DANGEROUS AND UNSEEMLY (Concordia Wells #1)
K.B. Owen, Narrated by Becket Royce
K.B. Owen Books, Audible Audio
I have read and listened to many mysteries (some with female heroines) set in Victorian Britain and was drawn to Dangerous and Unseemly because it was set in America in 1896. Concordia Wells is a professor at a women's college in Hartford, CT. At odds with her family, at least with her mother over her choice of career over marriage and motherhood, Concordia is contented with her busy life educating and shepherding young women. All is not well at the college though; money has gone missing and embezzlement is suspected. A series of malicious pranks lead to Concordia's discovery of the body of the college Bursar. The death is ruled a suicide but Concordia doubts the verdict. Then she suffers a great personal loss when her sister dies of a mysterious lingering illness. The way that her husband and his father handled the illness could only be suspicious and Concordia is determined to find out the cause.
Filled with multiple vivid characters, many of whom are not at all what they appear to be, Dangerous and Unseemly is both an engrossing mystery and a look at the plight of women of the era. Deemed to be unfit for anything other than marriage, any woman who did not walk that path was considered suspect and subject to great censure. I'd like to say that life was better for women in America than in Britain at the time but that would be wishful thinking. Concordia herself is a very likable character, at times impetuous but always intelligent and resourceful.
Becket Royce's narration is excellent. She is the very personification of how I imagine a well brought up and educated young woman of the time might sound. I particularly appreciated her handling of character voices with slight foreign accents which never veer into parody.I highly recommend Dangerous and Unseemly and hope that there will be more audios of the second and third books of the series. I received a code for a free download of the book from the author and narrator in return for an honest review.
RATING- 4.5 Stars