Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Lady Trent Mystery Series

A Lady Trent Mystery Series is written by Gilbert Morris and is centered around the main characters of Viscountess Serafina Trent and Dylan Tremayne. I love the covers for these books, especially the second book, A Conspiracy of Ravens.

Lady Serafina is nobility and doesn't fit the mold very well. She works with her father to do autopsies to find out the cause of death, plus various experiments with him and on her own. She is a widow and many suspect her in his death. She is fiercely protective of her son, David, and generally the backbone of her family. She has a scientific mind and refuses to indulge in anything that she cannot observe or prove. This goes to such an extreme that she doesn't even read fiction and discourages her son from imagination and other wastes of time.

Dylan Tremayne is an actor. In the world of social classes, his would be rated just above robbers and thieves. He is also a strong Christian. He doesn't just attend church, every conversation is peppered with references to God and he seems to rely on and treat God as a friend and guide for life. This baffles and frustrates Lady Serafina. His criminal background can get him in to places and people nobody else can. He is more handsome than any man has a right to be and yet doesn't seem to be aware of it and wants nothing to do with all his female fans.

How do these two opposites even come together? In the first book Lady Serafina's brother finds himself accused of murdering one of the actresses in the theater production. Dylan knew both her brother and the actress. He volunteers his assistance and she realizes she can't prove her brother's innocence without him. They actually end up working well as a team, and he also provides a good role model for her son.

As the two solve mysteries, they get a reputation and are called on to do more work. The whole time you can see the clash between their belief systems, social classes, and prejudices of the people surrounding them. There are funny, tense, and romantic moments. The subplots of the secondary characters are interesting and well done.

Now I have to admit a bit of a con for a "mystery" series. There were surprises and plot twists I hadn't expected, but I was able to guess the killer in the first two books. I guessed the 3rd as well, but the author was able to talk me into doubting of my guess with a red herring. That didn't ruin my enjoyment because the whole idea of how they discovered them and the interplay between the characters was really good.

I also think these series where the characters evolve and grow over a much longer time gives a much more... deeper look into their hearts and minds. I think it allows them to make more realistic changes. In the end, the characters Mr. Morris created were very impressive because they were not stereotypical in the least. The way the related to each other didn't even fall into totally expected norms.

I have a question for you. A friend of mine told me when she reads books she always reads the end to see how it will all work out before she finishes the book. I was shocked. I never read the end first. I asked someone else and they said they do it too. Is that pretty common? Do you read the end of your books before you get there to see how it all turns out? Why do you do that (if you do)? Why not (if you don't)?


  1. I started reading The Mermaid in the Basement a couple of months ago and could not get into the story, which really surprised me because I really enjoy Gilbert Morris' books. I may have to try again.

    Concerning your question: I don't usually read the end of the book. The only times I do is if the main character looks like they may die and then sometimes I skim through the end to see the outcome or if it a book I am not really liking I will peek at the end to see if I want to finish it.

  2. LOL Lee I always read the end first! If the end doesn't sound interesting, why read the whole book? I know that probably isn't the greatest theory but I do it and it usually works for me!

    Merry Christmas!


  3. Read the end first...never! Plus, being my luck I would read the end first and think I knew something only to discover what I thought wasn't right. ;)

  4. Beth ~ They grew on me. I had a reason I wanted to read the books, and so I did. Plus I bought all three and wasn't feeling well... Curling up with a book is the best cure. :o)

    Renee ~ You bad girl! I should have known you'd be a peeker! lol The end doesn't always typify what the book is going to be like/about so you might miss out on some good books. :o)I am having the hardest time with my ending right now and yet I'm fairly happy with the rest of my book (other than regular edits). I wouldn't want someone to judge it by the ending, though I do intend to fix it. lol

    Angie ~ I'm with you. Plus I know the work that goes into plotting and planning a story. Everything is supposed to build in a certain order. If I peek at the end it's sort of like opening my presents before Christmas.

  5. Right off the bat...RENEE!!...I. can. not. believe. you read the end first!! *tsk, tsk, tsk* Bad Renee!

    Lee ~ I'm a little surprised that YOU don't read the end first! LOL

    Angie ~ I'm with you! I never...repeat...never read the end first!

    Okay, whew, had to get that out of the way first. :p Excellent review, Lee. I've almost bought these books a couple of times (grew up reading Gilbert Morris!) but for some reason I always decide to wait. Something about them just causes me to turn away every time. Maybe I'll finally give the a chance one day down the road??

    Merry Christmas y'all!
    ~ Lori

  6. Lori ~ I had read other books by him as well - but these do seem a little harder to "get into." Maybe that's why they're less popular?

    Why would you think I would read the end first?

    Peeking is a lot more popular than I thought. I would never have even considered it. Learn something new every day. :o)

  7. Ummm...I'm not really sure why I thought you would, just sounded like something you would do! LOL

  8. The covers of these are gorgeous!! I would never read the end first!! I've only heard of one person who does it :)