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Comment: Ex-library book. The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting.
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A Place of Confinement: The Investigations of Miss Dido Kent (Dido Kent Mysteries) Hardcover – August 6, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In April 1807, Miss Dido Kent, a spinster almost past marriageable age and with no fortune, is compelled to accompany her Aunt Manners on a visit to Charcombe Manor. In letters to her sister Eliza, interspersed through the narrative, Dido probes one mystery after another. Why—and how—has Miss Letitia Verney, an heiress, disappeared from the estate? Why has Aunt Manners not been to the Elizabethan country home belonging to her brother, George Fenstanton, for 30 years? And why is Miss Gibbs, Letitia’s companion, the only one hearing the ghostly sounds at night? Then the gathering is drawn into the murder of Mr. Brodie, who had just traveled from the Caribbean, perhaps with a letter from Letitia’s father about Letitia’s engagement to Tom Lomax, the prime suspect. Convinced of Tom’s innocence and wanting help in finding Letitia, Dido begins a round of purposeful conversations with the others living at the manor, trying to piece the puzzle together. This fourth in the series will be popular with lovers of historical fiction as it combines a good mystery with gentle probings into societal norms during the Regency period. --Karen Muller

Review

“Dean lays out a complex but never confusing plot. And it's not only the storyline that lifts this novel to a high plane; Dean's prose -- intentionally reminiscent of that of Jane Austen -- and her mastery of period detail combine with Dido's amiability to create another shining example of the historical mystery.” ―Richmond Times-Dispatch

“The fourth in this excellent series, beautifully written in the style of Jane Austen, will leave even die-hard mystery mavens puzzled until the final chapters.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A clever, crafty lady with unending determination to do what is right, Dido Kent deserves a spot alongside Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple in the great sleuth pantheon… Plus? The actual whodunit portion of this novel is superb, surprising, and satisfying!” ―Library Journal (starred review)

“In Dean's highly entertaining fourth Regency mystery…The solution is as clever as the rest of the plot.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“This entertaining series set in 1805...is historical mystery at its most effective....If you are looking for a quality historical crime series to get stuck into, then you have just found it.” ―Historical Novels Review

“There is something delightfully gothic about Ms. Dean's tales of Dido Kent and her investigations...A very well rounded novel that Jane Austen herself might have enjoyed, not to mention Georgette Heyer...Highly recommended.” ―My Shelf

“A clever regency sleuth much like Jane Austen with her ability to see that the mundane things of life are more important than they seem.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred) on A Woman of Consequence

“With its unusually fine sense of time and place, this third Dido Kent entry makes a charming addition to Dean's Regency mystery series.” ―Booklist on A Woman of Consequence

“Dean smoothly integrates a wealth of historical detail . . . Well-drawn secondary characters . . . lend color.” ―Publishers Weekly on A Woman of Consequence

“Dean has again scored highly with an imaginative mystery that captures Regency England . . . with Austen-like prose.” ―Richmond Times-Dispatch on A Woman of Consequence

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Product Details

  • Series: Dido Kent Mysteries (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250029678
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250029676
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Not my favorite in the series (that would be the previous entry, "A Woman of Consequence"), but still very enjoyable once I got into it! I so enjoy Dido and her interactions with the various interesting characters Anna Dean creates in her mysteries - I love the glimpses of her correspondence with her sister Eliza, through which Dido works out the mystery she's currently embroiled in. I've even come to enjoy her relationship with her suitor, Mr. Lomax, who finally seems less a rigid, priggish sort unworthy of our feisty, quick-witted heroine and more of a living, breathing human man on this outing! Possibly because his loathsome, obnoxious son is facing a murder conviction...

My favorite part of this series is how it really brings home the dependency and often despondency of life as an impoverished spinster lady in Regency England; always the companion, the aunt, the nurse to the tetchy, wealthy elderly relatives, forever grateful for any crumbs thrown her way. What a life of quiet desperation and misery, almost unimaginable to modern Western women; Dean really captures the feeling, allowing Dido to maintain her dignity while keenly aware of her dependency. I love the Austenesque touches, and would highly recommend this series to Austen fans and readers of historical mysteries.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the best Dido Kent book yet. This is a gentle series of romance and mystery. It is perfect for those who love Jane Austen. The romance is mostly of the meaningful glance and ardent touching of hands variety. The mystery is a set of little puzzles to be worked out.

Dido is a spinster of 36 who has the unfeminine habits of thinking for herself, showing too much interest in unseemly matters like murder, and speaking her mind. She is dependent on her brothers for her living. However, she has had the good fortune of meeting and falling for a widower who, while sometimes frustrated with her, has fallen for her because of her personality rather than in spite of it. Their romance has moved slowly forward through the series. These are not books of great action, but rather character development and manners.

I'm not sure how this book would come across to someone who hasn't read the first three books, but if the series intrigues a reader at all I recommend starting at the beginning anyway. I eagerly look forward to the next book in the series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was not particularly a fan of this series based on the first books. I only read this because I had nothing else around to read. Glad I did, this moved along abit faster than the others and I have to say I I am now looking forward to the next in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My dear Eliza,

Your sister, Dido Kent, while estimable in most matters, has perpetrated a great injury; for, in producing a novel of her time at Charcombe Manor during April 1807 — a novel so infused with curiosity & suspense — she has inconsiderately ignored her duty to her gentle readers. Surely, a young woman of six & thirty years has developed sufficient sense and knowledge of the world that she must know that such a fascinating tale must lead to her readers STAYING UP ALL NIGHT to finish a tale to rival the Gothic romances of the infamous Mrs. Radcliffe?

Pray make no excuses for that selfish girl who — notably ignoring her sense of duty, nay, her sense of family obligation — commits a similar sin against the reading publick. Does Miss Kent’s lack of propriety know no bounds? Her Aunt Manners would certainly confirm such a grievance.

There! I’ve gotten my Regency sensibilities out of the way!

Dido Kent — plain, impoverished and considered a hopeless spinster at 36 — is sent to serve as companion to her imperious hypochondriac aunt, Selina Manners. The pair arrive at Charcombe Manor a day after a pretty young heiress named Letitia Verney vanished. As always, inquisitive, clever Miss Kent cannot resist a mystery.

Told alternately in first-person narration and in letters to her beloved sister Eliza, Dido recounts her adventures in investigating Miss Verney’s disappearance and an ensuing murder of a mystery man named Mr. Brodie, newly arrived from the West Indies. Are the two occurrences connected? Miss Kent certainly thinks so. Miss Kent redoubles her efforts when handsome, fortune-hunting rake Tom Lomax, the son of Miss Kent’s secret love, the noble William Lomax, gets the blame for both tragedies.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like these books, and find that each one is an improvement on the previous one, although they are laid out in a somewhat formulaic fashion as letters to sister Eliza. The latest is really interesting for the discussions of societal norms and the treatment of the spinster class of poor relations of the wealthier segments of society..................
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author's technique of expressing the main character's private thoughts in letters to her absent sister works very well again. Dido's personality is consistent, but her understanding of herself and the wider world is increasing. The revelation of the villain is reserved until the very end with few and subtle clues throughout the plot as to the identity. The romance between Dido and Mr. Lomax reaches another critical point. The ongoing discussion of the role and often plight of females during this period of history continues to be woven into the mystery.
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