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Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar

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It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can say exactly when he disappeared from his college, b It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can say exactly when he disappeared from his college, but he took to wandering the countryside and one day simply failed to return. Since then, there have been several sightings of his lonely, ragged figure. Ten years ago a friend spotted him in a gypsy camp, where he was rumoured to be learning great secrets that would one day astound the world. Mrs Rodd uses her search as an opportunity to reconnect with a couple from her past, but then a violent murder is committed and Scotland Yard are called to investigate. Mrs Rodd's old friend Inspector Blackbeard doesn't want to hear any nonsense about gypsies or secrets, but Mrs Rodd is convinced that something very sinister is lurking in this peaceful landscape.


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It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can say exactly when he disappeared from his college, b It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can say exactly when he disappeared from his college, but he took to wandering the countryside and one day simply failed to return. Since then, there have been several sightings of his lonely, ragged figure. Ten years ago a friend spotted him in a gypsy camp, where he was rumoured to be learning great secrets that would one day astound the world. Mrs Rodd uses her search as an opportunity to reconnect with a couple from her past, but then a violent murder is committed and Scotland Yard are called to investigate. Mrs Rodd's old friend Inspector Blackbeard doesn't want to hear any nonsense about gypsies or secrets, but Mrs Rodd is convinced that something very sinister is lurking in this peaceful landscape.

30 review for Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is the wonderful second in the 53 year old Laetitia Rodd series, set in the Victorian era by Kate Sauders. located in London, and in this addition, Oxford. A clergyman's daughter, Rodd is the impoverished childless widow of an Archdeacon, living with her confidante and landlady, Mrs Bentley, with a famous criminal barrister brother, the irreverent Frederick Tyson, with his chaotic household of 11 children. It is Frederick who is the source of the cases she takes on, and which provide a welc This is the wonderful second in the 53 year old Laetitia Rodd series, set in the Victorian era by Kate Sauders. located in London, and in this addition, Oxford. A clergyman's daughter, Rodd is the impoverished childless widow of an Archdeacon, living with her confidante and landlady, Mrs Bentley, with a famous criminal barrister brother, the irreverent Frederick Tyson, with his chaotic household of 11 children. It is Frederick who is the source of the cases she takes on, and which provide a welcome additional income that Rodd desperately needs. The 40 year old Jacob Welland is a wealthy man dying of consumption and his dying wish is to see his younger brother, Joshua, a man he has not seen for a decade after falling out over a woman, Hannah Laurie, and to whom he wishes to bequeath his vast fortune. The elusive philosopher Joshua was at Gabriel College in Oxford, but abruptly left after making the reasoned decision to leave behind the modern world to wander as a ragged scholar in Oxford's countryside, and there have been numerous recent sightings of him. With time against her, Rodd departs for Oxford, making use of her extensive church contacts to stay with Arthur Somers and his wife, Rachel, with every intention of loudly and persistently letting the locals know of her mission to ensure words reaches Joshua as soon as possible. She encounters a wide and disparate range of characters, such as the philanthropic and wealthy Daniel Arden who has gone out of his way to do good works and help the poor in the district, and Henry Barton, an invaluable source of help to Arthur in his religious duties. Arthur had recently listened to the death bed confession of Tom Goodly, a confession that has set off rumours locally, and he spends a huge amount of time at a controversial monastery. Rodd is concerned and worried about the Somers marriage, a union in which she played a hand in engineering, and finds herself amidst a tangled nest of intrigue and stories of gold. Joshua is a hard man to get hold of, and Rodd finds herself caught in a series of murders that she works with Inspector Blackbeard of Scotland Yard to get to the bottom of, in the search for a clever killer. Saunders writes a delightful and twisted historical murder mystery, with a wonderful central character in Laetitia, a determined and resourceful woman with a deep religious faith and sense of morality. She is often completely convinced of the righteousness of her actions and interventions in the affairs of others, but here is forced to learn a little humility as she sees she has made errors in the past. Furthermore, her judgemental attitudes on the morality of the others she is surrounded by, has her beginning to question her humanity as she softens her position. This is a brilliantly entertaining historical series, with a complex, well plotted, and compelling mystery at the heart of the novel, set in an era where the poor and outcasts of a desperately unequal society find ' every door is locked with gold, and opens but to golden keys'. I look forward with great anticipation to the next in the series. Many thanks to Bloomsbury for an ARC.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Three years ago I read a book with the words A Laetitia Rodd Mystery on the cover, and I wrote: I was sorry when the story was over; but I’m very glad that this is the first book of a series, and I’m looking forward to meeting Laetitia and her family and friends again. I looked out for a second book but it didn’t appear and I had pretty much given up hope when I saw this book bearing those same words. It was lovely to step back into a world and feel completely at home, even/>I Three years ago I read a book with the words A Laetitia Rodd Mystery on the cover, and I wrote: I was sorry when the story was over; but I’m very glad that this is the first book of a series, and I’m looking forward to meeting Laetitia and her family and friends again. I looked out for a second book but it didn’t appear and I had pretty much given up hope when I saw this book bearing those same words. It was lovely to step back into a world and feel completely at home, even though it had been a long time since my last visit. Laetitia Rodd was the widow of an archdeacon and, as she had limited means, she had taken lodgings with Mrs Mary Bentley, and they had become good friends. Her younger brother, Frederick Tyson, was one of London’s most celebrated criminal barristers, and he had come up with a plan that would help both of them. He sometimes employed her to carry out ‘special investigations’, knowing that ladies could move in circles that gentlemen could not, and that they could find out things that no gentleman could ever find out for himself. In 1851, a wealthy businessman made a request that would draw Mrs Rodd into a most unusual investigation. Jacob Welland was dying of consumption and he wanted somebody to find the brother he had not seen for fifteen years and to put a letter into his hands, in the hope that he could speak to him once more, to put things right between them after a long estrangement that he had come to realise was his fault. The circumstances were unusual. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; quite brilliant, but terribly eccentric. After the schism with his brother, he had gradually withdrawn from his college. He had spent more and more time out in the countryside, until the day came when he failed to return. There had been a number if sightings over that years; and a friend had once spotted him in a gypsy camp, where it was said that he was doing great work, and that when he made it public the world would marvel. Mrs Rodd knew a young clergyman with a living in the area, his wife was a dear friend – and she had introduced them – so she made arrangements to pay them a visit. That made me think of Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver, who always seemed to have a connection of some kind anywhere she might go; and, though the two ladies are generations apart and had very different characters, they had much in common. They were both able to apply skills they had gained in previous occupations to their investigations, to handle people well and find things out, to make logical deductions and then to act calmly and sensibly …. Mrs Rodd investigated and searched carefully and, though she wasn’t able to put the letter into the missing man’s hands, she was able to return to London secure in the knowledge that it would reach him; and Jacob Welland, who was very frail and near the end of his life, was very happy with the results she achieved for him. That wasn’t the end though; and when news of a suspicious death reached her, Mrs Rodd knew that she had to travel to Oxford and investigate again. I won’t say too much about the story, but I will say that the plot had many interesting strands and that it was very well constructed. It was of its time, but it told a story that the great writers of the age could never have told. I caught echoes of some of those authors, and I was particularly pleased when I spotted what I suspected were references to Anthony Trollope’s Barsetshire, and even more pleased when my expectations were subverted. I must mention the bishop’s wife, who was viewed with trepidation by many in the diocese. I thought of Mrs Proudie, but when Mrs Rodd asked this lady for assistance she was concerned and she was very helpful. As a friendship developed between the pair, she explained that she didn’t enjoy the role she was expected to play, but she loved her husband and played her part to the very best of her ability for his sake. The story drew in a wonderfully rich range of characters and settings; and there was always something to hold my interest and something to make me think. I identified the murderer just a little before the end of the book, but I didn’t work out everything, and I was very pleased to realise that this was the kind of book that had much more to its resolution than catching the criminal and explaining everything. This second Laetitia Rodd mystery was a lovely progression from the first; and I hope that there will be many more.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joanne D'Arcy

