You know that awkward moment when you get home having bought a new book in a bookshop only to realise it is the last in the series? Yeah that’s what happened here. However, I wasn’t deterred as the blurb had me hooked and I was desperate to read it.
This best way to describe it is as a Jane Austen murder mystery. Dido Kent has been sent to live with her elderly aunt after turning down a marriage proposal from a perfectly respectable man. But when she gets to the Charcombe Manor all is not what it seems and it soon comes to light that a young lady has disappeared. But that’s not the only mystery to solve. Dido soon discovers that everyone has their secrets.
I really enjoyed this book it is an incredibly well observed tribute to Jane Austen but the language is more modern so it makes for a much easier read. The plot is so rich with mysteries that need solving there is never a dull moment and the suspense is excellent. Dido is a wonderful narrator and you really feel for her in her confinement and for the way she is trapped by social expectations. She feels like she could be an Austen heroine; she has all the likeability of Elizabeth Bennet and just the same independence and intelligence.
The only thing I would say about this book is that there is a lot going on and it does verge on the ridiculous. It was a bit like the author said “how many scandals can I fit in one book?” and then put them all in for the hell of it. However, there was an excellent twist at the end which I really wasn’t expecting which certainly made a nice surprise. In spite of this I think if you can suspend your disbelief and look past the rather crowded plot it makes an excellent read.
It’s not the kind of book which is going to win any literary awards but I know I certainly want to read the rest of the series after reading this one. I enjoyed this book immensely and it certainly was a nice chance from really heavy classics. It was fun and light-hearted and sometimes that it just what you want from a book.
Would recommend to: read if you just want to be entertained.