Study in Scandal

Study in Scandal

3.9 10
by Robyn DeHart

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Who are the Ladies' Amateur Sleuth Society: Four unconventional beauties banding together to unravel real-life mysteries?


Four best friends past the age of twenty with no marital prospects and nothing better to occupy their time?

Lady Amelia Watersfield's lighthearted detecting club becomes more than simply an intriguing diversion when her


Who are the Ladies' Amateur Sleuth Society: Four unconventional beauties banding together to unravel real-life mysteries?


Four best friends past the age of twenty with no marital prospects and nothing better to occupy their time?

Lady Amelia Watersfield's lighthearted detecting club becomes more than simply an intriguing diversion when her father's priceless Egyptian artifact is stolen under his very nose. Now the game is afoot in earnest -- and Amelia nearly swoons to discover the detective assigned to "assist" her is a handsome, brilliant, and breathtaking investigator who might as well be a young SherlockHolmes himself!

Inspector Colin Brindley has no interest in encouraging a meddling beauty who imagines herself Watson to his Holmes. But Amelia is as sharp-witted and brave as she is lovely -- and in their wild hunt for an elusive thief, Colin's heart may end up being the precious object that's gotten truly purloined.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
DeHart's light historical romance is a sweet if unsatisfying morsel, featuring familiar characters caught up in a bloodless whodunit. Enthralled by the fictional Sherlock Holmes, Victorian aristocrat Lady Amelia Watersfield has recruited three reluctant friends to form the Ladies' Amateur Sleuth Society, meeting weekly to "unravel mysteries by ferreting out secrets at all costs." The society gets its first case when Amelia's widowed father, the kindly but feebleminded Lord Robert, discovers a beloved antique bust missing. When her father calls in private investigator Colin Brindley, Amelia is determined, despite Colin's protests, to become Watson to his Holmes. The premise is promising, but sadly falls flat; for lack of real stakes, the mystery drags, and for all the Sherlock references, Colin's sleuthing ability rivals Scooby Doo's. Fortunately, far more of the book (the first in a series) is devoted to the duo's love affair, at turns competitive, comical and sexy. If one can believe a 19th century English lord would allow his daughter to weekend unchaperoned with a young bachelor, the ensuing sex scenes are steamy enough to satisfy while awaiting the next clue. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.92(d)

Read an Excerpt

A Study in Scandal

By Robyn DeHart

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Robyn DeHart
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060782161

Chapter One

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data."

A Scandal in Bohemia

"She's gone! Oh, good heavens, she's gone!"

Amelia jumped at her father's yell. She ran as swiftly as she could to her father's study. He stood in the middle of the room wringing his hands.

"Father," she said, her voice labored from her exertion. "Who's gone?"

"Oh, Amelia, it's dreadful. I came in here to work, you know how I do each morning. Come in, read the paper, have some tea, make some notes in my journal -- everything was as it should be, but as I got up to pour a second cup of tea, which you know is my custom to do, I just happened to move the tea tray over to the bookshelf and then I realized she was gone."

"Yes, Father, but who is gone?"


Amelia spun around to the table where the antique usually sat and, precisely as he said, the piece was missing. "I'm positive there is a logical explanation. Let us retrace your steps."

Her father waved his hands about so frantically, it looked as though he might take flight. "My steps are the same as always, dear girl, there was nothing different about this morning save the fact that my prize possession is missing. We must call the authorities. Report a burglary."

"Is anything else missing?"

Amelia took a quick scan of the room. It was hard to decipher if anyone had rifled through anything, as the room was always rather messy, with papers and books spread about. Today was no different. Six books were piled on top of her father's desk and two maps lay unrolled on the floor. The few other artifacts he kept in his office remained in their places. It was curious indeed.

"I do not think so, but I have not looked around. I only just discovered she was missing. Oh, perhaps everything is gone." He grabbed the sides of his face. "My entire collection."

"Father, please sit before you have a fainting spell. You look quite pale."

"Yes, yes, you're right. I am feeling a tad light-headed." He allowed her to lead him to his chair, but once seated he shook his head firmly. "But you should know, girl, that men do not have fainting spells. We have a much stronger constitution than you women do."

"Of course." It was not an accurate statement, for she knew firsthand that her father had fainted in the past. That time when she'd cut her finger and at the first sight of blood, he'd fallen over. Or the time he nearly dropped the ancient Greek vase on the dining room table. He was sensitive about things, but he'd always claimed he'd simply dozed off. There was no sense in arguing with him.

"Take heart, Papa, it looks as though not all is lost. I believe Monsieur Pitre returned your vase, and it's all cleaned up."

Her father nodded. "Yes, he brought it by last night." He stood suddenly. "Authorities, Amelia, we must contact them straightaway. Oh, this is dreadful. Poor Nefertiti."

"I will do so right now. You sit still and try to calm yourself and I will soon discover what has happened to her."

