Thursday, 18 February 2016

Book Review: A Noble Pair of Brothers (The Underwood Mysteries #1)

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I read for many reasons, but one of the strongest reasons is that I want to be transported into a world that I think I would really enjoy. There's something so appealing by a story set in the Regency period. A time where men were true gentlemen and ladies were refined and demure. That doesn't mean I view the period through rose tinted glasses, far from it.

But the period instantly appealed to me, and even the blurb doesn't give everything away. Is this a mystery, a historical romance, a crime thriller? in many ways, it is all of these things.

I actually enjoyed the measured pace and descriptive writing style of the author. Miss Downes leaves nothing to chance; you understand where you are and when you are - and her characters are extremely well drawn and entertaining (Chuffy needs his own book!).

For some, the pace may be too slow. I say don't expect each book to run at lightning speed. A Noble Pair of Brothers works on practically every level I could have wished for.

A professor takes leave to visit his brother, who is a vicar in a quaint English village. Of course, it is the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else, is the very definition of 'let sleeping dogs lie' and yet, the wily professor is fascinating by the unknown / unmarked grave of the person who died in mysterious circumstances. The beauty of living in England is that there are lots of villages like this, and I grin each time I visit such a place, knowing that the people there all know each other, but don't know me.

The brothers should be like peas in a pod but the author has given them great distinctiveness and even though there is an underlying sub-plot about marrying the women of the story off to well-to-do men, a given of the period, it is a necessary device and welcome diversion from the mystery that slowly unravels.

For some, the pace may be too slow. I say don't expect each book to run at lightning speed. A Noble Pair of Brothers works on practically every level I could have wished for. It took me a while to read it, some of you may devour it more quickly. But I promise you that you will enjoy this first in the series, and I am going to read the second book in due course.