- Paperback: 342 pages
- Publisher: Sprigleaf Pty Ltd (1 November 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1925614514
- ISBN-13: 978-1925614510
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 422 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Deadly Kin: A Georgian Historical Mystery Paperback – 1 Nov 2019
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5 STARS: In the top three I have read all year
Lucinda Brant offers up another Alec Halsey triumph with Deadly Kin, tightening the threads of an intricately woven quilt that is Lord Halsey's life. The historical detail is stunning and the overlapping mysteries allow for a balance of Georgian beauty and trademark Brant tension on every page. In Deadly Peril, we learned how imperfect the perfect Alec actually was, but Deadly Kin digs deeper into the Halsey past and brings forth some dark secrets that his Uncle Plantagenet (and who else remains to be seen) has guarded closely for Alec's entire life. This book ranks in the top three I have read all year and I am officially a die-hard fan of the Alec Halsey Mystery Series. —Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite
5 STARS: Transporting
I loved this novel right from the first page. The author introduces the setting and captures the seasons, the location and cultural elements with brilliance. The prose is tight and very descriptive, punctuated by dialogues that deepen plot points and enhance character depth. Lucinda Brant knows how to capture and retain the interest of the reader, keeping them focused through every page. Characters are elaborately developed and I loved Uncle Plantagenet. He is an unusual character, the kind that displays so little but knows so much. Deadly Kin is an intelligently plotted and deftly written mystery. I found it as well written as it is transporting. —Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
Praise for the Alec Halsey Mysteries
Very well written, fast paced, and full of secrets… A cracking good adventure! —Historical Novel Society
I challenge anyone not crave more from the handsome Alec Halsey with his high sense of morals, dark good looks, and divine analytical mind. —Reader’s Favorite
Quite simply, a perfect combination of mystery, romance, and history. —Romantic Historical Reviews
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This fourth Alec Halsey novel, for example, is my least favorite of the four, but that's not because of the world-building or the historical aspects. Those are first rate here. I learned a few new things reading this (not that I knew so very many old ones) about 1700s England, especially about inheritance laws. Primogeniture, or right of succession to the eldest son, which I had thought to be common to all of England, was not the inheritance pattern found in Kent, where Alec's estate lies.
No, in Kent (and actually also in Wales and Ireland) "gavelkind" was the succession law, that is to say, division of property equally among all sons or other heirs. This is an important aspect of the plot, since "gavelkind" through the decades could almost decimate a family fortune through all those divisions of that family's property.
Another historical tidbit, about the Black Act of 1723, is another important plot point. That law was mainly a response to poaching and made it punishable by death. I'd recommend googling this law because it's more complicated than that, but the poaching aspect of the law is what's an important part of this story.
So we have gavelkind in Kent and a no-poaching law. How the residents of the area responded to these two laws to either circumvent or follow them is very important, and Alec and his family and life have been affected greatly by it. There's some fascinating devious behavior here in the story. And...Alec finally, finally, learns the whole truth about his parentage. And it's a bit of a convoluted truth.
Unfortunately, Brant seems to feel that her readers are clodpated slowtops. She goes over every detail here myriad times to make sure we are following everything well. In addition, secrets held by Alec's beloved Uncle Plantagenet and other characters were revealed painfully slowly, in such dribs and drabs that I became extremely impatient for all of it to get out. But no, we must put up with intermissions in the Big Reveals. So much time spent and so much repetition that almost all the big secrets could be figured out and were anticlimactic by the time Alec had learned everything.
It is lovely, I'll admit, to see Selina and Alec so happy and awaiting their first child. It has taken four books (and I don't know how many years of their real time) to get to this point. In addition, I appreciate Brant's characters and the fact that their relationships here aren't as treacly as I find those in Mary Balogh's or the more-recent Stella Riley's books. I like flaws in people and cracks in their relationships.
But that doesn't make up for Brant's wordiness and laborious plot development and the insult to my intelligence, with the implication that I can't grasp information unless it's said enough times to penetrate my thick skull.
As with any Lucinda Brant book, the writing is excellent, the characters are fully developed and robust, and the research is impeccable. Happily, I learned something new in this book (and it is a large part of the focus of the book) – and the Author’s Notes section explains it very well. I have always thought that Primogeniture was the ONLY law dealing with succession, estates, inheritance, etc. – but that isn’t the case. One lone county, Kent, in England has a different law – Gavelkind. It is certainly different from Primogeniture and I can see where it would definitely take a huge bite out of a family’s wealth and soon leave them with nothing.
Alec Halsey, diplomat, husband, father-to-be and Marquess has come to his huge, sprawling, long-neglected estate in Kent, along with his wife Selina to await the birth of their first child. Alec inherited the vast estate about a year earlier when his brother was murdered. If it were up to Alec, he’d tear the pile down and build a new and modern structure with all of the updates and comforts of a newer home. However, Selina loves the old place and Alec will do anything to keep the love of his life happy. So, they are pouring boatloads of money into repairing, refurbishing and updating the old place. Both Selina and Alec are very anxious about the impending birth and having the estate to focus on gives them a bit of relief from the constant worry.
Alec very quickly gets more distractions than he knows what to do with – a boy goes missing and when his body is found they discover he was brutally murdered. Then, beneath a section where they were replacing the paving stones, they find a room that isn’t on any of the architectural drawings of the estate. Is it a crypt? What could a poor thirteen-year-old boy have done to be so brutally murdered? Alec has a lot more questions than answers, but he’s determined to solve ALL of the mysteries.
Alec quickly realizes that not all is as it seems at Deer Park and people have been keeping secrets from him as well as ignoring his orders. Chief among those secret keepers is his beloved uncle, Plantagenet Halsey. Why is his uncle thwarting his efforts and keeping secrets? Who murdered that poor boy they found and caused the death of yet another young boy?
If you’ve read the three earlier books, you probably had your suspicions about certain things. Well, you’ll find which suspicions were true and which weren’t. If you haven’t read the earlier books, you’ll still learn all about Alex’s early life and why his family cast him out. You’ll also learn a number of things about the Halsey family that weren’t even hinted at in earlier works – so new information for all of us there.
I thought that some of the revelations – especially with his uncle – drug out a bit too long. I was already very tired of it – and knew what it was going to be – long before it happened. There really wasn’t any reason for it to drag on that long and it had no bearing on the solution to the murder. I also wish we could have seen more of Selina this time around, but, she was ready to give birth at any second and couldn’t be out tromping around the countryside. Maybe we’ll get more of her in the next book.
I highly recommend this author, this book and this series. I can’t wait for the next one – and hopefully, it won’t be four years in the making.