It's 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London and the shocking news his estranged elder brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but become engaged to the woman he had hoped to marry.
When Alec reluctantly attends a weekend house party to celebrate his brother's engagement, he gets more than he bargained for when a lady's maid is murdered, the bride-to-be is attacked, and a guest is shot dead. Alec uncovers a connection between these sinister acts and his brother's duel. He must also confront a cruel twist of fate that explains why his brother loathes him and will go to any lengths to discredit him in Polite Society.
©2011 Lucinda Brant (P)2014 Lucinda Brant
So many books, so little time...
It took me no more than five minutes of listening to this to know that in Alex Wyndham, Lucinda Brant had found the perfect narrator for her story. Alec Halsey is a terrific hero – handsome, urbane, intelligent and deeply honourable, a man whose birth is shrouded in mystery but who is secure in the knowledge that he is his own man, and Mr Wyndham's interpretation of him is nigh-on perfect.
As this is a mystery, I won't say much about the plot, other than it's very well thought-out and executed, with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings along the way. Ms Brant kept me guessing as to the identity and motives of the villain right up until the last possible moment. The romance between Alec and his old flame, Selina is fairly low-key, as that’s not the main focus of the book, but it bubbles along in tandem with the mystery in a satisfying manner. It’s a minor niggle that things are left unresolved between the couple at the end, but then I suppose there had to be something left for the next book in the series!
The author has clearly researched the period thoroughly and her attention to the historical detail really brings the story to life; this isn’t just a “wallpaper” historical, or a modern mystery featuring people in frock-coats and powdered wigs. She confronts some of the seedier sides of life in her stories, but does it in a manner that feels believable and isn’t at all salacious or sensationalist.
Ms Brant has obviously done her homework when it comes to narrators, too, because she’s found a real gem in Alex Wyndham. I’ve listened to many self-published audiobooks which have been let down by the poor choice of narrator, but fortunately, she seems to have taken a leaf out of Laura Kinsale’s book and spent a lot of time listening carefully before making her final choice.
I believe Mr Wyndham will be recording the next book in the series, and I'm certainly going to be listening to it.
The Georgian atmosphere created through description of places, clothing, customs gives an air of authenticity to the story.
I liked how the character of Alec Halsey was unfolded slowly to the listener from the point of view of different participants in the story, and through his actions. I was a bit puzzled during an important part of the story trying to answer the question if he was really a rake or he had only been labled as one by the society. And this added extra tension to the twists and turns in the story.
This was the first time I heard Alex Wyndham narrating an audiobook. He did a great job with this book. He has a warm voice, clear pronounciation and dynamic storytelling that made listening to this audiobook a pleasant experience.
There are some excentric characters well "portayed" by the narrator that made me laugh.
I loved this book! I'm quite new to audible and usually read books on Kindle. However, with a stressful and tiring job, I decided to give the audio version a go. I'm now completely hooked!Lucinda Brant is an author I'm familiar with as I've read her Roxton series, Salt Bride and Salt Redux. Alex Wyndham narrates this book perfectly,Another winner from Lucinda Brant, kept me guessing to the end. I would say that audible version is as good as the book.
My favourite character was Selina. A strong woman who even after 6 years of extreme unhappiness, comes through with strength and dignity.I don't give the story away in reviews but I will say it's a mystery set in Georgian England. There are lots of twists and turns and the ending was a surprise.
Alex Wyndham's voice characterization is perfect! Just as I would have imagined them myself. He really acts out the book. A very talented actor.
I would highly recommend this book!
Exciting, Intriguing, Captivating.
The most memorable moment was when we found out who was behind the terrible things that had happened throughout the book.
No I haven't, but of course I have seen his work as an actor. His amazing acting prowess is what makes him a perfect narrator. His voice characterisation is the best I have heard by far in any audio book.
This story is quite an emotional one, there were scenes that had me wanting to cry for the character involve, especially Selena. There were light moments too, and of course the desperate feeling of frustration wanting to know who the 'bad guy' was. If I was reading the book have been tempted to jump to the last page. Just tempted though, I wouldn't have done it.
Lucinda Brant is a very talented author, and to have this book read by the equally talented actor Alex Wyndham makes for the perfect audio book. It was a delight to listen to this story, and I will definitely be buying the sequel.
