RogerBW's Blog

A Place of Confinement, Anna Dean 15 August 2015

2012 historical detection, fourth in Dean's Dido Kent series. Dido is forced to act as companion to her elderly and wealthy aunt, but the house they visit has its own problems: a young lady has disappeared, perhaps to Gretna Green, but her guardian is curiously unconcerned about her.

Another strong entry in the series, with confusions of identity, relatives locked away "for their own good", a suspicious rock-slide, a book of sermons with unexpected contents, and a priest's hole. Some of the female characters are a bit on the dopey side, but the rich and horrid aunt turns out to have not the usual unexpected depths but instead quite different ones.

Some old friends reappear, including the ne'er-do-well son of Dido's admirer, who finds himself accused of murder – which of course threatens what little relationship there is. The mystery is probably more straightforward than in previous books, in part because of a paucity of plausible suspects, and Dido often comes over as harsh when she's questioning people (several of whom she has to go back to repeatedly); I suspect, having read the other books, that that's because she's on edge thanks to her unpleasant situation, though for that reason I wouldn't recommend this as an entry point to the series.

There's more emphasis than ever on the highly circumscribed lives available to women, and the near impossibility of the much-lauded marrying for love when men's and women's lives of the mind are so different, with such little contact between them, that they can have nothing to talk about on the rare occasions they are allowed to talk to each other at all.

Series recommended by Michael Cule. There has at the time of writing been no fifth volume, which I think a shame.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: A Woman of Consequence | Series: Dido Kent

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1