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Sick of Shadows: An Edwardian Murder Mystery    by Marion Chesney order for
Sick of Shadows
by Marion Chesney
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Lady Rose Summer is still fighting the confines of polite society in Edwardian England - as she did in the two previous novels in this series, Snobbery with Violence and Hasty Death. Rose has arranged a convenient engagement with Harry Cathcart (who has ignored the rules of a gentleman and gone into trade!) so that her parents won't keep thrusting her at unsuitable suitors who are only after her money. Rose is annoyed with Harry as he is never available to escort her to parties and balls.

When a casual acquaintance is murdered, Rose finds herself in danger. Harry rallies to the rescue. Their parrying of words is a delight to witness, although of course the reader knows what will eventually happen. Their own servants are in love and so push Harry and Rose to realize their love for each other. The arrogance and pomposity of the gentry in years gone by becomes very hard to swallow. However, what is presented is how things were in those days and gives an insight into the whys and wherefores of the characters.

Although this particular novel didn't move as smoothly along as previous episodes, it's a deliciously fun series. Sick of Shadows is a worthy read, and I continue to genuflect at the feet of Marion Chesney who also writes (as M. C. Beaton) two other delightful series - one featuring Agatha Raisin and the other Hamish Macbeth.

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