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Hasty Death: An Edwardian Murder Mystery    by Marion Chesney order for
Hasty Death
by Marion Chesney
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2005 (2004)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I just woke up to the fact that Marion Chesney is one and the same as M. C. Beaton, one of my favorite writers. For a book filled with fun and mystery, you can never go wrong with one of Beaton's two series, starring Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin. Hasty Death is an Edwardian murder mystery, taking place just after the Boer War. English standards of conduct and morals were still exceedingly high and the class system had not yet begun to break down.

Lady Rose Summer is fighting her parents on the subject of marriage. Also on almost everything else. She wants her freedom to exist as an individual, not as a clone of every other woman of her class. Rose gets their grudging permission to work as a typist, and to live in a rooming house with her maid/companion, Daisy. She again meets up with Captain Harry Cathcart (from a previous novel) who is working as a detective going against the idea of gentlepeople working in trade. Murder is done, and Harry, Rose and Daisy become involved and are endangered.

What fun the whole book is. From the great characterizations to a plot that doesn't falter, with humor that livens the writing even more, Hasty Death is a fine read.

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