    It is nigh on 3 years since I was last with Laetitia Rodd when I discovered the first novel and then hoped for more so I was more than delighted when I got the chance to read and the review the second one. I hope there will be more. So what do you need to know about Laetitia Rodd? A fifty something widow of an archdeacon who is kind of down on her luck financially. She lives with her landlady Mrs Benton, one time landlady of the well known poet John Keats and also Laetitia's friend an It is nigh on 3 years since I was last with Laetitia Rodd when I discovered the first novel and then hoped for more so I was more than delighted when I got the chance to read and the review the second one. I hope there will be more. So what do you need to know about Laetitia Rodd? A fifty something widow of an archdeacon who is kind of down on her luck financially. She lives with her landlady Mrs Benton, one time landlady of the well known poet John Keats and also Laetitia's friend and confidante. To earn some sort of existence, Laetitia takes on private investigations normally with the advice and help of her brother, Frederick a criminal barrister who spends a lot of time avoiding his hom, wife and eleven children! Laetitia is called to see Jacob Welland who make a last dying request to find his brother, Joshua so they can be reconciled after 15 years of not speaking. But who has seen Joshua Welland and are all the sightings true? To help her find out, Laetitia seeks out a couple from her and her husbands past and goes to stay with them. However she arrives into another problem and it seems that when bodies start turning up and deathbed confessions are bandied about it brings in Scotland Yard and Inspector Beard, who doesn't not necessarily hold with Laetitia's gut feelings and emotions. Only the truth will do and surely a place of worship and contemplation will be the place to find it? Or is it all just a facade? I was entranced by the plot and worked out part of the problem but was most distracted by the red herrings to do with the Welland brothers such was the strength of the writing. A refreshing historical crime novel with a independent female detective and not afraid to delve perhaps into what was seen as the most deviant parts of Victorian society, I hope I don't have to wait another three years for another book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    4.5 stars This was an enthralling read. It was told in the first person by Laetitia Rodd, a 53 year widow. It was written in an engaging style. Her brother Fred, a barrister, was quite a colourful character and he did make me chuckle. Laetitia, worked, on occasions as an investigator and it is this work that her story is based on. Laetitia knows an amazing amount of people, which she calls upon in her investigations. She comes into contact with Mr, Blackbeard from Scotland Yard, they have a 4.5 stars This was an enthralling read. It was told in the first person by Laetitia Rodd, a 53 year widow. It was written in an engaging style. Her brother Fred, a barrister, was quite a colourful character and he did make me chuckle. Laetitia, worked, on occasions as an investigator and it is this work that her story is based on. Laetitia knows an amazing amount of people, which she calls upon in her investigations. She comes into contact with Mr, Blackbeard from Scotland Yard, they have a mutual professional respect for each other’s work. There are many interesting secondary characters in this story and a number of twists and turns before the conclusion. The action takes place in London and Oxfordshire. It will keep you guessing. I hadn’t read the first in the series but this can be read as a standalone. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    MRIDULA

    Laetitia Rodd, a detective in her early 50s, returns with this murder mystery that is all about love, loss, and redemption. Mrs. Rodd’s next job is to find a ‘lunatic’ wandering scholar and give him a letter by his affluent brother who is on his deathbed. As Laetitia looks for ways to fulfill her duties while simultaneously enjoying the company of an old friend, she eavesdrops on some information that rouses her suspicions. But a suspicious murder sets her back on this path where she must go bac Laetitia Rodd, a detective in her early 50s, returns with this murder mystery that is all about love, loss, and redemption. Mrs. Rodd’s next job is to find a ‘lunatic’ wandering scholar and give him a letter by his affluent brother who is on his deathbed. As Laetitia looks for ways to fulfill her duties while simultaneously enjoying the company of an old friend, she eavesdrops on some information that rouses her suspicions. But a suspicious murder sets her back on this path where she must go back and find the source and reasons for this death. Set in the 1850s, the story relies mainly on country gossip and witness statements to find the murderer. Mrs. Rodd is joined by her friend Inspector Blackbeard, an officer of Scotland Yard who has been called to preside officially on the investigation. As Mrs. Rodd moves from one place to another, the connections start to surface. Rodd is unlike any other detectives I have come across. Her method of working relies a lot on instincts. She has a fulfilling relationship with her family and is a widow, and spends a lot of time thinking about how her late husband would react or advise. She is diligent and meticulous and works efficiently. As I reader I found it extremely easy to follow her train of thoughts and go with her wherever the investigation went. ‘The Case of the Wandering Scholar’ just like any other historic murder mystery, has clues lying in plain sight. A Lot of the characters are inspired by characters from other books or people in real life, souls who aren’t meant to be forgotten. Saunders presents us with a convincing case and provides us with the necessary closure. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie’s books or like to read a murder mystery that doesn’t have modernization interfering with it, this is a great book to read. Enjoy the countryside and unwind with a great mystery that is well written and engaging.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Suraj Kumar

    The Case of the Wandering Scholar is a Laetitia Rodd mystery involving the search a nomadic Oxford scholar tied with a series of murders and suspects who seem completely unrelated to each other. Set in mid 19th century with most of the action taking place in the English countryside, this book presents a delightful mystery shrouded with romantic and pastoral pastoral imagery that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. Mrs Rodd is hired by Mr Jacob Welland, who is on hi The Case of the Wandering Scholar is a Laetitia Rodd mystery involving the search a nomadic Oxford scholar tied with a series of murders and suspects who seem completely unrelated to each other. Set in mid 19th century with most of the action taking place in the English countryside, this book presents a delightful mystery shrouded with romantic and pastoral pastoral imagery that will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book. Mrs Rodd is hired by Mr Jacob Welland, who is on his death bed. His last wish is to see and sort out the differences with his brother Joshua, who lives as a wandering scholar. There’s very little that is known about Joshua and his whereabouts, and Mrs Rodd must find him as soon as possible because Mr Jacob Welland has only a few days left with him. Mrs Rodd leaves for Oxford and finds a good company with her host cum old friends- Arthur and his wife Rachel. Joshua is said to be living in the company of the gypsies. As Mrs Rodd becomes desperate in her search of Joshua, an intricate web of seemingly unrelated lives unravels in the countryside and she is forced to witness events that she little expected to. Just when Mrs Rodd gives up her hunt, there is a murder and things take an unexpected turn. *My Verdict The best thing about this book is the writing. It is highly atmospheric. The picture of the countryside and its people that Kate Saunders has painted is similar to that of the Bronte sisters. Because of the setting and the writing, I actually felt that I was reading some classic work of literature. This delightful writing combined with the intriguing premise worked really well for me. I also liked the characterization in the novel. There are a lot of characters and I admit, at times it becomes difficult to make out who is who. But still there are some characters that stand out namely those of Mrs Rodd, Arthur, Rachel, Mr Barton, Daniel Arden and of course Joshua- the wandering scholar, who doesn’t appear till the very end. This novel is a page-turner. Despite that I had my issues with the plot. The search for Joshua ends in just about 100 pages, in the sense that Mrs Rodd gives it up. It is through the investigation of the murder and what follows it, that Joshua enters the plot again. I felt this was a major weak point in the plot. Nevertheless it was still impressive to see how everything was linked together. But again I was disappointed with the final revelation. As far as the crime and mystery part goes, this book was disappointing. But the experience that this book provides makes up for that. So it was worth the time. The theme of religious factionalism runs throughout the novel. The christian principle of Confession and the atoning of sins also forms an important part of the narrative. Adultery and homosexuality too feature in this work. What I admire about the author is that there is no incongruity between the setting and the actions of the characters and themes underlying the novel. Her characters are well rooted in the time to which they belong. There are some literary references too about which the author has talked in the afterword to the novel. I enjoyed these immensely. All in all, this was an enjoyable work for me. My Rating: **** (3.75/5) --Originally published on https://booksnmyself.wordpress.com

