A Moment of Silence by Anna Dean

When I discovered A Moment of Silence a few months ago, I immediately added this book to my wish list since it was described as a mystery novel with a touch of Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. I don’t think I need to tell you how much I love Jane Austen and Agatha Christie, because if you follow my blog, then I suppose you are already familiar with this fact. Thus, I was eager to read this book because I knew that I would love it. And I must say that I really did love this charming novel and I am looking forward to reading more works by Anna Dean in order to find out more about her main character Miss Dido Kent.

But now let’s have a look at the plot:

In 1805, Miss Dido Kent arrives at Belsfield Hall, the country estate of the Montague family, in order to help her niece, Catherine, deal with the fact that her finacé, Richard Montague, has suddenly broken their engagement and disappeared. Miss Dido learns that at Catherine’s engagement ball, a peculiar thing had taken place: a stranger had appeared at Richard’s shoulder and had looked at him without saying a word. Afterwards, Richard had immediately broken off his engagement to Catherine and left Belsfield Hall, never to be seen again. Therefore, heartbroken Catherine seeks the help of her spinster aunt Dido in order to discover the motive for Richard’s strange behavior and disappearance. But it seems that Miss Dido will have to solve yet another mystery, since after her arrival at Belsfield Hall, the discovery of a body in the shrubbery is made. However, Catherine’s aunt enjoys solving mysteries, thus she is eager to shed light on the strange and shocking events that have taken place at Belsfield Hall. Nevertheless, she must pay heed, as everyone seems to have something to hide and people are willing to do everything in order to keep their dark secrets safe. The Montague family seems to have a few skeletons in the closet, and Dido must be careful not to put herself in danger while trying to uncover the mysteries of the past.

A Moment of Silence was a delightful book and it was a real joy to read such an entertaining novel! As I was reading this book, I often caught myself smiling because the main character is so amusing with her interrogations, assumptions and observations. Miss Dido Kent is such a likeable character; she is very clever and she reminded me of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, with her witty way of questioning everybody and with her many enchanting thoughts. What I really loved about A Moment of Silence was the fact that Anna Dean has given the reader a glimpse into Miss Dido’s mind by allowing the protagonist to reveal her thoughts through letters. That way, we can witness what is really on Miss Dido’s mind and furthermore, we can conclude many things by knowing how she feels about a certain matter. In my opinion, this was very cleverly done by the author and I found it very refreshing to read Miss Dido’s letters.

A Moment of Silence was the perfect book for me, as I love a good mystery novel. Moreover, the book’s ingredients were very appealing to me, since the novel deals with dark secrets, intrigues, lies, murder and deception. The murder case was not that important to me (although I was eager to find out Whodunit); I was more interested in Miss Dido and I loved how she tried to solve the mysteries with her nagging questions and her desire to know about everything and everyone. She doesn’t spare anyone and she always observes even the smallest things, and we all know how important that it, when it comes to solving a murder case! All in all, I must say that I really enjoyed this book and I couldn’t get enough of Miss Dido Kent! I recommend A Moment of Silence to everyone who likes to read mystery novels and crime fiction and I think that this book will appeal to all Agatha Christie fans!

Note: I would like to thank Chiara Priorelli from Allison & Busby for sending me a copy of this great book. You can find out more about A Moment of Silence here.

Also, make sure to check out Aarti’s review of A Moment of Silence (the U.S. title is Bellfield Hall) at Booklust.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aarti
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 01:58:19

    How strange that even the name of the building was changed in the American version! That always upsets me- like Americans aren’t deemed intelligent enough for the original version.

    I’m glad you liked this one, too, though! I look forward to more in the series.


  2. Nymeth
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 10:14:55

    Oooh, it’s the same as Bellfield Hall! So that’s why it sounded familiar 😛 Between you and Aarti, I am more than sold!


  3. Alice Teh
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 10:47:52

    I’ve only read one of Austen’s books and that’s P&P. The same goes to Agatha Christie. I’ve only read one book by her. Not sure how I’d like this one but you made it sound very good! 😀


  4. diane
    Apr 07, 2010 @ 00:46:44

    Andreea, I had never heard of this book before, but it sounds excellent. Thanks for blogging about it; I enjoyed your review.


  5. Lua
    Apr 07, 2010 @ 20:33:19

    I’ve heard this one before but wasn’t so sure about it since I’m not a huge fan of mystery but I read them occasionally- I enjoy getting out of my comfort zone from time to time:) But after your review (and I have to admit you mentioning Jane Austen had a pretty big influence) I’m adding this one on to the list.


  6. Andreea
    Apr 08, 2010 @ 10:03:09

    Aarti: Yes, I don’t know why they changed the name, I’ve noticed that too. I am also looking forward to the next book.

    Nymeth: It’s sometimes confusing with all these name changes. But it’s a really entertaining book that I enjoyed very much!

    Alice: Thanks. Well, maybe you should read more Austen and Christie first!

    Diane: Thank you very much. I hope you’ll get the chance to read it!

    Lua: I love mysteries and I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie and this book was just right for me. And its characters and setting reminded me of Jane Austen!


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