Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Tour Stop and Giveaway: Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen

From Goodreads:

Lady Montfort has been planning her annual summer costume ball for months, and with scrupulous care. Pulling together the food, flowers and a thousand other details for one of the most significant social occasions of the year is her happily accepted responsibility. But when her husband’s degenerate nephew is found murdered, it's more than the ball that is ruined. In fact, Lady Montfort fears that the official police enquiry, driven by petty snobbery and class prejudice, is pointing towards her son as a potential suspect.

Taking matters into her own hands, the rather over-imaginative countess enlists the help of her pragmatic housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to investigate the case, track down the women that vanished the night of the murder, and clear her son’s name. As the two women search for a runaway housemaid and a headstrong young woman, they unearth the hidden lives of Lady Montfort’s close friends, servants and family and discover the identity of a murderer hiding in plain sight.

In this enchanting debut sure to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, Tessa Arlen draws readers into a world exclusively enjoyed by the rich, privileged classes and suffered by the men and women who serve them. Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman is an elegant mystery filled with intriguing characters and fascinating descriptions of Edwardian life—a superb treat for those who love British novels.

I was hooked by the premise—a glamorous costume ball, the upstairs/downstairs dynamic that I have so enjoyed with Downton Abbey, an unsolved mystery, and the early 20th century setting.  And from a shallow standpoint, the cover art is amazing.  I thought I had a home run here.

I’m sorry to report that I didn’t enjoy Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman.  Tessa Arlen’s writing is wonderful, easy to read yet of high quality.  Her protagonists were likeable and one of the antagonists was pitiably despicable, which I mean as a compliment to Arlen’s writing.  However, the story never connected with me.  I wasn’t drawn in.  I really didn’t care about the characters. I did want to find out the “whodunit” aspect of the plot, but at a fairly apathetic level. 

As stated, Tessa Arlen is a wonderful writer, and more than eclipses the meager words I put on this page. I don’t enjoy giving negative reviews and in no way want to slight her as an author. I think this is more a case of, “It’s not you—It’s me.”  So I cannot say that wouldn’t recommend this title.  I hope it does well, and there will probably be many who enjoy it very much.  We just weren’t a good match for each other.

Giveaway: Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman
(U.S. Addresses Only)
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About the Author

TESSA ARLEN, the daughter of a British diplomat, had lived in or visited her parents in Singapore, Cairo, Berlin, the Persian Gulf, Beijing, Delhi and Warsaw by the time she was sixteen. She came to the U.S. in 1980 and worked as an H.R. recruiter for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games, where she interviewed her future husband for a job. DEATH OF A DISHONORABLE GENTLEMAN is Tessa’s first novel. She lives in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

For more information please visit Tessa Arlen’s website. Read Tessa Arlen’s blog at Redoubtable Edwardians. You can also connect with her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Subscribe to Tessa Arlen’s Newsletter.



Downton Life

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  1. I don't think I would choose to be part of the staff since they worked hard and had long hours.

  2. I'd rather not be in the downstairs staff..

  3. I can't imagine making the choice to be on the staff. I'd prefer a life of privilege, unlike my real life, and hopefully I wouldn't be too guilty of petty snobbery and class prejudice. Thanks

  4. I would not want to be on the staff. It would be nice to live a life of privilege!

  5. I would not choose to be part of the staff. Just being away from your family for so long and not being able to have a family of your own would be very hard for me.



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