Ah, a mystery right in her own home. She nearly giggled with delight. Despite the fact that it was wrong to enjoy her father's misfortune, she secretly hoped for the opportunity to discover the truth behind Nefertiti's disappearance. Amelia was quite clever when it came to solving the mysteries in the Sherlock stories -- surely this wouldn't be vastly different.

Two hours later, the authorities proved not so helpful. They had sent an officer over to investigate, but there was no evidence someone had actually broken into the home. And no evidence that a statue had even been in this office, aside from Amelia and her father's word. As the authorities saw it, no crime had been committed. Amelia had been instructed to contact them should any additional evidence appear.

"We shall discern this on our own, Father, we do not need the police."

"You are quite right, my girl." Her father's features wrinkled as he pondered the situation, then his face broke into a smile. "I know precisely the person to assist us. Webster Brindley's boy. I do believe he's a private inspector. Surely he will help. I seem to recall Webster sending me a bit of post with his son's card."

He flipped through a stack of papers on the desk. "Surely it's here somewhere. We must find it and have him come to the house. Evidence or not, a crime was committed and I want Nefertiti back home safely."

"We shall find him," Amelia soothed. She gave him an encouraging smile and squeezed his hand. "I shall send for the inspector straightaway."

Four hours later Amelia sat in her father's study desperately trying to console him.

"Father, do calm down, the inspector should be here any moment," Amelia said.

"I know you're right dear, but this is Nefertiti. Every moment she is gone is wretched. She is irreplaceable, Amelia."

"Of course she is. And we shall find her." Amelia watched her father wear a path in the expensive Persian rug. With his short stature, he resembled a child's windup toy, chugging back and forth across the floor. She suppressed a smile. This was supposed to be a serious matter.

There was a short rap on the door, and then their butler, Weston, entered with a very tall man at his heels.

"Lord Watersfield, a Colin Brindley to see you. He says he's an inspector for hire and you requested his presence." Weston's tone was severe, and he did nothing to hide the annoyance in his expression.

Weston was quite likely the most arrogant man in all of London, but he'd served their family with a loyalty that was difficult to come by. And seeing as neither Amelia nor her father had an ounce of pretension in their bodies, Weston viewed it as his obligation to carry enough for both of them.


Excerpted from A Study in Scandal by Robyn DeHart Copyright © 2006 by Robyn DeHart. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Robyn DeHart always knew she wanted to be a writer, but it took a while to discover precisely what she wanted to write. Reading Kathleen Woodiwiss's A Rose in Winter sealed the deal, and she's been reading and writing romance ever since. She should have realized she was destined for this career when her Barbies insisted on hosting elaborate masquerade parties, complete with stolen kisses in the moonlight. Researching her novels is always exciting, but when it involves eating chocolate, it's especially sweet. She lives in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee, with her incredibly supportive husband and two very spoiled cats. She loves to hear from readers.

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Study in Scandal 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1892 London, Amelia Watersfield formed the Ladies¿ Amateur Sleuth Society with three close friends because she loves mystery novels especially the one starring Holmes. She informs her friends Margaret Piddington, Wilhelmina Mabson and Charlotte Reed that they will work on their first case, the Jack of Hearts robbery at the opera. Her friends agree, but lack Amelia¿s enthusiasm. --- Someone steals Nefertiti¿s bust from the extensive ancient Egyptian collection owned by Amelia¿s father, terribly upsetting him. Amelia and her dad hire private sleuth Colin Brindley to investigate. Amelia finds the detective dashing while Colin struggles to concentrate on the case as his mind keeps focusing on his client¿s daughter. As he begins to make inquiries into her dad¿s case, Amelia forces him to accept her as his Watson not just to keep her safe, which is the top priority of the sleuth. She proves quite helpful even at times acting more like Holmes as they fall in love, but he worries that she will go after Jack of Hearts. --- A STUDY IN SCANDAL is a fabulous Victorian private investigative romance that pays homage to Holmes. The story line is fast-paced as Amelia bullies her way into the inquiries Colin makes while inspiring him to do his best. Fans will enjoy this superb thriller and want more romantic detective stories starring the Holmes-Watson lead couple and the other three members of the Ladies¿ Amateur Sleuth Society. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Amateur Sleuth Society! Amateur Sleuth Society is four unconventional ladies (friends) that band toghter to solve mysteries and to relieve their boredom! While solving this mysteries little do they realize they will find their love! If you wish to read them in order it is: 1. A Study in Scandal 2. Deliciously Wicked 3. Temped at Ever Turn 4. A Marriage Most Convenient
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing was great to me
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dianne More than 1 year ago
the story very much captivated my attention and it was hard to put it down to do other things.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only 190 pages, very short
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a different take on a romance novel. It had a lot of mystery which was nice. Over all it was good as part of the overall series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cute and quirky!! First read bye this author, def a keeper. The main chars are both likable and fun. Was romantic and kept you wondering who took the artifact till the very end. A bit slow in some spots ,but overall a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago