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The Deathly Portent (A Lady Fan Mystery) Paperback – April 3, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Bailey is the author of more than a dozen Regency novels. She lives in England.
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Product Details

  • Series: A Lady Fan Mystery (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780425245675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425245675
  • ASIN: 0425245675
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,038,590 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CJ-MO VINE VOICE on May 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
The coach of Lord Francis Franshawe and his new bride Ottilia has broken down on the way home from visiting Ottilia's elderly godmother. Francis's groom Ryde walks to the nearby village of Witherley to find a blacksmith. The newlyweds are shocked to learn Duggleby the blacksmith had just been killed when a roof caved in on him the night before. At first the roof collapse seems to be caused by a severe storm, but Lord and Lady Fan learn the villagers think the damage was caused by a witch's curse.

A few days before the accident, Mrs. Cassie Dale had foreseen the roof falling down on Duggleby and now she has been branded a witch. Cassie is forced to take sanctuary with the Reverend Aidan Kinnerton when she is stoned by some of the local boys. Before long, it is discovered that Duggleby was hit in the head before the roof collapsed, but Cassie is still Witherley's number one suspect. Ottilia is glad to have the excuse of a broken-down carriage to stay and talk to some of the residents of Witherley and find out what really happened. Ottilia was recently able to solve a murder that occurred in Lord Francis's family and she is confident she can solve this one. However, Ottilia doesn't count on the depth of the villagers' superstitions or just how dangerous the investigation will become.

"The Deathly Portent" is a follow-up novel to the wonderful series debut The Gilded Shroud. The first book was one of my favorite books of 2011, so I had high expectations for the sequel. Although The Deathly Portent is a good book, it doesn't live up to the excellence of the first book. Lord and Lady Fan are still delightful in the scenes they share. Their love for each other is still strong and they are happy just to spend time together.
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Format: Paperback
Lord Francis Fanshawe and his new wife Ottilia suffer a breakdown to their carriage. When Ottilia hears a murder has taken place in nearby Witherley she convinces her husband they must stay and look into the case.

This is a lighthearted book, with murder lurking in the background. Ottilia is delightful and Francis is a perfect foil to his wife's unusual interest in murder most foul. They are surrounded by a mixed host of characters who range from the lady of the manor to the landladies of the two village inns who are at loggerheads with one another. Add to this the "witch" accused of being the murderer and the new vicar who is determined to save her and you have a story full of depth and richness set in the times of horse and carriage mode of travel.

A very well written book, I did not come across one typo or grammatical error - a definite bonus when reading as erros can spoil the reader's enjoyment. Well done to Ms Bailey, her editors and publisher.

This is apparently the second book of the "Lady Fan" series. I read the paperback edition and I will certainly go out and buy the first book of the series as this second one is mind grabbing. Want a good read? I recommend "The Deathly Portent".
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Format: Paperback
This is a series with great potential if only the author could cut a great deal of excess dialog and superfluous detail from the story. Instead of interesting detail (such as clothing, personal appearances, architectural details, etc.), they seem to be fluff included to puff up the word count and the number of pages. There is a lot of repetitious conversation back and forth -- which include a lot of country dialect for versimilitude. As does another reader I have a problem with the quaint dialect. It may (or may not) be accurate but it frequently gets in the way of the story line. In this sort of story a little would go a long way. So far (I'm about half way through)I find that I am skipping over paragraphs and pages hoping to get to the nub of a scene; the plot line is thin and the story rambles. Ms Bailey runs a blog with tips on how to help writers to improve; perhaps she needs to take her own advice to heart. This is the second author who I've read recently who mentions (in the bio) that she teaches or advises on writing; unfortunately they apparently haven't benefitted from their own advice.

Better luck with the next book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Bailey pens a suspenseful "who-done-it" mystery with The Deathly Portent. Set in the small English town of Witherly, Lord and Lady Fanshawe find themselves stranded when their carriage loses a wheel. Unfortunately for them, the only person in town who can help them with their problem has just been murdered. Can Lady Fan solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again?

Set in the 1800's against a rural English backdrop, the novel opens with the citizens of Witherly chasing Cassie Dale. They call her a witch and blame her for the death of the local blacksmith, Duggleby. Thankfully, the new pastor, Aiden Kinnerton comes to her aid. He's going to need help in solving Duggleby's murder, though. In a stroke of luck - or unfortunate circumstance - Ottila and Francis Fanshawe find themselves stranded when their carriage breaks down. Ottila is a bit of a sleuth and can't help but investigate the circumstances surrounding the blacksmith's death, especially when she discovers the fire which destroyed the smitty was set deliberately to hide the blow on the head that killed him.

Bailey's writing is lush and vivid, striking to the heart of the setting by enveloping the reader into the story with authentic dialogue and rich narrative. I felt like a serving girl at the Pakefield's establishment, the Blue Pig, watching as Ottila investigated Duggleby's death. The pacing takes its time as it introduces the colorful citizens of Witherly and slowly uncovers the clues behind the murder. What makes the wait entertaining is the rich characterization.

The Fanshawes are a delight! Ottila and Francis compliment each other well. Lady Fan is a force to be reckoned with. She's determined, focused, and courageous - which gets her in trouble when danger arises.
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