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Posted March 10, 2013
It was an enjoyable easy reading and I would call it a lovely cosy mystery. As in other Dara England's book also in this one the main character and hobby detective is a young lady. She is as nosy as Miss Marple and has also the ability to take everybody in so that they share their knowledge confidently. On the other hand her doing isn't always thought through properly and therefore she is lucky that the real detective is on her side.
(3 1/2 stars)
Posted March 2, 2013
Death on Darthmoore by Dara England is a suspenseful murder mystery featuring the very capable heiress, Millicent Wright. Set on the English moors, this danger-filled who-done-it provides the reader with an ample number of suspects, family secrets and a touch of romance. Not knowing whom to trust, our young heroine relies on the handsome detective as the clues begin to mount and a terrible wrong from the past is uncovered.
A fun read suitable for young adults as well as adult readers.
Posted February 27, 2013
Death on Dartmoor by Dara England is the first instalment of the American Heiress Mystery series. Set in what I assume is the Victorian Era (cerca 19th Century), the characters' mannerisms and lives are very similar to how people from this era are portrayed in historical dramas and books by authors such as Jane Austen. They are very proper, wear corsets and women are best without personalities. Seen but not heard.
As with many of Jane Austen's heroines, our female protagonist has more wit and a sharper tongue than her mother thinks is wise. However is she to marry if she doesn't act docile.
That protagonist is Millicent Wright, a young, American women in her late 20's travelling with her mother around England. Heading out from their hometown of Chicago, they travel first to London and then onto the small village of Buckfastleigh on the invitation of Sir Oliver Longbourne. They first met in Chicago and he requested their company if ever they found themselves in England.
For Millicent, the trip is not one she's entirely comfortable with. Her mother has plans to find her an available bachelor (preferably one with a title) and has set her sites on the baronet. And so they find themselves on a train headed for Buckfastleigh, to be picked up by a carriage and taken to their final destination of Buckfast Hall.
Whilst on the train, the two of them meet the charismatic Colonel Quinlan- who it turns out is headed for the same place. He has known the Longbourne family for years and is the brother-in-law of Sir Oliver. His sister married the baronet, but died in unfortunate circumstances two years prior, leaving her now 10-year-old son Phillip behind.
Soon after Millicent arrives, she begins hearing rumours about her prospective husband and even more chilling ones of the curse of the Longborne brides. Can they be true? And what exactly is the curse?
On the night of their arrival, the gothic novels that Millicent loves seem to become reality. A dinner of ten (six women and four men) ends in the tragic death of Sir Oliver. A Justice of the Peace and doctor are called for by one of the guests, Doctor Shephard, for a second opinion and verdict. When they surprise everyone with the news that Sir Oliver's death was no tragic accident, but rather a poisoning, theories start flying and accusations are abound. Is it the curse? A scorned woman? Or perhaps a man with grudge?
As they go to their separate rooms for the night, a passing comment by the Lady Longbourne (grandmother of Sir Oliver) alerts Millicent. Claiming that she knows who poisoned her grandson and why, Lady Longbourne refuses to reveal more when Millicent questions her. Lady Longbourne's time may be short, because as we all know, never reveal you know anything when a murderer is still on the lose. At least if you want to survive the night.
The Next day, Detective Abel Lockwood is called to the scene to investigate. The suspects must all be confined to the house and none of them are happy about it. Millicent is determined to be of assistance. This situation is too much like her novels for her to pass up. How can a book compare to solving a real murder? Detective Lockwood isn't too happy about having an amateur on the scene and so Millicent sets out to prove him wrong. She may also have to investigate the relationship the two seem to have. Could love be blooming between them?
Is snooping about in other's affairs wise or is she drawing attention to herself? If she's not careful, she may find herself locked in with the other skeletons in the closet.
When another body pops up and there can be no doubt that a murderer is on the loose in Buckfast Hall. But what is their motive? And will they kill again?
