Brindley, a private inspector, to look for it.

Amelia is instantly attracted to Colin, who reminds her of her hero, Sherlock Holmes. Colin is not interested in a relationship after seeing the hurt it can bring. His father loved his mother, but his mother was unsatisfied and ran off when Colin was still young. Amelia convinces the reluctant Colin to let her help him investigate the theft. However Colin finds himself struggling with his feelings about relationships when he begins to find himself attracted to Amelia. If he lets himself love Amelia, will he only hurt both of them in the end?

This was a pretty enjoyable romance set in England in 1892. I really liked the mystery subplot and the fact that Colin was a detective, not just yet another wealthy nobleman. Although this book wasn't perfect, overall I would still recommend it. I think this new author shows a lot of promise, and I will be giving her another try with her next book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. DETWILER on May 28, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a cute book. Not a lot to it, but it was okay. The two leads were likable--nothing about either one of them rubbed me the wrong way. But, if you are looking for a lot of character development or period detail, it's not here. This was a pleasant way to spend a lazy afternoon.
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By Vilia on January 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Lady Amelia Watersfield is so fascinated by the idea of solving mysteries she sets up an amateur detecting club. She and her friends have an opportunity to hone their skills when an Egyptian bust belonging to her father is stolen. Inspector Colin Brindley who bears a strong resemblance to Amelia's fantasy vision of Sherlock Holmes finds Amelia and her friends intervening repeatedly in his investigation.

Amelia and Colin both irked me. For someone so enamoured of proper investigation Amelia approached her investigation in a very haphazard manner with huge leaps of faith required, ironically the exact opposite of her hero Holmes. Colin was far more pedantic and often lectured me about things such as fingerprints which stifled the romance.

The biggest problem with this novel is that it doesn't sit neatly in a genre. It isn't really a mystery novel with a romance as Amelia is fairly dense and the clues are not integrated well. By the same token, it is hard to judge it as a romance novel with a mystery component as the relationship between Amelia and Colin was so tepid. The characters were uniformly stereotypical, the dialogue was often trite and the way the historical aspect was addressed had me grating my teeth. The world was fairly thin because DeHart stopped so often to explain things, clearly catering for those unfamiliar with the era.

I think I had a negative reaction to this novel because I have read hundreds upon hundreds of mysteries by writers who do a bang up job at lacing their books with clues and red herrings. If you take this as a historical romance then you can give DeHart more leeway but you would expect the romance side to be beefed up a little. I wish there had been more depth in both the characters and the dialogue. This books wasn't for me but you are thinking of giving it a shot, I suggest you borrow it from the library rather than coughing up cash for it.
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By Gialdini on May 11, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Amelia Watersfield is a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. It's 1892 and the stories are presently being serialized in newspapers throughout London. Swept up in the craze, Amelia founds, with her three friends, the Lady's Amateur Sleuth Society. They don't really do much. But they love the Sherlock Holmes stories, the fantasy and thrill of mystery and detection. Fiction blurs with fact when a real life crime occurs in Amelia's own home. Her father's favorite ancient artifact, a bust of Nefertiti that also has sentimental value, is stolen. The father is devastated by the loss. He's one of those doddering, senile parents that are practically a prerequisite in romances, but actually Amelia's relationship with her father, in which she takes care of him more than the other way around, doesn't seem too forced or annoying.

And I actually like Amelia herself. She's a very sunny, bright, happy person, but I don't want to strangle her after the first page. For all her youthful cheerfulness, she's just barely saved from being a one dimensional Pollyanna by the genuine friendships and relationships that surround her - such as her love for her father and her three friends of the Lady's Amateur Sleuth Society. They each represent a set character type, but their friendship still manages to be compelling. Though it is very hard for me to accept that Amelia's a 24 year old spinster. More like a silly, but endearingly so, teenager or something. Even though her naïveté is shown up repeatedly throughout the book, even though her optimism and blind faith in the goodness of others does get her in trouble a couple of times, she's not exactly stupid. She always tries to learn from her mistakes, so A for effort I guess.
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