A Sense of Entitlement
Review: As a travelling secretary, Hattie Davish takes her trusty typewriter to the lovely beach town of Newport, Rhode Island, the seasonal home of some of the most noble upper-class families in America, in A Sense of Entitlement, the third mystery in this series by Anna Loan-Wilsey.
Sir Arthur Windom-Greene, her current boss, and his wife Lady Phillippa have rented a cottage there for the season hoping he and Hattie could finish his manuscript and for he and his wife to enjoy a well-deserved vacation. Sir Arthur, however, is called back to England as his father becomes very ill, and Lady Phillippa, who unlike her husband views Hattie as a servant, learns that Mrs. Charlotte Mayhew, a very wealthy socialite, is upset because her personal social secretary had recently married and left her without a replacement. Lady Phillippa, eager to pawn off Hattie, insists that she fill the position. Although Hattie knows nothing about being a social secretary, she reluctantly agrees. Her new job entails maintaining Madam Mayhew's social calendar, answering her mail and paying her personal bills. Plus the list went on: put together guest lists and seating arrangements while avoiding any social faux pas; deal directly with the florists, the caterers and the social entertainers. But the situation in Newport is volatile. Local labor unions are in the area and intruding in the lives of the wealthy homeowners and businessmen. They want decent working conditions for the laborers. They are also demanding a decent wage for a decent day's work. It isn't long before violence erupts in the form of a wharf being blown up and the body of a very wealthy banker being found stabbed to death. All the evidence points to the uncompromising union boss, but the amateur sleuth in Hattie is not so sure. With her promise to Sir Arthur to finish his manuscript, and the multi-tasking required for Mrs. Mayhew, will she be able to give the time and thought needed to help find the killer?
A Sense of Entitlement is an engaging historical mystery. The Newport setting provides a colorful backdrop to the proceedings, where Hattie is able to freely mingle with the rich and famous, who are, as a group, a gossipy and selfish group. Their overriding need seems to be to outdo their "friends", and to prove they are richer and more famous than their neighbors. The key to the appeal of this series is the character of Hattie Davish. She is smart, confident, and courageous at a time when such traits are frowned upon in women, and most especially working-class women. Still, there is a murder to solve and there are plenty of suspects, plenty of motives, and plenty of opportunities to accompany Hattie around town as she investigates them all. A very enjoyable mystery, and one with a hint of romance as well, readers will be eagerly awaiting the next in the series to see what new adventure Hattie finds herself in.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of A Sense of Entitlement.
Acknowledgment: Kensington Books provided a copy of A Sense of Entitlement for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Anything But Civil
Kensington Books (Trade Paperback), September 2013
ISBN-13: 9780758276360; ISBN-10: 0758276362
Location(s) referenced in A Sense of Entitlement: Newport, Rhode Island
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A Sense of Entitlement by Anna Loan-Wilsey — A Hattie Davish Mystery
Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: June 2014
List Price: $15.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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