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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Audible Book Review: Dangerous and Unseemly: A Concordia Wells Mystery, Book 1 by K.B. Owen

I enjoyed this engaging cozy, historical mystery.
Dangerous and Unseemly: A Concordia Wells Mystery, Book 1
Written by: K.B. Owen
Narrated by: Becket Royce

Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
Series: Concordia Wells, Book 1
Unabridged Audiobook
Release Date:11-10-14
Publisher: K.B. Owen Mysteries
Genre: Historical Mystery
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Publisher's Summary
An unseemly lesson…in murder.
The year is 1896, and college professor Concordia Wells has her hands full: teaching classes, acting as live-in chaperone to a cottage of lively female students, and directing the student play, Macbeth. But mystery and murder are not confined to the stage, especially when the death of Concordia's sister, Mary, appears to be foul play. To make matters worse, the women's college is plagued by malicious pranks, arson, money troubles, and the apparent suicide of a college official.
With her beloved school facing certain ruin, Concordia knows that she must act. As she struggles to seek justice for her sister and discover who is behind the college incidents, there are some closest to Concordia who do not appreciate the unseemly inquiries and bold actions of the young lady professor. Can she discover who is responsible…before she becomes the next target?
©2013 K.B. Owen (P)2014 K.B. Owen

Concordia is a professor at a woman’s college when higher education for woman was still looked down upon. The president of the school, and other male community leaders, seems to view it as a place for women to prepare for domestic duties, not really for learning towards a career. Concordia is inclined to observe all of the staff members, especially the fairly new Lady Principal, Miss Hamilton, who is a formidable, yet fair, leader. Concordia is juggling her teaching responsibilities, serving as live-in chaperone for one of the student cottages and directing the student end of year performance of Macbeth. Additionally, Concordia tries to make time to visit her sister who has been suffering an undiagnosed illness since marrying many months before.

The College is struggling with financial troubles. The annual spring Sophomore prank includes dark elements that create a stir and is of even more concern when the treasurer of the college is found dead. It might be suicide or it could be more nefarious. When Concordia’s sister dies under less than forthright circumstances, Concordia begins to investigate both deaths. Her sleuthing results in surprises as well as behavior that some might consider ‘dangerous and unseemly'.

I enjoyed Concordia’s personality. She has true concern for her sister and her students. Sadly, she has a very estranged relationship with her mother. She grows closer to Miss Hamilton and a brash, retired teacher who challenges Concordia to see beyond the surface. I was pleased by the strength of Miss Hamilton but I can’t be more specific without giving spoiler info. There is a light touch of romance as Concordia gets the attention of first one male teacher and then she manages to run into another.

Ms. Owen does a wonderful job of presenting the details of the 1980s. She has created a believable character in Concordia who is thoughtful and brave but not flaunting her freedoms and views. She does have a friend who is active in the women’s suffragette movement so that perspective is shared as well.

The mystery and romances are developed at a steady pace. This is nicely consistent with Concordia’s sometimes impulsive response to danger which is tempered by her careful deliberation as she weighs the facts and clues. Although the story is not flashy or intense, it is satisfactorily engaging. I think this is a good start to an interesting series and I recommend this to readers who enjoy a clean read with history and mystery.

Audio Notes: Becket Royce does a very nice job of delivering the conservative characters to suit the time period. The voices are distinct and the emotions are appropriately portrayed. The narration made this a better ‘reading’ experience for me.

I received this audio title from the narrator through AudioBook Boom. It qualifies for my Audio Challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Good Review. I like the sounds of this story, it is similar to what I am reading now. I love a mystery that has a romance tied into it too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinion about this story.


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