"Wonderful historical mystery!"
Everything- love the storyline, character development AND Alex Wyndham's wonderful narration.
I love Alec's Uncle Plantagenet & his godmother Olivia, as well as Alec himself. All of the characters are so well done that I forget I'm listening to one person.
No, but he's definitely now on my favorite narrators list!
Both- I became emotionally invested in the characters. Lucinda Brant does a great job of not only tying up all the threads of the story but also throwing in humor and surprises.
I love it when you get a triple play: great author, intriguing storyline & wonderful narration. I'm hooked- please keep more Alec Halsey books coming Ms.Brant!
"Well written but a little darker than I expected"
The hero and heroine are both strong figures and I enjoyed their story. Story shows a very dark side of many types of people. It was well written and the narrator was very good. Just a bit too dark for me currently. I enjoyed Autumn Countess by same author. Very intelligent writing no matter historical romance or historical mystery romance.
"To be Continued..."
I loved the narrator. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, although it is a bit predictable. However, it is one half a book, and very honestly ends with to be continued. The two books together are probably the same price if it had been told within the pages of one cover, so I am not suggesting that it is one of the rip-offs. But I will not get the next one, because I am irritated by the cliff hange game. The author deserves better, she has written a good story, but not good enough that I will go to the trouble of getting the next one.
A brilliantly entertaining and memorable mystery novel and wonderfully narrated by the talented Alex Wyndham.
"Something to get your teeth into!"
Oh yes! - Alex Wyndham shall forever be my Alec Halsey.
The story was complex, and not just a generic plot to provide a ride for some historical romance. It was interesting, and dare I say ground breaking - discussing the topics of the day. I was enthralled and since I haven't been able to buy book two yet turned around and started it again from the beginning...
Yes, very much so. Actually had to drive around the block a few times when I got home at night from work because I couldn't leave it in mid scene!
Love love love this author, and this narrator - a delicious match made in audible heaven!
"Could have done without the whining females"
I wanted to like the new "Alec Halsey" book, but alas no. While the two males, Michael and his brother, had strong identities, Selena and Emily were too much professional victims. I couldn't see why either brother would be attracted to them. The women were so annoying that after a while, I just fast-forwarded through their scenes.
After recently reading Ashley Gardner's "CAPT Lacey" series, C.S. Harris' "Sebastian St. Cyr" series, and Robert McCammon's "Matthew Corbett" series, the Alec Halsey series just didn't come up to par. I'll pass on Brant's next Alec Halsey novel.
"A perfect mixture of mystery, romance, and history"
I adored this book. Lucinda Brant mixes a complex, layered story with her impeccable research into the Georgian period. Alex Wyndham is a superb narrator with the talent to create varied and distinguishable voices for both men and women. This one will keep you guessing until the end.
I loved this and it was filled with intrigue, murder, adventure and love. It is a real nail biting story.
"Deadly Engagement unabridged audio"
Well done! Lucinda Brant has written an interesting and entertaining historical mystery novel that is not trashy. The mystery is captivating and unfolds nicely while the romance blooms but doesn't overwhelm the rest of the plot. The characters are interesting and well fleshed but not redundant which is also nice.
"Danger and desire shadow hero in Georgian mystery"
Deadly Engagement is one of the most compelling audiobooks I've listened to. Lucinda Brant has penned an exciting story in which the good are great and the bad deadly. Add a healthy dollop of romance and you have all the ingredients required for a great story.
The characters are well developed and the plot complex and full of surprises. Alex Halsey is a swoon-worthy hero with just the right blend of intelligence and devil-may-care while Lady Selina charms with her compassion, wit and courage. They must overcome personal misunderstandings and several deadly enemies in their search for the truth and love. One of the things I most admired and enjoyed was Lucinda Brant's ability to weave a complex web without making her characters fall prey to excessive emotions and dim-witted assumptions in order to carry the storyline.
Alec Halsey was my favourite character but Alex Wyndham did an excellent job with all characters, both male and female. It is more traditional for a romance to be read by a woman, but I hope more authors will follow Lucinda Brant's lead and try male narrators.
I listened to A Deadly Engagement on my way to and from work every day and it was torture to switch it off and go up to the office. It totally transformed the way I feel about my drive to work.
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