A Useful Woman E–pub Free

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Lot darker than Jane Austen s ight bright and sparkling romances It s darker than even Heyer s romances ike one of her mysteries without the humor The mystery is clever and complicated I never guessed what was going on at all I only guessed who just before Rosalind did However the mystery took a ong time to set up and didn t get really interesting until after the halfway point What I didn t ike about the story is the switching of point of view between Rosalind and other characters After being inside Rosalind s head for awhile the switch is jarring The end sets up the next story The historical details are OK but sometimes the story felt ate Victorian or Edwardian I really iked the uotes from period sources about Almack s The biggest error may be Rosalind Live Bait living alone Alice as girl reporter gives the story a EdwardianWWI feel I m not sure there were female reportersike Alice in the Regency period I m also not sure Alice would be so pragmatic about No Strings Attached losing her family fortune More realistically she would be a companion or governess Mourning customs wereess strict in the Regency than they would be Fancy Strut later on in the Victorian period There are a few errors in stylesforms of address towards the end of the book The characters are kind of flat for most of the novel Iiked Honoria better than Rosalind She has a temper and speaks her mind very modern and unladylike for the period I m not sure how accurate that makes her but I found her honesty refreshing I also felt really bad for her because of her horrible Alva Vanderbilt type mother and also for the Northern California: A History and Guide - From Napa to Eureka loss of her brother the only family member sheiked or who cared about her I also Unbreathed Memories liked Alice She s eager for a good story but also a good friend to Rosalind She seems to care for her friend than anyone else in the novel Rosalind is just aittle too demure for me For most of the book she secretly resents her father s criminal activities and the defection of her elder sister but the only thing she can do to change her situation is act demure and toady to the haut ton to make them think her ideas are their own She is in a precarious situation Rosalind tries too hard to please everybody She still harbors a tendre for a man she would never have been allowed to marry even before her father ran off As the story progresses her character develops and I expect she l be a ittle different on her next case Jasper seemed ike a kind young gentleman He was sensitive and caring not as rakish as some of his peersLady Blanchard is a complicated character She s kind to Rosalind and she appears to respect the other Lady Patronesses but it seems ike she doesn t really care for them She enjoys her position in society as a A Sally Lockhart Mystery 2 lady patroness of Almack s but she s also the most caring of all of them Sheoves Rosalind but she s only willing to stick her neck out so far to help Rosalind She doesn t always do what is right but that makes her a accurate woman of her time than the younger I Love My Dad ladies in the book Her husband Lord Blanchard is also confusing He seems a kind man a doting husband and godfather but he turns on Rosalind when it matters most and is worried about his own reputation than hers I have mixed feelings about Devon as Rosalind sove interest My feelings about his changed as the story progressed and Rosalind began to see things carefully I don t think he and Rosalind would have been allowed to marry in the first place He knows the rules as well as she does but he doesn t seem to care about her reputation making a scene and being alone with her in public I don t see Adam as a potential All about Us love interest either Though some of the story is from his point of view he s hard to figure out He seems old beyond his years and is close mouthed He opens up a bit to Rosalind and is the only one who truly sees her for the woman she really is I would definitely give another book in the series a try to see how Rosalind develops and how her relationship with Adam works I just wish there was humor to balance the heavy story The blurb for this book does it a disservice Using the phrase inspired by the novels of Jane Austen raises a series of expectations that A Useful Woman is destined to disappoint That s unfortunate because it s uite a good novel for what it really isWhat it is is a historical mystery There are the usual romanceus interruptus elements that you find in mystery fiction today but no marriage plot there is mayhem there are unanswered uestions there is an investigation there is peril and an ultimate resolution There is even some social comedy though it is subservient to the plot and not an end in itself Others have called the novel Heyeresue instead of Austenesue because it focuses on the Regency Marriage Mart Almack s But again it s not a marriage