Friday, January 9, 2015

Blog Tour/Review: Death of a Dishonarable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen

Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Minotaur Books
Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Mystery

My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy through Netgalley for an honest review

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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.

A Party for Winston, the second book in the series to be released in January 2016.

This book starts with Lady Montfort preparing for her annual summer costume ball. As guests start arriving, we start to meet them. Knowing that a murder would happen, it wasn't too hard to figure out that her nephew, Teddy, would be the victim. Teddy was Lord Montfort's sister's only child who abandoned him a few years after her husband was killed in a shooting accident. As the investigation got under way, we started to learn the unsavory details of Teddy's life and the man he had become. Lady Montfort had witnessed something the day he was killed that worried her about who the murderer might turn out to be. 

News of the murder was distressing and learning that a female guest, Lucinda, and a young housemaid, Violet, had also disappeared added to the tension. Lady Montfort enlists the help of her housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to find out some information and report back to her. Mrs. Jackson isn't thrilled but agrees and they start to confide in each other. 

There are quite a few characters to get to know and there are plenty of suspects with motives to kill Teddy. His death was pretty horrific, though, and seemed personal. As the story comes to the conclusion and we learn more about Teddy's despicable behavior, what happened to him and who the murderer turned out to be wasn't surprising. 

Teddy was alive a very short time so we mostly learned about him through stories that other guests told about him. I did feel bad that his mother pretty much abandoned him so he definitely grew up with some issues. However, he was still responsible for the poor choices he continued to make. The Montfort's took him in and did what they could and I liked both of them. Mrs. Montfort and Mrs. Jackson made a great team as they continued to put the pieces they each had together until they figured out what happened. Sometimes it was hard for me to remember which guest went with which story but it all worked out in the end. This novel is proper and slow moving yet I was engrossed in what was happening the entire time. This is a book that fans of mystery and/or Downton Abbey will enjoy!

Praise for Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman

“Tessa Arlen has a worthy debut with Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman. With a deliciously gruesome murder and an unlikely pair of sleuths, this is a treat for fans of Downton Abbey who will want to devour it with a nice steaming pot of Earl Grey.” —New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn

“In her debut novel, Tessa Arlen weaves an evocative tale of the passions, loyalties and ambitions that divide and unite two classes, upstairs and downstairs, in a stately home. She instantly transports the reader to Edwardian England.”—Christine Trent, author of Stolen Remains

“A dash of noblesse oblige sparkles between the upstairs/downstairs world of Lady Montfort and her housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, as they work together to unmask the identity of a killer at large on the Montfort’s country estate. As sharp as a Nancy Mitford novel, Tessa Arlen’s sophisticated Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman deserves its place among the Great and the Good of classic mystery.”—Lyndsy Spence, founder of The Mitford Society and author of The Mitford Girls’ Guide to Life.

“Thoroughly enchanting. Arlen’s debut will appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, with its vivid descriptions, firm grip on the intricacies of the time period, and skilled portrayal of the often complicated relationship between upstairs and downstairs.” —Anna Lee Huber, author of the Lady Darby mystery series

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Amazon (Paperback)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Paperback)
Book Depository

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 Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
Subscribe to Tessa Arlen’s Newsletter.

Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 5
Review at Reading the Past
Review at Back Porchervations
Review & Giveaway at Mina’s Bookshelf

Tuesday, January 6
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Review & Giveaway at The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, January 7
Review & Giveaway at To Read, Or Not to Read
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, January 8
Review at Buried Under Books

Friday, January 9
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Guest Post on The Writing Desk
Interview at Back Porchervations

Saturday, January 10
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Monday, January 12
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Tuesday, January 13
Review at Girl Lost in a Book
Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, January 14
Review & Giveaway at The Book Binder’s Daughter

Thursday, January 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Friday, January 16
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Monday, January 19
Review at Beth’s Book Book

Tuesday, January 20
Review at The Lit Bitch
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, January 21
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Thursday, January 22
Review at Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Monday, January 26
Review at A Literary Vacation
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Tuesday, January 27
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Wednesday, January 28
Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, January 29
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Saturday, January 31
Review & Giveaway at The Calico Critic

Monday, February 2
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, February 3
Spotlight at I Heart Reading

Thursday, February 5
Review at Layered Pages

Friday, February 6
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection


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