  7. 4 out of 5

    Geeta Thakkar

    I read this book a few weeks back but forgot to post a review for the same. So here we go👻 The Case ofthe Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders is based in 1850s and involves many different mysteries which all link together in the end. Being A Laetitia Rodd Mystery, the book is narrated from the perspective of Mrs.Rodd who is also a common key between all the mysteries. Mrs.Rodd is a private detective in her early 50's, she is hired by a rich businessman Mr.Jacob Welland who is on h I read this book a few weeks back but forgot to post a review for the same. So here we go👻 The Case ofthe Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders is based in 1850s and involves many different mysteries which all link together in the end. Being A Laetitia Rodd Mystery, the book is narrated from the perspective of Mrs.Rodd who is also a common key between all the mysteries. Mrs.Rodd is a private detective in her early 50's, she is hired by a rich businessman Mr.Jacob Welland who is on his deathbed, to find his younger brother who lives as a wandering Scholar. Joshua Welland was studying in Oxford but poverty broke his heart in the end and he just walked out of his college into the countryside. Mrs.Rodd decides to stay with her old friends Arthur and Rachel till she solves the case but she soon gives up her quest. The story has many subplots, from the very beginning we are told about a theft and murder case that happened almost 30 years ago in Oxford, also we get a glimpse of Arthur and Rachel's relationship, Arthur's take on religion, Daniel Ardon's adopted children and his acts of charity. It was thrilling to read how all these points are relevant in the very end. And just when Mrs.Rodd gives up her quest to find Joshua, there is a murder in Oxford which at first looks like a very simple case, but soon when followed by two more murders keeps us on the very edge. Inspector Blackbeard and Mrs.Rodd work together to find a common link and track the murderer. I loved the plot and the whole setting of the story. There are too many characters which was a bit difficult for me the remember. But the narrations are very gripping and the story is fast paced. And all the subplots are very well merged together in the end. The only thing that wasn't very happy about was the end. I don't want to give off much about the plot, but this was a very enjoyable and entertaining read! Definitely recommended! Happy Reading:)

  8. 5 out of 5

    jkbookish

    I haven’t delved into the genre of mystery since my Famous Five and Nancy Drew days but this historical mystery novel by Kate Saunders had me absolutely hooked! Synopsis: It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can I haven’t delved into the genre of mystery since my Famous Five and Nancy Drew days but this historical mystery novel by Kate Saunders had me absolutely hooked! Synopsis: It is 1851 and Mrs Rodd has received an unusual commission: wealthy businessman Jacob Welland is dying of consumption and implores our redoubtable detective to find his beloved brother, whom he has not seen for fifteen years. Joshua Welland was an Oxford scholar; brilliant, eccentric and desperately poor. Nobody can say exactly when he disappeared from his college, but he had taken to wandering the countryside and one day simply failed to return. Mrs Rodd uses her search as an opportunity to reconnect with a couple from her past, but then a violent murder is committed and Scotland Yard are called to investigate 🔎. I will preface this review by saying that I am an avid lover of period dramas - BBC dramas are my fave and I enjoy a good Austen or Bronte novel. I enjoyed delving right into the Victorian Era with its genteel society and country parsonages 👒🌂. This might not appeal to everyone but I will say it’s an easy read and the writing isn’t overly flowery. Mrs Rodd is a lovable and interesting heroine. I loved piecing everything together with her as the murders started piling up. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Reading a mystery novel was very nostalgic and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside 🥰. This is the second book in an anticipated six book series which I am SUPER excited about. Also, between reading this last month and release date, my copy of Book 1 arrived which I can’t wait to read! 4.5/5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫 - K 📖

