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The Girl at Rosewood Hall (A Lady Jane Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
On his death bed, Lord Pembroke took great care to try to ensure the future of his beautiful, unconventional niece, Lady Jane. Her debutante ball would feature the most eligible bachelors of London society. But when the night of the dance arrives, things do not go as planned.
To escape the superficial drama of the party, Jane seeks refuge in the garden of Rosewood Hall, where she discovers a gravely injured girl. With her last breath, the child beseeches Jane to find another girl, Mary, and to save her from the same fate she has suffered. Lady Jane vows to fulfill this final wish, a promise that will entangle her in a dangerous intrigue and take her from the safety of home to the hard streets of London. With the faded inscription in a tattered novel as her only physical clue, Jane sets out to investigate the region’s orphanages and infiltrate London’s most elegant homes. Can she save young Mary from a swiftly approaching doom?
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About the Author
Annis Bell is a writer and scholar. She has lived for many years in the United States and England and currently splits her time between England and Germany.
For more information, please visit www.annisbell.com.
- ASIN : B00TJ4XMEO
- Publisher : Amazon Crossing (1 September 2015)
- Language : English
- File size : 1999 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 352 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 309,717 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Shortly afterwards her uncle also dies and the title passes to her cousin Matthew, who resents Jane and does his best to strip her of her uncle's legacy, a house called Mulberry Park in Cornwall. But before her uncle's passing she and Captain Wescott have contracted to marry, and even though the marriage is set up as a business arrangement, Captain Wescott is firmly on her side.
The romance is perhaps a little underdone - Captain Wescott is absent for the greater part of the book - but this allows Jane's sleuthing to take centre stage as she tries to find Mary. There is a host of interesting characters in the story, and some unpleasant scenes involving villains, orphanages and prostitution rings.
My only other criticism would be a query about where Jane fits into the peerage. Jane's uncle is Lord Pembroke but I don't recall the family name being mentioned at any point. Jane is always introduced as Lady Jane, where I would have thought it would be correct to say Lady Jane followed by the family name. And I'm not sure how she would have this title in any case, being the daughter of a younger son, I would have thought she would be an Hon. at best. Nor is it mentioned what kind of title her uncle has that is then inherited by her cousin - is he an earl? If I'm reading about the peerage I like to have these things straight.
Still, it's a very readable story and I enjoyed it.
Top reviews from other countries
The story is set in 1860 and at that time the only women able to hold money and property in their own right were single women and widows. Once you had reached full age (21 or sometimes 25) there was no need for a guardian either. When a woman married everything she owned, including anything she earned, legally became the property of her husband . This was made clear to one of the early campaigners for a change in the law, when giving evidence in court after her bag was snatched in the street. The charge was read out that the theft was of a bag the property of Mr Henry Fawcett. This was because legally married women did not exist in law, being unable to hold a bank account, sign contracts or make a contract as she was held to be the responsibility and property of her husband. The married women's property act did not pass until 1870 and not revised to allow women full control of their property and acknowledged as a legal person in their own right until 1880.
The other annoying thing wrong was the complete disregard of the complex mourning rituals that existed even in 1860, which were about to get much worse after Albert's death in 1861. Jane should have been in deep mourning for her uncle for a full six months.
A thoroughly enjoyable historical thriller read with interesting characters, whom I had come to like very much and would definitely want to read again. I was happy to learn a second book in the series will be out in Autumn 2016.
Although the book sensitively writes about child abuse, it is disturbing to read about the realistic poverty, hardship and violence the poor children at the time were subjected to.
Jane and Captain Wescott make a good team and mutually compliment each other in the intrigues and investigations Jane is determined to undertake. If all that isn't enough to entice you to read this book then Jane's pet great Dane, Rufus definitely steals the show.
There is the slow uncovering of the sleazy underbelly of the glittering facade which grows darker as the novel progresses. And ,of course , the love story - shades of Taming of The Shrew.
My usual quibble of American spellings ( in an English novel - come on Amazon , surely Americans can cope with real English ) do not detract from a well constructed novel/thriller.
I will read more of these.
As an e-book, it flowed well (not like some of them!) but I found the American spellings on what was such an English story grating.and it wasn't until I finished it that I fully realised it had been translated from Annis Bell's German to English by a widely travelled Australian - a small point in these days of technology but a telling one.