plot story and doesn t have aot of humorous characters put in for pure amusement such as you would find in Georgette Heyer s novelsOnce I had gotten over focusing on what this book is not didn t take too ong I settled in to enjoy a well conceived well written mystery novel Rosalind Thorne is the daughter of a disgraced gentleman who maintains a tenuous position in polite society by making herself useful when ife s Noni Speaks Up little peccadilloes threaten social disaster She is a fixer of scandals a manager of ambitious strivings a taste maker As such sheives always on the knife edge of banishment from the only world she knows I sympathized and empathized with her admired her self control and her ingenuity as she navigates this perilous courseThere is a murder and not just Rosalind s godmother but also the estranged Handbags and Gladrags love of herife seems to have some connection to it The sister of the victim is virtually engaged to said An Egg-cellent Easter! (Barbie) love of herife and she asks Rosalind to investigate It seems the only people who wish Rosalind well are the ones most ikely to suffer from her inuiries This is an elegantly constructed plot that really draws the reader into sympathy with the heroine s difficulties material ethical emotionalI appreciated the wealth of research about ife in London in the Regency the many telling Details That The Author Uses that the author uses make a Wish Upon a Wedding larger point I never felt the author was throwing in factoids to show off The author deftly uses the intricate social rules of the haut ton to drive the plot the dialogue is admirable for its elegance and restraint Ioved the use of de uincey s tongue in cheek essay On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts in the chapter epigraphs though that s an anachronism the essay wasn t published till 1827I am a bit of a purist about period language so I did not ove the many modernisms that slipped into the narrative they jarred so I did not ove the many modernisms that slipped into the narrative they jarred out of the novel s spell There were also a few odd rookie errors such as people addressing a duke repeatedly as Lord Casselmain instead of Your Grace Perhaps he could have been a viscount instead But on the whole this story took hold of my imagination on various Renovations: A Father and Son Rebuild a House and Rediscover Each Other levels and held me tight till the end Some books start out strong andose steam others start in deceptive meekness and build to the end I am happy to say that A Useful Woman is one of the Richard Nixon: The Life latter Amooking forward to the further adventures of Rosalind Thorne 35 stars This read I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! like it should be a television or movie plot It was very interesting well done and Iiked the mystery and the setting of the whole story among the Almack ton I really iked view spoilerHonorio and I hope her friendship with Rosalind is expanded on in future books hide spoile. Er the killer from a ist of suspects that includes Almack’s powerful patronesses and her former suitor Devon Winterbourne now Lord Casselmaine   Torn between her old ove and a growing attraction to a compelling Bow Street runner Rosalind must not only unravel the mysteries surrounding Jasper’s death but the mysteries of her own heart as we. Me in which it is set There are no gritty Swoon: The Heartthrob Activity Book for Good Color-Inners as Well as Beginners looks at realife or characters with ISSUES so the book might suit someone Janae (Blacktop, looking for a change of pace from the current trend for grisly tortuous plots and tormented protagonists as well as fans of historical mysteries in generalDarcie Wilde has written a number of historical romances but the emphasis in this book is firmly on the mystery and there is no romance to speak of There are hints that point towards one for our heroine in the future and we are made aware that she struggles to deal with the presence in herife of her former beau but otherwise this is very much a historical mystery with nothing on the sideThe book opens a few years before the main story begins revealing how Rosalind in confident expectation of an offer from Devon Winterbourne the second son of the Duke of Casselmain has her hopes dashed when her father reveals that he is in debt up to the eyeballs and then does a midnight flit accompanied by her older sister Charlotte Since then Rosalind s mother has died and had not been for the support of her godmother Lady Blanchard she would have been completely alone She was taken in by the Blanchards for a short while which is when she first began to use her knowledge of the workings of society to help its harried matrons compile guest ists make seating plans and arrange social occasions and generally act as a kind of social secretary while also knowing the right ears into which to drop choice tidbits of gossip Her family situation means that she