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    For those of us who are keen readers of light mysteries and historical fiction Kate Saunders has created a wonderful world we can inhabit for a few hours. Our detective, Laetitia Rodd, is every bit as bright and curious as Miss Marple, but not as much of an intrusive busy-body (no real offense intended to Miss Marple !) Her moral core is so solid it can occasionally get in the way, but as the widow of an Arch-Deacon her innumerable clerical connections create so many opportunities and For those of us who are keen readers of light mysteries and historical fiction Kate Saunders has created a wonderful world we can inhabit for a few hours. Our detective, Laetitia Rodd, is every bit as bright and curious as Miss Marple, but not as much of an intrusive busy-body (no real offense intended to Miss Marple !) Her moral core is so solid it can occasionally get in the way, but as the widow of an Arch-Deacon her innumerable clerical connections create so many opportunities and benefits that she has no problem overcoming her occasional intellectual obstacles. I loved everything about her and the wide variety of friends she met during her investigation. The Wandering Scholar who gives title to the book is both intriguing and sympathetic and Saunders' story is complex and satisfying. Readers may "cop to the villain" before the story plays out, but that in no way diminishes the pleasure of reading this historical novel. Netgalley provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a candid review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

    The second book in the Laetitia Rodd series takes us through the forests and fields around Oxford and the parks and streets of London. Mrs. Rodd, the daughter and widow of clergyman, is hired by a wealthy, dying man to find his long-estranged brother so he can atone for past mistakes. Little does Mrs. Rodd know that locating this wayward former scholar will set off a chain of events that will lead to murder, endanger her friends, and cause her to question her judgment. The standout as The second book in the Laetitia Rodd series takes us through the forests and fields around Oxford and the parks and streets of London. Mrs. Rodd, the daughter and widow of clergyman, is hired by a wealthy, dying man to find his long-estranged brother so he can atone for past mistakes. Little does Mrs. Rodd know that locating this wayward former scholar will set off a chain of events that will lead to murder, endanger her friends, and cause her to question her judgment. The standout aspect of the book for me is the the wonderful characters that the author has created. Her characters are warmly drawn, but presented warts-and-all. Mrs. Rodd contends with her own blindspots and biases as she puzzles her way through the mysteries surrounding her, but never loses our interest or sympathy as she wrestles with the moral dilemmas the case brings up for her. I found myself particularly enjoying many of the side characters - such as Mrs. Rodd's mischievous brother and "the Gorgon", also know as Mrs. Watts-Weston, an enterprising Oxford matron that Mrs. Rodd becomes acquainted with over the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical mysteries steeped in period detail and reads first and foremost for getting to know the sleuths and their sidekicks over the course of a series. While the mystery itself was ambitious, I thought the pacing and the plotting could have been tightened. I guessed the murderer quite early on, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but thought there was a bit too many red herrings and dead ends before the murderer is discovered. I have not read the first book in the series, but found the characterization strong enough in this entry that it can be read as a standalone. Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for an advance electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    Laetitia Rodd is an archdeacon's widow, and a private detective and if the former doesn't describe a busybody and the latter the same in an "official" capacity, what does? In Laetitia's case, however, she's not your usual busybody, so when she asked by a dying neighbor to find his estranged brother so they can reconcile, it's business, not snooping or mere curiosity. This is a cozy mystery with secrets upon secrets, wandering hermits, estranged brothers, and sinners trying to atone fo Laetitia Rodd is an archdeacon's widow, and a private detective and if the former doesn't describe a busybody and the latter the same in an "official" capacity, what does? In Laetitia's case, however, she's not your usual busybody, so when she asked by a dying neighbor to find his estranged brother so they can reconcile, it's business, not snooping or mere curiosity. This is a cozy mystery with secrets upon secrets, wandering hermits, estranged brothers, and sinners trying to atone for their long-ago sins, and even the killers are likable. Laetitia goes to Freshley Crossing where the missing brotheris said to be a hermit, living in the forests around the village. As Fate would have it, a young minister and his wife, whose romance she practically arranged, live there and she visits them while she searches for Joshua Welland. To her surprise, all is not well with the newlyweds, for as much as she seems to love her husband and he her, the wife has also developed a passion for their new curate, though neither has acted on their love. When the husband is killed, the two are arrested for the crime and Laetitia must divide her time between discovering the murderer, finding the lost brother, and solving a very old case of a missing heir who disappeared along with a very valuable necklace. Though readers familiar with the era in which this novel is set will undoubtedly guess a few of the secrets, the clues are there for those sharp enough to put them together. This is the first Laetitia Rodd novel I've read and I look forward to finding another. This novel was supplied by the publisher and no remuneration was involved in the writing of this review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shona

