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A Very Private Enterprise Paperback – November 15, 2007


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A Very Private Enterprise + The Art of Deception + A Good Death (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A really excellent first novel, with original and interesting characters, great atmosphere, good action, and a genuine surprise in the tail" --Times Literary Supplement (UK)

"This intriguing first novel is imbued with an atmosphere of reality -- partly through its sheer intelligence -- that makes it outweigh the work of many more practiced writers" --The Telegraph (UK)

"Excellent local colour and culture, grand adventure, and an admirable denoument" --Times of London

About the Author

"Elizabeth Ironside" is the pseudonym for Lady Catherine Manning, the current British Ambassador to the United States. As "Elizabeth Ironside" she has written five stand-alone mystery novels, of which two (Death in the Garden and The Accomplice) have been published in the U.S. by Felony & Mayhem; National Public Radio named Death in the Garden one of the 12 Best Books of 2005. Upon initial publication in the UK, A Very Private Enterprise won Britain's CWA Creasey award for Best First Crime Novel of the Year, and Death in the Garden was shortlisted for the CWA Golden Dagger award, for Best Crime Novel of the Year. Lady Manning and her husband, Sir David Manning, live in Washington, DC.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Felony & Mayhem (November 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933397942
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933397948
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Will look for others from her.
Johanna Osment
This is an excellent author, the subject is interesting and the conclusions are always surprising even if you read the last chapter after you read the first chapter.
susan voss
I found this very enjoyable and rich in atmosphere.
Clare O'Beara

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Johanna Osment on April 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a great blend of mystery, with some humor thrown into it also, done in a style that will appeal to anyone that likes Englsh murder mysteries.A rather normal civil servent is found murdered with a ritual dagger (no spoiler, it happens quickly) and a Scotland Yard detective is on the case.

Catches your attention early and holds it until the end. Will look for others from her.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Maryland Reader on January 18, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A Very Private Enterprise is the third book I've read from Elizabeth Ironsides. All that I have read are sophisticated and well written, frequently with an international twist.

One of my great recent finds. I've passed her books on to several friends with rave reviews from all. Try it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 10, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the third book I have read by Elizabeth Ironside - she knows how to spin a tale! I have a partiality toward british mystery writers - she was not a disappoinment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia McPherson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the past five years I have read the entire oeuvre of Elizabeth Ironside with pleasure, ironically ending my reading with her first novel, A Very Private Enterprise. Ms. Ironside is a talented writer in the tradition of the English mystery, but she always gives you a little something more, which makes her a pleasure to read.

In this case, that little something more is the setting, which is a diplomatic post in post-Raj India. Hugo Frencham, a high-level civil servant and collector of Tibetan antiquities is found dead one morning, stabbed by a ritual dagger. Whitehall dispatches George Sinclair to solve the murder and clean up the mess. The identity of the murderer is known almost from the first by the reader but not by the characters involved, making this a whydunnit rather than a whodunnit and this and the slightly skewed setting make for a very good read.

Several things are wrong with Frencham's life. First of all he has entirely too much money both in accounts, antiquities and other treasures found in his house after his death. No matter how Sinclair tries to square it Frencham's possessions just don't match up with his salary and there is the hint that he may have been spying or selling secrets. During his investigation of the facts, Sinclair meets and falls in love with Janey, a friend of Frencham's and Janey states that the investigation is a non-starter because no life, no love no personality can be simply unpacked linking motive a to action b, though ironically it is to Janey that the murders truth is finally revealed.

The writing is solid and literary in the tradition of the English mystery and the characters are well-developed enough to be real though a few standard British archetypes do sneak in. Violence and sex are kept to a tasteful minimum. Highly recommended to fans of English mysteries as is all of Elizabeth Ironside's work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol Bell on April 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'A Very Private Enterprise' is a good mystery/adventure novel (not just my cup of tea) by Elizabeth Ironside [Pseudonym of Lady Catherine Manning, wife of the British ambassador to the U.S.] It is set in India and is very well written. This
is a very nice Felony and Mayhem paperback edition.
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