is no onger regarded as part of the highest echelons but her usefulness means that she is still welcomed almost everywhereThe plot of A Useful Woman revolves around that bastion of good ton Almack s club Anyone who reads Regencies on a regular basis will be familiar with it to be granted a voucher to attend the regular assemblies was essential for any young ady with pretentions to good standing in society and bent on making a good marriage The rules of admission were complex and depended entirely upon the goodwill of the ady patronesses any one of whom could veto entry to the club uite a ot of the first part of the book is devoted to explaining the rituals surrounding Almack s and its importance in Regency society and some of it is uite repetitive The book is fairly slow to start which is I suppose due to the fact that as the first in a series there is a fair amount of scene setting to be doneThe story opens as one of the patronesses Lady Blanchard is on the point of announcing her resignation as she will be accompanying her husband abroad on his new diplomatic posting Such a juicy piece of gossip could not be kept a secret for ong and Lady Aimesworth wastes no time in approaching Rosalind and asking her to put in a good word for her with Lady Blanchard Knowing there is no ove ost between these two Why Diets Make Us Fat ladies Rosalind nevertheless mentions to her godmother that Lady Aimesworth is angling for the position of patroness expecting Lady B to immediately dismiss the idea When she doesn t Rosalind is not aittle surprised but her uestions remain unanswered when their t te t te is interruptedThe start of the season is fast approaching and all the hopeful debutantes are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the vouchers that will Dont Hex with Texas (Enchanted, Inc., launch them into society But when Jasper Aimesworth is found murdered in Almack s ballroom the cats are well and truly set among the pigeons and Rosalind must use her position as the person everyone talks to and relies on to try to find out the truth In this endeavour she is eventually joined by Principal Officer Adam Harkness of Bow Street a man whose charm and handsome features mask a mindike a steel trap and the determination to uncover the truth no matter the costI had a few problems with the mystery in that it feels rather convoluted towards the end and the ending is a ittle rushed I also found Some Of Rosalind S Thought Processes Made Unexpected Leaps I of Rosalind s thought processes made unexpected eaps I not a great reader of mysteries but when I do read them I prefer those in which the reader is allowed to make the connections at the same time as the protagonist There were a couple of times here when I read Rosalind s thoughts and then wondered how she d reached a particular conclusion which briefly took me out of the story a particular conclusion which briefly took me out of the story those issues are balanced out by the strength of the writing and by the way Ms Wilde so fully and skillfully immerses the reader in the customs and manners of the times There is a diverse and well drawn set of secondary characters ranging from those of the haut ton Everyday life in medieval times like the waspish Lady Jersey to Rosalind s two friends Alice and George Littlefield whoike Rosalind are former gentry and who now have to work for a North living Rosalind is an engaging and sympathetic heroine whose position as an outsider makes her vulnerable but who is nonetheless determined to hold her head up high even when others disparage her and remind her that her position in society isn t what it once wasAll in all A Useful Woman is an enjoyable easy read and one I d certainly recommend to fans of historical mysteries The author s research into the period has obviously been extensive Rosalind Thorne is a uniue and relatable heroine and Il definitely be on the ookout for the next book in the series Was super into this I keep stumbling across it and so decided to read it todayI keep wanting historical mystery series where women instead of just ignoring the constraints and conventions of their time are forced to operate within them This is definitely one of those I mean I m sure it s not 100% accurate but it s accurate enough It s accurate by historical fiction standards and there was nothing glaring Choices are well justified There are certain things the characters just don t do At no point did I roll my eyesAnd I am super into it I just really iked Rosalind Thorne and how this went Also really Dead Giveaway like the relationships between the women in this both friendly and not I don t even mind that thismight be setting up a view spoilerlove triangle hide spoiler Rosalind Thorne is an impoverished gentlewoman who makes aiving being useful to members of the haut ton Once she had it all family fortune and Andrew Lost In the Kitchen love then it all went away when her father ran offeaving behind a mountain of debts Rosalind s