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Hasty Death: An Edwardian Murder Mystery (Edwardian Murder Mysteries) Paperback – January 8, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Fans of the author's Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin mysteries...will welcome this new series of historical whodunits.” ―Booklist
“Combines history, romance, and intrigue, resulting in a delightful romantic mystery.” ―Midwest Book Review
“A delightful costume melodrama, featuring wry humor and sleuthing protagonists with a pesky love/hate relationship.” ―Library Journal
“Old hand [Beaton] maintains her charm and sassiness while indicting evergreen pomposity and class-status stupidity.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Fans of the author's Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series should welcome this tale of aristocrats, house parties, servants and murder.” ―Publishers Weekly
“If you are a fan of well-written traditional mysteries, Lord Peter and Albert Campion, you might want to try this series. I, for one, will be eagerly awaiting the next.” ―Reviewing the Evidence
Top Customer Reviews
I have mixed feelings about the book. It's amusing and reasonably accurate historically, although it's not meant to be a very serious attempt to do either a mystery (the plotting isn't that strong) or period piece (the characters are very atypical for the time, as the author points out). My interest in the book was strong at first but by the last 50 pages, far from being desperate to find out "who done it", my interest was waning and I was counting how many pages I had left.
The characters are amusing and likeable (the ones that ought to be, at least -- the unlikeable ones are sufficiently villainous in a light-hearted way). The heroine Rose (an upper class young woman is driving her parents crazy with her desire to be a modern young woman -- for a while she was supporting the suffragettes and now she wants a JOB). The romantic interest is Harry, an upper class young man who is WORKING as a private detective -- which has made many of the upper class look down on him as being in trade. At the beginning of the book, a young man (from the upper crust) is found dead, and these two independently (and subsequently sometimes together) investigate his death. There's a class-conscious police detective who is longing to man the barricades when the revolution happens, a cockney maid (who is somewhat unbelievably transformed into Rose's companion), a manservant, and a variety of aristocratic characters. There's a country house party and a wicked doctor and various other characters, all drawn broadly enough you have no trouble remembering who is who.
Parts of the book are laugh out loud funny. I only wish Ms. Chesney had concentrated more on plotting.
Nevertheless, Chesney is a very good writer, and this is a nice way to while away an afternoon.
Perhaps the situations were supposed to be humorous coincidences, but they stretched far beyond humor and were too far-fetched to be believable, and there was ample evidence of sloppy writing and no editing. For example, in one scene the heroine goes to a luncheon that is to feature a speech by a noted occultist. Instead, with no explanation, the scene unfolds with a speech by the hostess on vegetarianism instead.
If you are looking for a modern historical mystery with a light touch, I would recommend Jacqueline Winspear's Maisis Dobbs series instead.
I would also suggest other books written by the author under the penname M.C. Beaton, the Agatha Raisin series of mysteries, which I have also enjoyed tremendously.
Once the murder is solved, Rose still has that little problem of becoming engaged or being forced to India. How is she going to get out of this, since marriage seems to be the last thing on her mind.
I enjoy this rather easy to read series. No complicated storylines or history to remember; an easy adventure with a cast of interesting recurring characters. This one also includes a little side story of unrequited love.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Third in the series, it continues the story of a headstrong titled young woman and her efforts to find freedom in a rigid societal structure. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Gail Foster
wish Beaton had written more...they are really a classic....I love all of her series but this was a surprise and a delightPublished 26 days ago by vansteenburgh
I really enjoy Beaton's Agatha Raisin stories (not so much the Hamish ones) and this was the first of this series that I'd read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Miss Marple
These books are fun and easy read. I enjoy everything my MC BeatonPublished 2 months ago by Tonya Brum
Typical, excellent M.C. Beaton book. I am never disappointed with her writing and particularly her characters. This book is a wonderful read!Published 4 months ago by Barbara
I do enjoy Beaton's writing style. Conscise, fluent and interesting. A murder mystery develops and is eventually solved after involving others. Great story.Published 4 months ago by Barb
This was a fun read. I haven't laughed this much in a long time. It was full of dark humor.Published 4 months ago by Connie Sue 1
I have become a fan of Beaton's Edwardian mysteries. I love the characters, the historical background, and the interesting stories.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer