Suitors and Sabotage

Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

So here at MysteriousEats.wordpress.com I wouldn’t call us lazy, but if my older sister blog JaneAustenRunsMyLife.wordpress.com has already reviewed or posted something, we just copy and paste it minus the Austen-y things as we concentrate more on the mystery.

So, my sister blog reviewed this mystery and I’ll be honest, I just copied and pasted it with a few deletes. If you want to read the whole post, you can hop over there. Otherwise, check this out.

Gracebridge Manor in Fotheringham, Kent -1817

Miss Imogene Chively has returned from her London season a success, or so her family believes. Imogene did not enjoy the parties, being on display, etc.

Hopefully, she will not have to go back as she has a suitor- a Mr. Ernest Steeple. He’s very, very interested in her and about to visit and stay a few weeks. Imogene is a very shy and not looking forward to him coming, but at least she will be home.

She an her friend Miss Emily Beeswanger (what a name!) are relaxing outside the ruins of the nearby castle, when Imogene’s dog puts himself in danger. They try to get him back, but he won’t listen! But in the end they are assisted by a handsome young man.

Hmm…

After he saves their dog, the man introduces himself as Benjamin “Ben” Steeple, the younger brother of Ernest. He has accompanied him, and the two arrived early. Mr. Chively, Imogene’s father, is monopolizing Ernest, so Ben decided to check out the castle ruins. Ben is studying to be an architect and could not pass up the opportunity to check it out.

Benjamin joins the ladies for a picnic and Emily sets her cap for the charming, flirtatious, dashing man. Emily went with Imogene for the London season, but did not have anyone interested in her. She’s feeling like a failure and this handsome man seems to be the answer to her wish to be married.

Or him

Imogene’s dog, Jasper, takes off into the old ruins, again, and Ben helps save him for Imogene. They end up bringing part of the castle down and destroying their clothes in the process (not like they are naked bit that those clothes can never be fixed to be in their previous condition ever again). Ben goes to change before dinner and encourage his brother. Ernest is over the moon about Imogene but feels disheartened as he is trying to spend time with her, but has only been spending time with the dad. He’s worried he won’t have anything to converse with her, so Ben tells him to talk about the artist, Joseph Mallard William Turner.

Ben tells Mr. Chively that Ernest likes economics and Mr. Chively spends the whole night talking his ear off about banking and interest. Ben, however, spends the night talking to Imogene and Emily and enjoys conversing with both women. He’s a major flirt and loves charming the ladies.

Imogene finds herself feeling uncertain as she is in a place she has never been before. She knows that Ernest likes her…but all this attention-could Ben have feelings for her too? Are two brothers fighting over her? But then Emily points out all the attention Ben has been giving her and the way he has been treating her. Could this be worse than she thought, could he like both Imogene and Emily?

 

After the two talk, Imogene becomes convinced that Ben is just flirting and charming both of them. Imogene is a little saddened at that, but Emily will not give up. She wants Ben and practices her best flirtations in order to win his heart.

The next morning, Ernest is taken off by Imogene’s father to go fishing, while Ben gets to spend the morning with her. He is doing his best to extol his brother’s virtues, but finds himself holding her hands longer than necessary and thinking more about her than his brother.

I know, right?

Wow, Ben, really? Your brother’s girl! You know he’s into her. And he’s your BROTHER!!!!!

Besides the Beeswanger family, and the Steeples, the Tabards are also staying with the Chivelys. Mrs. Chively, Mrs. Beeswanger, and Mrs. Tabard were very close friends, and relatives. Mrs. Tabard passed away and since then Mr. Tabard has been a ghost of the man he once was. His son Jake has become an incorrigible prankster-pairing up with Imogene’s older brother Percy.

Ugh

So Imogene finds herself in a quandry, on one hand-Ben makes her feel special as her family doesn’t care about art and he loves her drawings and wants her to give him lessons as he can’t draw!

Squeal!

But then she and Ernest finally have a chance to spend time together. Ernest tries to talk about art, but can’t. He admits he knows little of painting and that he is a…reader. Not of poems or essays…but…literature. 

Squeal!

Imogene finds herself falling for Ernest and Ben, but she can’t have both so which brother will she choose?

But before Imogene’s heart can tell her the path to take-some strange things start happening. Her jewelry is found in Ben’s room, then a burr is under his saddle and almost kills him, the castle starts falling down as well, and more. Someone is after Ben, but who?

 

To further complicate this midsummer nights comedy of errors; Ernest and Ben both like Imogene, Emily likes Ben, Jake seems to be interested in Emily, and Imogene doesn’t know which man she wants.

Here we go again…

And who is doing all these mysterious things? Could it be Percy or Jake, taking their “jokes” too far? Could it be Emily, who is after Ben-maybe trying to dissuade him from Imogene? Or could it be Ernest who wants to take Ben out of the running for Imogene’s heart?

Thoughts After Reading:

This book was pretty enjoyable for the most part. I thought the beginning and middle were really good. The parts that kind of turned me off was when the story began to drag on with the constant back and forth of Imogene trying to decide on a guy.

It really bothered me too how both men laughed off Imogene’s fear. I mean come on guys, there is too much happening for it be an “accident”. Seriously dudes.

There is also a weird part when Imogene accuses Ernest of doing all these things to Ben and Ben becomes furious. She is in shock about how “unreasonable” he is and hopes to never see that “unreasonable” side again. Ugh, girl please-you just accused his brother of trying to kill him. If someone said that to me about my sister I would have flipped a table at them. How dare you!!!

But really, whether you will love or hate this book will boil down to one thing-which guy you like better.

For more historical fiction, go to Weak Flesh

For more young adult mysteries, go to Airhead

For more not-in-a-series-mysteries, go to An Anonymous Girl

For more stolen jewels, go to Archie Andrews: Not So Private Eye

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Archie Andrews: Not So Private Eye

So this month is November or Noirvember

I try to put any Noir books that I read in this month. So when I spotted this comic from an Archie Laugh magazine I had to share it

 

For more Noir, go to This Doesn’t Happen in the Movies

For more Archie Comics, go to Little Archie: Man of the House

For more private investigators, go to Innocent in Las Vegas

For more stolen jewels, go to The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

“The Blue Carbuncle” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

It’s Christmas time in London and for Sherlock Holmes.

A priceless jewel, the blue carbuncle, has been stolen and John Horner, a former felon and current plumber, is arrested for the theft. The only issue, no jewel has been found.

Hmm…

The day after Christmas Dr. Watson visits Sherlock and finds him staring at an old hat. Commissionaire Peterson dropped it off after a scuffle made someone lose their hat and a goose. The goose had a name on it, Henry Baker, but it is so popular a name they have no clue where to find him. Peterson took the goose and Sherlock kept the hat.

Hmm…

After Sherlock relates it all to Watson, Peterson comes running in with the missing blue carbuncle.

Holmes works hard to find Henry deducing many things about him but is uncertain whether or not Henry stole the jewel. He places ads in the newspaper, and Henry Baker arrives at his doorstep. Holmes tells him that they cooked the goose and ate it. Henry doesn’t care, he accepts a replacement and goes on his way.

Hmm…

So obviously, he didn’t steal the jewel and had no knowledge that the jewel even exists. So how did it get in the goose? Holmes is on the case!

Thoughts After Reading:

I love this mystery, it is fantastic!

Check it out!

For more Sherlock Holmes, go to The Disappearance of Edwin Drood

For more from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, go to A Scandal in Bohemia

For more by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, go to The Red Headed League

For more Christmas stories, go to The Cat Who Turned On and Off

For more mysteries with stolen jewels, go to The Secret of the Three Teardrops

 

 

The Secret of the Three Teardrops

The Secret of the Three Teardrops by Jacqueline A. Ball

This book was a part of the Barbie and Friends Book Club but wasn’t one of the usual in the series. Instead this was a special edition book that came with a Barbie dressed in the gown shown on the cover.

My mother gave the doll to my sister, as she was born in September and is a sapphire like the sapphire teardrops in the story. I got the book.

At first I was really mad about it, but then I realized as that isn’t a doll you can play with, it was better having the book.

Barbie is the director of the American Museum in Chicago. She has been working with other museums in America and Europe to form a traveling show of recreated Venetian ball gowns.

She is excited not only in putting the pieces together, but to be in Venice and able to partake in things she has always wanted to, like riding in a gondola, etc.

Yay!

Barbie is being shown around by Angelo Modesto, assistant director of the Venice City Museum.

Barbie meets Gina Morelli, the director, who shows her the dress she will be wearing at the Masquerade Ball to kick of the show’s opening. The dress is almost perfect, except for the replica’s of the famous Duchess Venezia’s teardrops. This is extremely bad for them as the photographer for World Art is coming to do a cover, but with no sapphires no story.

Gina then gets the idea to use the real teardrops. They can stitch them on, and then remove and replace them. Angelo doesn’t want to do it, but Gina is the boss.

As the dress is being stitched, Gina tells her the story behind the jewels.

Many year’s ago, a duke’s son fell in love with a beautiful, blue-eyed, blonde; Venezia. The family would allow no marriage to take place as Venezia is only a maid. The duke’s son tried to get Venezia to run away with him, but she refused to come between his family. The son was heartbroken and did nothing but sit on the garden bench where he used to spennd his time with Venezia. The parents became so sad to see their child that way and went and brought Venezia back. The parents and Venezia cry with joy, which awakens the duke’s son. After they are married, the Duke and Duchess give the couple three teardrop sapphires. Three for three generations (the parents, children, and the future kids); and for tears of healing, joy, and family love. The building that is the museum, used to be their house.

After the photo shoot, Toni, the dressmaker, removes the jewels and gives them to Angelo to put back in the museum.

Later Barbie goes sightseeing and shopping. She finds a book about the Duchess Venezia and sees her wedding gown, the one that Barbie will wear a replica of. But something is odd about this design, the sapphires were a much deeper blue than the ones that are currently on Barbie’s dress.

Hmm…

After Barbie gets to her hotel she looks at the dress that was just delivered, As she is looking at the accessories, she gets  call from Gina. Something terrible has happened and Barbie is needed right away.

Gina has been looking over the exhibit and noticed that the jewels needed to be rearranged. When she opens the case, she discovers that the jewels are not the real ones.

So who took the teardrops? The only people in the museum were the staff, so it is an inside job. But which staff member?

Angelo, who is clearly upset that Gina was chosen over him and has a key to the case? Toni, the dressmaker, who could have switched them when fitting Barbie? Or maybe this is all a smokescreen to cover that Gina is the thief?

Thoughts After Reading:

I loved this mystery!

It being in Venice, Barbie’s gown, and a treasure hunt.

Just fantastic!

For more children’s books, go to Binky Brothers, Detectives