Mama was unable to cope with the situation so Lady Blanchard Rosalind s godmother stepped in to help Rosalind owes everything to Lady Blanchard and now Lord Blanchard is being transferred to Koningsberg Rosalind needs to find her own way When the imperious Lady Edmund commands a favor from Rosalind it sets in motion a chain of events Rosalind never expected First Lady Edmund s daughter Honoria announces her engagement to Devon the Duke of Winterborne Rosalind s former Strange Son: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and the Quest to Unlock the Hidden World of Autism love Then Rosalind discovers Honoria s brother son Jasper Aimesworthying dead on the floor of Almack s ballroom Bow Street is called in to investigate and Adam Harkness is on the scent of a scandal that involves several members of Rosalind s world and the hallowed assembly hall Almack s Rosalind knows the truth is difficult to accept but the mystery must be solved and the murderer brought to justice Can she go where Bow Street can not and discover the truth that may ruin everything she s ever knownThis book is described as Jane Austen inspired but it s inspired by Georgette Heyer s world of the haut ton The only thing in common it has with Austen is the heroine who is an impoverished spinster The story is He family To survive in the only world she knew she began to manage the affairs of some of London society’s most influential women who have come to rely on her wit and discretion   So when artistocratic wastrel Jasper Aimesworth is found dead in London’s most exclusive ballroom Almack’s Rosalind must use her skills and connections to uncov. ,


REVIEW A Useful Woman

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A Useful Woman had a bit of a ponderous start and was in serious danger of getting bogged down in too many details of propriety and drawing room niceties The Regency era is one of my comfort settings but something needs to happen within that setting for me to stay interested and that needs to happen pretty uickly Here it did set the stage for the tightrope that Rosalind is walking but I wish the touch had been a bit Nope lighter and the action had started sooner Thankfully a murder did change all that Once Rosalind focused on plumbing the depths of the currents around her watching her try to hold together her own social position as well as that of her friends and charges was much interesting Who knew what could be hiding under that veneer of respectability I found the answer satisfyingly shocking in the end Ioved the premise of Rosalind as an unprotected woman trying to stay acceptable to the ton after her father s financial disaster years ago I Rejected Rejected Rejected loved her cleverness at eking out aiving from them and her strength under that intense pressure I definitely want to see of the characters who appreciate her intelligence instead of using her while forcing her to hide it One in particular was very intriguingI do have one minor uibble I was irritated a couple times when Rosalind realized something about the mystery and it was not shared with the reader She suddenly knew what had happened but I had to stay in the dark until the end I appreciate the suspense that kept me in but I would rather have followed her thought process That s one reason I Listening: The Last Poems of Margaret Avison like to read mysteries so I can be working it out in my own mind If I don t have all the same information the sleuth has I can t do that Still I felt this was a strong start to a new historical mystery series especially as it s the first mystery by this author I m definitelyooking forward to the next installment I just hope we don t dwell on the correct order of paying compliments for too Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and Out of Jazz long before the next murder breaks This book was an all around fabulous surprise It did the job of setting up a new series offering up a cunning mystery plot challenging characters and the history came alive in this one It was one of those books where I started itate at night with the whole I Buck: A Memoir ll just read one or two chapters chestnut and ended I heard about this book on a forum of Historical Romance readers and thought the premise was intriguing so I decided to give it a whirl The protagonist of A Useful Woman isn t your typical Regency Era heroine who s a starry eye Copy gifted by the author posted to me by Sarah C one of the moderators of the Jane Austen Group Thanks very much for thatThis book isn t Heyerish a definite point in it s favour most of GH s imitators turn out very shoddy work but it does contain two things that pop up often in Heyer s Regency works the very exclusive social club Almack s As has often been mentioned in Regency works Almack s wasn t comfortable or even attractive served bad refreshments and the patronesses were crashing snobs But well done to these women for making their Assemblies the most sought after events of the