Done in the same style as the good, old-fashioned murder mysteries, there are suspects abound. Could it be the young Miss Amelia- who is rumoured to have had a romantic connection with the late Sir Oliver? Or perhaps her father, Doctor Shephard- trying to protect his daughter? Or the pleasant Colonel- who was trained to kill? Or maybe even Caroline (Oliver's sister)- trying to salvage her family and its fortune? Or one of the staff? Perhaps a young man accused of thieving earlier that day? The list keeps growing and both the detective and Millicent have their work cut out for them. It's a race to find the killer, before someone else ends up dead.
The plot is your traditional who-dunnit. The characters are typical of the genre. There's not much I have to say about either of these things. There's always a formula with this genre and always certain personality traits present in characters. Does that mean that the formula is tired and overused? No, well maybe a little, but there's a reason it's still going strong. It works. Having said that, the formula is pretty basic, so there's a large range of options available when creating a murder mystery story, which helps keep interest. But the secret to success? Why murder mysteries are so prevalent? Why there's always one on TV or in a book store? Simple, people can't resist a mystery. It is human nature to want to know the answer. We don't like to be kept guessing and we want everything wrapped up in a neat, little bow by the end. No loose threads for us.
Some of the revelations were a little predictable and I did see the ending coming. There were a few surprises here and there, but on the whole nothing too shocking. However, the predictability did little to lessen my enjoyment of this book. This is one of those shamelessly enjoyable books. It may not be the most well written book, the characters may not be unique and the plot may have been done a million times, but I found myself wanting to know more about all of these things. When the story ended, I wanted to keep reading. A short book leads to a quick resolution and it was over before I knew it. It's safe to say I'll be checking out the next instalment when it's released.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author. This is not a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% my own.
Posted February 25, 2013
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I love the way Dara England writes!! Her characters are well drawn and the settings are always spot on. It is as if you were transported to that time and place. Millicent is a great character. I love the interplay between the very English detective and the American. I hope there are more in this series. Great read!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 3, 2013
Book exchanged for an honest review~
Millicent Wright is traveling to Dartmoor England to become better acquainted with Sir Oliver Longbourne. Millicent's mother is hoping for a martial match for her daughter. When Millicent meets young Philip Longbourne she realizes just how unhappy he truly is. Colonel Quinlan is Philip's uncle. Miss Caroline Longbourne tells tales of tragedy and suffering for the Longbourne family, while this sentiment is echoed by elder Lady Longbourne. After dinner, Sir Oliver falls dead suddenly it seems as though the very air is filled with death and tragedy like in Millicent's gothic novels. Detective Abel Lockwood is sent from Exeter to investigate the death of Sir Oliver neither did he expect another death so soon after the first. Will Millicent find clues needed to solve the case? Who is responsible for these deaths? Can Detective Lockwood solve this mystery? Your answers await you in Death on Dartmoor.
A lovely beginning to a series. I found that all the characters were likeable and flawed. The mystery to be solved picqued my interest. I found that I could relate to the main female character and understood her frustrations. I look forward to more from this author.
Posted January 31, 2013
Death on Dartmoor is a mystery novella starring Millicent Wright (American Heiress series) as she travels with her mother in search of a husband to take care of her. I was absorbed into the story from the beginning and my only complaint was it was too short. The characters were likable, esp the heroine and I was surprised in the end when the murderer was revealed. The storyline makes sense when everything is explained in the ending. One of the best things in the story is the heroine has strength, ingenuity as well as looks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2012
I am not usually a fan of first person narrative but it worked very well with this novella. The story moved along quickly as the first murder occurred and then soon after the second. I kept turning the digital page, wanting to know who did it and follow as Millicent Wright insists on solving the murder for herself. The story was quick pace without being rushed and the characters were flushed and entertaining.
The ending was quite dramatic and everything set in past London just made everything better, in my opinion. I liked the hint of romance that was written in without distracting from the adventure of the chase. And I am eager to read the next novella in the series.
I loved the writing style and the characters. Everything just flowed very nicely and I’m excited to read the rest of Dara England’s work. If you want a quick old England mystery I highly recommend this novella. It will keep you on your toes and leave you wanting more.
Posted December 11, 2012
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