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A Noble Pair of Brothers (The Underwood Mysteries Book 1) by [Downes, Suzanne]
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A Noble Pair of Brothers (The Underwood Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Description

Product Description

An historical murder mystery set in the 1820's.
When C. H. Underwood arrives in the village of Bracken Tor in the spring of 1820, he intends only to visit his brother, the vicar, and take a long rest from his work as a Classics tutor at Cambridge University.
However, almost as soon as he arrives he finds himself intrigued by an unsolved murder, committed the year before.
The headless corpse of a young woman was found in woods belonging to the local landowner and Magistrate, Sir Henry Wynter.
Underwood finds the notion that the body lies in a grave marked “Unknown” to be abhorrent. He decides to use his free time to discover the identity of the victim – and if possible bring her killer to justice.
His brother begs him to proceed with caution, as the murder had roused feelings of a controversial nature amongst the villagers.
Before long he has uncovered not only the girl’s final movements before her death, but also the possibility of two other murders having taken place in Bracken Tor.
His task is not made any less complicated by his developing relationship with Charlotte, one of Sir Henry’s daughters, and by the myriad characters he comes across in his investigation.
The theory that the girl had been killed as some sort of barbaric ritual is only one of his difficulties, and when a young man arrives in the midst of a cricket match, claiming to be the victim’s husband, the whole village becomes privy to the fact that Underwood is attempting to solve the mystery.
When the newcomer is shot through the heart whilst in Underwood’s company, he finds himself not only universally reviled for his interference, but also accused of murder himself.
It takes all his ingenuity to extricate himself from the chaos he has caused, but he always has Verity Chapell, governess to the Wynter girls, to help him in his quest to find the murderer.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1648 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Suzanne Downes; 1 edition (Jan. 15 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #143,913 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm giving this a four as a compromise. But for a trifle, I would have made it a five; however, with that trifle, my true feeling is that it ranks at three. Knowing the trifle for what it is, however, I suspect most people would be happy to rate it at four. It's an intriguing combination of the cozy mystery and the Regency romance, with many ups and downs, several surprises at the ending, and the two lead characters as happy as they should be. What was the trifle? A matter of characterization being marred by poor proofreading. I have gotten used to the fact that modern authors are unable to do their own proofreading and are either unwilling or unable to pay someone fifty dollars to do it for them. I ignore as best I can most errors. However, Chuffy Underwood is painted as a classics tutor at Cambridge, immersed in Greek and Latin, both fully inflected languages, and the author has him refer to something happening "with Charlotte and I". For such a person, it would be as unnatural to use the nominative as the object of a predicate as it would be to attend church in his underwear. This happened fairly early in the book, and completely broke my "suspension of disbelief". Although I read the whole book and enjoyed most of it, I was unable to believe in Underwood as a real character again until almost the last chapter; therefore, I could not identify with him nor become engrossed in his adventures as I would have wished. I know most people will scarcely notice - but for those of us who do notice, I think the author would have been well advised to find that fifty dollars somewhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x98c639e4) out of 5 stars 65 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9918b7ec) out of 5 stars Kind of disappointing on two issues. April 20 2014
By DRRD - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This wasn't awful, but the writing itself was good enough to make the plot disappointing. The characters, as they were, were well described, and the setting easily visualized. And there were only a few missing or misspelled words once in a great while.

But this is really neither a good mystery, nor a good romance. Too much time was spent in description of events that didn't really move either the mystery or the romance along, and there was too much of the mystery -told- to the reader after the event. "Show, don't Tell," wasn't really followed in parts. I got bored being told how he discovered much of the information he needed to solve the mystery, instead of getting to see him do the work and being there as witness.

And the romance seemed forced, since there was -no- good reason for the main character to be drawn to the lady he was supposed to be interested in. It just came out of the blue. It was clear they were not well suited for each other, since other characters also noticed this. So the 'romance' felt forced and out of place. When you root for the main character not to be successful in his romantic pursuits, you know something is off. The ending came off more as sad and unbelievable than happy.

The ending felt rushed, with information just spilling out of people at the end. Even the disposal of the body at the start makes no real sense when the truth is revealed. There was really no real reason for it to have been found in the first place.

I really wanted to like this one, but it really didn't work as a romance nor as a mystery, no matter how I tried to ignore what wasn't working for me. Not a horrible read, and pleasant at times between the two brothers, but it just didn't hang together for me.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x996e4dec) out of 5 stars Not a typical romance April 19 2014
By jwolfe44 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is okay. What I like about the book is that it did not have a lot of steamy love scenes, pat dialogue, or a formula plot. It is not a typical romance book, which was a nice departure from the norm. What I didn't like was that the plot drags along, and the ending does not satisfy. Most of the characters are not very likeable; even the protagonist is a depressing character.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99188960) out of 5 stars Interesting July 18 2014
By kshrop - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story kept my interest and I found it difficult to put down.

Chuffy is the hero, and he has come to visit his brother who is the minister in a small village. Chuffy learns of a murder of a year woman that occurred the previous year. The corpse was left headless so she was never identified, and the murderer was never caught. Our hero decides he will solve the mystery.

He is a teacher at Cambridge and had been engaged years ago but the young woman died. His personality is rather stiff and he seems to have the tendency to have low spirits.

Chuffy meets one of the daughters of the local magistrate and wealthy landowner. Charlotte is vivacious and beautiful -- and more than a little spoiled. He finds himself thinking he is in love with her.

I realize a large age difference wasn't much of a consideration in the time period, but she was maybe 19 while he was nearing 40. He would have to give up his position at Cambridge if he married. Their personalities were so different. Frankly I just couldn't see it.

There are incidents that lead to another death. The closer the hero comes to solving the crime the more there is at stake for many people.

I was extremely frustrated with the hero. His affections seemed to float around. He was going to marry Charlotte, but was somewhat attracted to another woman. Charlotte's governess fell in love with the hero almost immediately. But the governess was plain and intelligent, and he didn't notice her feelings for him.

Whenever something terrible happened Chuffy would have to take to his bed. Everyone had to tiptoe around his sensitive nature.

I don't want to give away the storyline. The writing was good and often clever, though there were some errors. I wanted to slap the hero a few times for his stupidity. I do recommend this one.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99e8e630) out of 5 stars I loved the book July 8 2014
By Kelly Hartley - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved the book. The author writes smoothly and lets you keep pace with the well defined characters. I like the fact that you learn almost everything the investigator learns when he does, only one exception I can think of. Everything else one could have figured out too, inviting you to play detective with your own imagination. I also like the romance isn't dominating and I didn't have to suffer through steamy love scenes. The author keeps well to the morals and habits of the time period.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a1e82dc) out of 5 stars A problematic read Aug. 15 2014
By MBlount - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The trouble with this book is inconsistency of character. Charlotte is supposed to be self-centered, arrogant and vain, but she only sometimes acts that way and Mr. Underwood only sometimes notices. There's a mishmash of a plot with several of the common tropes (substitution of babies, adultery, incest, etc.), and neither of the 'romances' are believable, in part because you don't really care about the people involved as they've merely been sketched and never quite become real people. He's the Cambridge Don with a tragic background and a bent for investigation and she's the plain but very intelligent governess in a bad situation. It's all too thin and has already been done too often.