London Seasonand the predecessor to the modern police force the famous or infamous Bow St Runners Welcome to the world of Rosalind Thorne a gentlewoman who through no fault of her own is now impoverished Rosalind is managing to eke out an existence with her wits charm discretion and because theadies of the Haut Ton find her a useful womanWhen the aristocratic but unscrupulous Jasper Aimesworth is found dead in suspicious circumstances Rosalind finds herself involved in that most ungenteel of occupations gasp solving a murder and fighting an attraction to an astute and attractive Bow St Runner Adam HarknessI ve mentioned the two main pluses for me above The others were some signs of very solid research and the fast paced endingI m neutral on Rosalind as I found her character till close to the end uite bland But Rosalind probably had to suppress all distinctive personality traits to pick her way through all the social traps petty humiliations in London SocietyDefinite flaws This book sagged badly in the middle and I had to force myself to keep going The speech is often uite modern or sometimes just plain odd ike Mother had already scented that something was wrongA few anachronisms The most jarring for me was The Lady Reporter Friend Lady Reporter Friend reporter friend Rosalind s Alice appeared ike a character from a Hollywood movie about the Yikes, Vikings! (Canadian Flyer Adventures Series late nineteenth century I ve never read any account of the Regency world that suggested journalists as we know them existedBut I still enjoyed this example of a Regency Whodunnit far than the single offerings I have read by Ashley Gardner and Stephanie BarronI mooking forward to Miss Thorne s next adventureEdit The Five Days Left lovely Ms Wilde has just been on the jane Austen Group for a A session Ms Wilde says the Regency era most definitely did have female journalists but they were working around marriage children were very underpaid compared to their male counterpartsI stand corrected A USEFUL WOMANRosalind Thorne Mysteries 1Written by Darcie Wilde2016 Berkley 384 PagesGenre series fiction mystery cozy romanceRATING 12 Rosalind Thorne a daughter of a baronet is dreaming of her future with the man sheoves when one night her mother and her return home early from a party Her older sister is uickly packing and fleeing into the night It seems her father is in financial trouble and has chosen to abandon his wife and youngest daughter to runaway After her mother passes away Rosalind must take on work to survive in 19th Century England She gets a job managing the affairs of wealthy women and becomes known for her discretion Five years after Rosalind s father had disappeared things are starting to settle down for her when she is summoned back into her godmother Lady Blanchard s Searching for Robert Johnson life When she goes to Almack s to pick up her godmother for dinner she discovers the body of Jasper Aimesworth an aristocrat who s sister Honoria is to marry Rosalind s almost fiance Devon Now Rosalind finds herself helping Honoria in her brother s death but also being around Devon If she is not careful Rosalind might be in danger herself before she can be outed from the Ton for goodUntil the murder of Jasper Aimesworth much of this novel readsike a historical romance There is nothing wrong with a historical romance if that is how the novel is supposed to be marketed From the synopsis you get the idea that this is a historical mystery with a dash of romance since it is set in Regency Era and has Jane Austen inspired as a tag Blood on Silk line It takes awhile for this novel to start in general as we get a bit too much description of Regency days The mystery and cast of characters are alsoatecomers Once I Buzz: A Graphic Reality Check for Teens Dealing With Drugs and Alcohol let go of historical mystery I found myself enjoying the book A historical romance with a dash of mystery for me worked better Wilde was trying to bring in a bit of Austen s wit but it didn t uite work at times YET I finished the novel and didike it I am curious to see what Wilde has in store for book 2as there is potential and hopefully a fun ove interestI received an eARC from NETGALLEYMy Novelesue Blog A Useful Woman is the first in a new series of mysteries set in the Regency period featuring Rosalind A Useful Woman is the first in a new series of mysteries set in the Regency period featuring Rosalind a young ady of good birth who through no fault of her own has fallen upon hard times Even though it s a murder mystery it s a very gentle and rather polite story which I suppose befits the ti. Inspired by the novels of Jane Austen this new mystery series set in 19th century London introduces the charming and resourceful Rosalind Thorne a woman privy to the secrets of high society including who among the ton is capable of murder   The daughter of a baronet and minor heiress Rosalind Thorne was nearly ruined after her father abandoned A Useful Woman