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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

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Very Good

What did you like most about Dangerous and Unseemly?

There is never a dull moment in this book. It starts off in a very dramatic way and keeps this momentum going for the duration of the story. Concordia gets embroiled in dangerous situations one after the other which makes for suspenseful listening. There is also a little bit of romance which topped off the story nicely.

What did you like best about this story?

I love historical mysteries and was delighted with this book. Concordia makes a realistic amateur sleuth and the puzzle she had to solve was complex and well written.
I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the death of Concordia's sister. It was less convoluted than the mystery at the school where there were a lot of characters with different motivations to keep track of.

What about Becket Royce’s performance did you like?

The characters are very well done and I found the narration to be very easy to listen to. I normally listen at the slightly faster pace which worked well with this narration.

Any additional comments?

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to audio book blast.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gayle
  • 21-12-14

Fascinating "Cozy" Mystery

Set at a women's college in 1896, I found this listen to be fun and quite interesting. Concordia Well, a young teacher, is a strong (for the times) and very likable character. The descriptions of the lifestyle, architecture, and clothing is just wonderful. The story depicts the plight of females during this period, several murders, and a little romance. I totally enjoyed the quotes from famous literature (especially MACBETH) sprinkled throughout the story. Narration by Becket Royce was superb! I understand there will be more books released in the series~I will definitely be listening. Highly recommended...

Audiobook provided for an honest review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • omnireader
  • 29-04-15

Dangerous, Unseemly and Irresistable

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 troubling events begin with 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.

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 what I imagine a well brought up and educated young woman of the time might sound like. I particularly like the way she handled the characters who speak with a foreign accent; just enough to differentiate them, never veering into parody.

I highly recommend Dangerous and Unseemly!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Hazel Dean
  • 01-02-15

Entertaining and Historical, Well Performed

What made the experience of listening to Dangerous and Unseemly the most enjoyable?

One whole side of my family came from Hartford, which I knew well when I was growing up, so I particularly liked the evocation of the setting in an earlier time. This is as much historical novel as mystery story, and the manners of the time, especially as they applied to women, were by far the most enjoyable part for me.

Would you be willing to try another book from K.B. Owen? Why or why not?

Maybe. This was capably written but not gripping.

What about Becket Royce’s performance did you like?

Becket Royce's performance was by far one of the strongest aspects of the book. She is a strong, clear reader who differentiated one character from another but never strained or overdramatized. She reads with an ease and professionalism that are very enjoyable to listen to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not so much a moment as a character, the lady principal. I enjoyed the justaposition of her unbending strength with her title, by which she was always referred, of "lady principal." This takes on added resonance, of course, as the story progresses.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shoshana Hathaway
  • 06-07-15

the joys of co-ed life, with murder sauce


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?

As it happens, historical mysteries are a particular favorite of mine, but I expect the mystery to be complex and exciting, and the history to be well researched and have no glaring errors. This book is *definitely* one of the “good ones” on both counts, and more besides.

The setting is Hartford, CT just before the beginning of the 20th century, and the novel takes place mostly at a Women’s college. The author portrays her chosen time extremely well, and I found it very easy to become absorbed in both the time and place. Not only is this a very well done mystery, involving murder, grand theft, and other crimes and felonies, but there is a thoughtful presentation of several social issues, and we see the beginnings of institutions we now take for granted, such as social services, public health awareness, and women’s suffrage.

The plot has more twists than a mountain road in KY, and although I had an inkling of one of the villains, I certainly didn’t have the whole picture, until the very end.

The characters were beautifully drawn, and true to life in any place or time, though they functioned comfortably in their settings. Again, the author excelled at presenting viewpoints very different from ours, and social expectations that have changed fairly drastically, as well. But, in the end, people are people, and no matter when or where they lived, we are all motivated by the same things, and when we go off the rails, it is for, mostly, the same reasons, essentially. The characters in the book were accessible and very believable, and, for the most part, sympathetic. I do get the sense that this might be a 1st in series …and if so, it will be a series of which I intend to keep very close track, indeed.

