A Noble Pair of Brothers by Suzanne Downes on Amazon
I liked this book very much. At times I felt myself transported to a Victorian front room, snuggled up in a velvet house coat in front of a roaring fire. Only to put my kindle down, and blink against the harsh sunlight. (As I live in southern France.) Suzanne Downes really brought the 1820’s to life for me with her use of language and attention to period detail. The romantic story line and how the Underwood brothers interact with women reminded me a lot of Jane Austen. Like Ms Austen this book is witty but also shows the plight of women in the early 1800’s; Ms Chapell, the Governess, who after the death of her father has no option but to take a post at the tyrannical Sir Henry Wynter household, where she is disrespected and bullied. Then there is Charlotte Wynter, Sir Henry’s pretty, but spoiled daughter that is keen to marry, as this will be her only escape from her alcoholic father.
The murder plot brings this book firmly into the modern era. It had me guessing to the last and the unsavoury details surrounding the murder are certainly not something you would find in an Austen novel. The Underwood brothers are two very complex but also very English characters and I understood their actions. I’m intrigued to find out where the second book takes us as neither brother had set out to become a detective. (Yet!) I’m delighted there are seven books in the series as I want to read more by this writer. A must read for fans of mystery and period drama.