Title: A Gentleman of Fortune; Or, the Suspicions of Miss Dido Kent
Author: Anna Dean
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 4 out of 5
In this sequel to Bellfield Hall, Miss Dido Kent, a spinster in her thirties, returns to solve another mystery. Dido is on vacation visiting her cousin when Mrs. Lansdale, an elderly neighbor, unexpectedly dies. During the investigation into her death, it is revealed that there may have been foul play, and once again, Dido takes it upon herself to find the culprit.
The second Regency-era historical mystery featuring Dido Kent is a fun read from beginning to end. Once again, Dido sticks her nose where it doesn’t belong in order to clear the name of a friend, who also happens to be the nephew to the deceased, Henry Lansdale. While Dido feels she is obligated to help, especially because she has proven her skill at solving mysteries, the man she loves, Mr. William Lomax, has mixed feelings about Dido’s involvement. This presents an interesting dilemma for Miss Dido Kent as the novel progresses.
A Gentleman of Fortune has many different characters, and at times they are difficult to keep straight. While this can be frustrating at times, it also means that the identity of the murderer is difficult to predict. The mystery is well-written and moves forward at an agreeable pace. Dean takes the reader on twists and turns; Dido forges ahead along one path, only to find herself at a dead end. She constantly is having to reevaluate what she thinks she knows. However, all these different threads come together at the end for a surprising conclusion. I appreciated Dean’s creativity and Dido’s skills, as the end result wasn’t something I saw coming.
This novel is a fun installment in a creative and engaging historical mystery series. Rarely does a second novel in a series live up to the promise of the first (the dreaded “sophomore slump” syndrome), but Anna Dean successfully avoids that problem with A Gentleman of Fortune. If you’re looking for a promising series with a feisty, intelligent heroine who has a great personality, Miss Dido Kent is a great choice.