    Laetitia Rodd is a 53 years old widow lives with her landlady Mrs. Bentley who has become her dearest friend in Hampstead. Mrs. Rodd has the reputation of a private investigator for successfully solving few cases in the past. One day there is a brisk knocking at her kitchen door which leads to meeting Jacob Welland who is dying of consumption. His last wish is to meet his long lost brother Joshua to make amends before his death. But when Mrs. Rodd embarks on the journey to find Joshua Welland sh Laetitia Rodd is a 53 years old widow lives with her landlady Mrs. Bentley who has become her dearest friend in Hampstead. Mrs. Rodd has the reputation of a private investigator for successfully solving few cases in the past. One day there is a brisk knocking at her kitchen door which leads to meeting Jacob Welland who is dying of consumption. His last wish is to meet his long lost brother Joshua to make amends before his death. But when Mrs. Rodd embarks on the journey to find Joshua Welland she reunites with her friends from the past and the subsequent murder of one of them (Arthur) comes as a shock to her. But the bloodshed doesn’t stop there! If you want to know more about the murders then don’t forget to pick up the book. The book is beautifully written and keeps you engaged till the end. It is a historical murder mystery set in the 19th century with a intriguing plot and a commendable cast of characters. The mystery is well built and keeps you guessing who can be the real culprit. Though at some parts it gets monotonous but it does pick up the pace. This is my first Laetitia Rodd book and I really enjoyed reading. It can be a perfect read for a cozy weekend. Moreover if you are looking forward to read a good murder mystery set in the Victorian era then doesn’t forget to give this book a shot

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    This book is a mystery set in 1851 in England. This is the second book in the series, but it works as a stand alone. Laetitia seemed rather dense in this book. She believed people who were lying to her and otherwise assumed people were as good as she wanted them to be. She muddled around trying to find a person who was hiding from danger, totally missing why he didn't trust her (though I easily guessed). I was suspicious of whodunit early on, but she didn't seem to realize the significance of so This book is a mystery set in 1851 in England. This is the second book in the series, but it works as a stand alone. Laetitia seemed rather dense in this book. She believed people who were lying to her and otherwise assumed people were as good as she wanted them to be. She muddled around trying to find a person who was hiding from danger, totally missing why he didn't trust her (though I easily guessed). I was suspicious of whodunit early on, but she didn't seem to realize the significance of some of the things she learned. In the end, it was the Detective that figured out whodunit, though Laetitia realized he was right when he pointed it out. I don't know that I minded her denseness except that it didn't seem true when people kept saying she was a good detective. Laetitia was well-meaning and had some progressive views, but she generally reflected the current (1850s England) culture. Historical details were woven into the story, creating a distinct sense of time and place without slowing the pacing. I appreciate that the author did enough research to get those historical details accurate. There were no sex scenes. There was a few uses of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting historical mystery, but I liked the first book better. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Set in 1851, and bursting with larger-than-life characters, this is a very recommendable good read. “Dickens-lite” is a compliment, since Dickens was so in tune with what the readers of his day wanted that this is the kind of story he would be writing were he alive now. A convoluted way of saying that the second in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery series is a very readable and enjoyable novel, so much so that I acquired the first in the series, which I missed on publication, and have now rea Set in 1851, and bursting with larger-than-life characters, this is a very recommendable good read. “Dickens-lite” is a compliment, since Dickens was so in tune with what the readers of his day wanted that this is the kind of story he would be writing were he alive now. A convoluted way of saying that the second in the Laetitia Rodd Mystery series is a very readable and enjoyable novel, so much so that I acquired the first in the series, which I missed on publication, and have now read it with equal pleasure. Laetitia is an endearing, strong and resilient character who uses her network of connections as a clergyman’s daughter and widow of an Archdeacon to help her in her investigations. Here she starts out by attempting to find the missing brother of a wealthy businessman who is looking for a reconciliation before he dies. A murder takes place which Laetitia investigates, uncovering a multitude of secrets and preventing a miscarriage of justice. The culprit was not too difficult to spot, but the road to the solution had some interesting diversions. Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for the digital ARC.

