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Snobbery with Violence    by Marion Chesney order for
Snobbery with Violence
by Marion Chesney
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Snobbery with Violence introduces a new series of historical whodunits, whose main character is Lady Rose Summer. It's written by M. C. Beaton, author of the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series, and these new settings and characters promise many more hours of reading pleasure.

Living in Edwardian England, Lady Rose Summer is a girl before her time. She's caught in a class system that doesn't allow women to think for themselves, one where the one and only goal for an eligible young girl is to secure an advantageous marriage - Rose champs at the bit. Attending a house party for the coming-out season's rejects, Rose finds she has a knack for detecting. She meets and antagonizes Harry Cathcart, a gentleman who has deserted his class by going into trade. He comes home from the Boer war restless, and takes up private detecting. A murder is committed and all the usual suspects are lined up for interrogation.

My main focus in reading the book lay in realizing the impact of the class system and being appalled at the arrogance of those who believed themselves the chosen ones. The foods, the clothes, the morals, and the nuances of the times are wonderfully developed. A rip-snortingly good mystery is thrown in with action scenes that lead up to what you are sure is going to happen. When it does, it's still a surprise. Snobbery with Violence is good entertainment from an author who knows how to capture the reader's attention and keep it.

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