Book Tour Review: Death Sits Down to Dinner by Tessa Arlen

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Title: Death Sits Down to Dinner
Author: Tessa Arlen
Genre: historical fiction, mystery
Series: Lady Montfort Mysteries #2
Pages: 320
Published: March 29 2016
Source: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for review
Rating: 3/5

Lady Montfort is thrilled to receive an invitation to a dinner party hosted by her close friend Hermione Kingsley, the patroness of England's largest charity. Hermione has pulled together a select gathering to celebrate Winston Churchill's 39th birthday. Some of the oldest families in the country have gathered to toast the dangerously ambitious and utterly charming First Lord of the Admiralty. But when the dinner ends, one of the gentlemen remains seated at the table, head down among the walnut shells littering the cloth and a knife between his ribs.

Summoned from Iyntwood, Mrs. Jackson helps her mistress trace the steps of suspects both upstairs and downstairs as Hermione's household prepares to host a highly anticipated charity event. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson unravel the web of secrecy surrounding the bright whirlwind of London society, investigating the rich, well-connected and seeming do-gooders in a race against time to stop the murderer from striking again.

Death Sits Down to Dinner is an enjoyable Edwardian murder-mystery with an upstairs/downstairs angle between the two sleuths in the thick of the investigation: the aristocratic Lady Montfort and her reluctant companion, the housekeeper Mrs. Jackson. Set in a world on the cusp of outright hostility with Germany, the characters find themselves embroiled in a conspiracy with unexpected and far-reaching repercussions.

The story unfolds rather slowly once the inciting incident at the eponymous dinner has passed. It takes time for Lady Montfort to involve herself in the investigation and even longer to recruit Mrs. Jackson from her charity efforts. It's not boring, though, because Clementine's person and life take time for form.The novel does pretty well at establishing who these characters are and how they know one another for a second novel. I have not read the novel's predecessor, Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman, but luckily for me and other late-to-the-party readers, the plot of this novel is wholly contained and related only to this book.  

Peppered with real as well as fictional people, the appearances of historical figures such as Churchill and Lady Maud Cunard, among others, further set the scene and atmosphere of the story in Death Sits Down to Dinner. Arlen cleverly fills in the gaps of what we know about the real people and creates interesting and memorable versions of them -- it's also worth reading the author's note at the end of the book for more. 

I had a few small issues with the book that kept me from loving it. The villain, though moderately well camouflaged, waxes on for PAGES about their villainous plans and their nefarious reasons and it just was unbelievable. I felt like Lady Montfort had more characterization than Mrs. Jackson, and that the book ended really abruptly --- after the villain's soliloquoy. I liked Death Sits Down to Dinner well enough, but it was not a perfect read for me.

04_Death Sits Down to Dinner_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, March 28
Review at Laura’s Interests
Interview at Books and Benches

Tuesday, March 29
Review at A Book Geek
Interview at Historical Fiction Addicts

Wednesday, March 30
Interview at AustenProse

Thursday, March 31
Review at Buried Under Books
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Friday, April 1
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower

Monday, April 4
Review at Reading the Past
Spotlight at Seize the Words: Books in Review

Tuesday, April 5
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Wednesday, April 6
Review at Luxury Reading

Thursday, April 7
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, April 8
Review at A Holland Reads

Monday, April 11
Review at The Absurd Book Nerd

Tuesday, April 12
Interview at The Absurd Book Nerd

Wednesday, April 13
Review at Room With Books

Thursday, April 14
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, April 15
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, April 18
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Tuesday, April 19
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, April 20
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, April 21
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Friday, April 22
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Monday, April 25
Review & Giveaway at Brooke Blogs

Tuesday, April 26
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, April 27
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Friday, April 29
Review at To Read, Or Not to Read

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.