  15. 5 out of 5

    ReadtoRamble

    I first found this book while I was looking through the Bloomsbury catalogue and I immediately wanted to read it. I love murder mysteries and crime books and I was so excited to start it when I received it in the mail. It took a couple of chapters to get into it properly because it is set in the 1850s so the language and the setting is not very common and not what i am used to but it was a nice difference to read something not based on this generation. As always, I love all murder stories and my I first found this book while I was looking through the Bloomsbury catalogue and I immediately wanted to read it. I love murder mysteries and crime books and I was so excited to start it when I received it in the mail. It took a couple of chapters to get into it properly because it is set in the 1850s so the language and the setting is not very common and not what i am used to but it was a nice difference to read something not based on this generation. As always, I love all murder stories and mysteries so naturally this was a very good book for me ! I really want to read the first installment now and look forward to reading the next Laetitia Rodd mysteries in the coming years.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Mrs Rodd,a widow is asked to find the whereabouts of the brother an extremely wealthy man who is dying.The brother has been missing for 15 years. Mrs Rodd stays with some friends of hers as she investigates this mystery and is soon in the middle of another one. This book is very quaint and it makes you want to sip a cup of tea as you read it. Loved reading about the British countryside. It has a good mix of morality and murder.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Frances

    I liked the first book in this series and this didn't disappoint. Great characters and feel for the time in this Victorian crime novel featuring Laetitia Robb, widow of a vicar and sister of a lawyer, who helps him find information for his clients cases. Some humour as well as sad bits. Will keep an eye open for more.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Hough

    3.5 starts! I enjoyed this book, I found the writing style quite "charming', although I felt it dragged a little 3/4 of the way through only to pick up again at the end. I will read the first mystery in this series as a result of enjoying this one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Very good. Sometimes a non-professional sleuth is really interesting, and this book has well written characters, an interesting plot, and a nice style. I'll have to check out her other work. Recommended for historical mystery fans! I really appreciate the advanced copy for review!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gena DeBardelaben

    eARC: Netgalley I was so glad to see another Laetitia Rodd mystery! The depth of these mysteries is a little deeper than many cozy mysteries and that just makes them even more interesting. I look forward to many more...hopefully we won't have to wait so long for the next one!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Loftin

    Okay, ready for #3!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

    Good for an easy, fun read. I wouldn’t mind reading others from the series

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Garner

    Murder,mystery,religion and a middle aged female slueth all go together to make an interesting and intriguing story. I like the characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Irene Headley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris Collier-Roberts

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Jones

  27. 4 out of 5

    John Bainbridge

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen White haggerty

  29. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

  30. 4 out of 5

    Verna Lois

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