The narrator did an excellent job. Her pacing, text shaping, enunciation and expression are impeccable. She is able to differentiate her characters using subtle changes in tone, rate of speech and emphasis, so that, without ever overdoing things, we know, without having to be told, exactly who is speaking. She is able to do this with the male, as well as with the female characters, and *that* to me is the sign of a first class narrator.

I happily give both book and narrator an enthusiastic 5 star rating, and unreservedly recommend this book to anyone who, like me, enjoys historical and/or cozy mysteries.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • bec
  • 29-01-15

Looking forward to the next Concordia!

My Review
A great big welcome to Concordia! A refreshingly different cozy within an historical setting.
There is much more to this story than the publishers summary suggests, yes, there's murder and mayhem, romance, intrigue, mystery and surprises, as there should be. However, I found this to be a really well written story about thoughtfully created characters. The relationship between Concordia and her mother is fragile and touching, as this aspect of the story gradually unfolds, the listener is always wanting more.
I enjoyed Concordia, a brave young woman for her time, and I look forward to her adventures in future books. I think the ending will surprise a great many listeners, excellent story.

Narrator
This was my first time listening to Becket Royce, and I enjoyed her performance very much, she doesn't do that annoying overacting thing which is so irritating and distracting. Her voice is rich and easy on the ear, her characterisations are subtle, yet distinct, the listener is never in doubt as to which character is speaking. I do hope Becket narrates all future Concordia books.
However, I did find the sound quality to be less than perfect, some of the consonant sounds came through as a little grating to the ear, the "S" sounds in particular. Perhaps future recordings might improve this fault.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • med c
  • 31-12-14

Concordia Mystery

Any additional comments?

This is a good audiobook, well written and fun to listen to then sit in your favorite chair and enjoy listening to the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rosemary Hughes
  • 06-02-18

Looking at a different period of time & customs

I loved being a fly on the wall, to the times when women were restricted in their life options. The ideas of what constituted seemly conduct for a woman, but the liberty a man had, is shown in sharp comparison.
The main purpose of the story, that of solving of a case of fraud, and subsequent situations that occur as cover ups, laid out during a period of time when women's mental capacity were placed on the same level of children, by a lot of the male population.
I enjoyed the narrator's rendition of this book, and look forward to listening to further books in this series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • cafurg
  • 14-09-16

Good historical mystery

If you could sum up Dangerous and Unseemly in three words, what would they be?

Interesting historical mystery.

What does Becket Royce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Strong narration, easy listen.

Any additional comments?

I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James & Cindy Jackson
  • 07-09-16

Entertaining and Historical, Well Performed

Where does Dangerous and Unseemly rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 10

Who was your favorite character and why?

Concordia Wells, who is a college professor at an all womens college in 1896. She not only teaches several classes, she is a live-in chaperone to a bunch of college students, and directs the senior play.

Have you listened to any of Becket Royce’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, But would listen to Becket Royce again. Did great job in the narration of the book

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It really made me want to listen to the end

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was given to me for an unbiased review

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Heather M Leal
  • 18-07-16

Cozy little mystery

While this isn't my typical go-to reading material, I really enjoyed this book. The heroine is smart, opinionated, and quite daring for her time. There were parts I felt that the action dragged a bit, but loved the little historical details woven throughout the tale. There were many twists and turns along the way, and just when you think you have it all figured out, you discover that you don't. My only issue with this book is the overuse of keeping the reader in the dark while the heroine discovers a key to the mystery. Using it once in a book is okay, but more than that and it's just trite. If Concordia figured out a clue, then the listener should be clued in as well. Leaving it unsaid to create suspense is a cop-out, in my opinion. The narrators voice was just perfect for this genre, though; very polished and crisp. It lent authenticity to the story and set the right mood for listening.

I received this book from AudioBookBoom at no cost in exchange for my honest review. My opinion is that this book is a solid 4. Great listening for a rainy or cold, lazy-on-the-couch day.