Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review: A Sense of Entitlement by Anna Loan-Wilsey (Hattie Davish #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Hattie and other characters, time period
Cons: Plot pacing off a couple of times
The Bottom Line:
Summer in Newport
With danger and mystery
When Hattie visits

Hattie's Newport Season Brings Murder

While I hear about lots of cozies coming out, I don't hear as much about historical mysteries as I would like.  That's why A Sense of Entitlement was the first time I'd heard of Hattie Davish, traveling secretary during the 1890's.  Despite the fact that this is the third in the series, I jumped in to read it, and I'm glad I did.

While it isn't quite what she expected when she arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, Hattie Davish has landed a job as the social secretary for Mrs. Mayhew.  A confirmed social climber, Mrs. Mayhew throws lots of parties in hopes of making it into the upper, upper crust of society.

However, not everything is blissfully peaceful this season.  Not too long after Hattie arrives, she learns that the telegram workers are going on strike.  In fact, there is a labor organizer trying to talk the household staffs at the various "cottages" (read mansions) into striking as well.  After an explosion and a murder, Mrs. Mayhew decides that having the inside scoop on what is happening will increase her social standing, so she adds investigation to Hattie's duties.  But can Hattie uncover the truth?

Since this is the third book in the series, there were some references to the previous two books, especially the first in the series.  It helped that a couple of characters from that book popped up again here.  However, I didn't feel that this hampered my enjoyment of the current book at all.  Everything I needed to know was explained to me, and, more importantly, there were no spoilers for the previous books.

Of course, it helped that most of the characters in this book were new.  That meant I got to know them as Hattie did.  I found them well developed and interesting.  We actually get to know a good variety between the servants and the rich they work for, and I never once had a hard time keeping everyone straight.

Unfortunately, I did find the pacing of the plot a bit uneven.  There were a couple of times where I was beginning to wonder where the story was going.  However, things soon picked up again, and the things that happened did ultimately tie into the plot.  By the time I reached the end, I was turning the pages to find out what happened.

Labor relations play a large part of the plot, and I found the discussion interesting.  The difference between the workers in the 1890's and the rich who employed them was huge, and this book drove that home.  While we do still have some inequality today, this look at how it was 120 years ago makes me appreciate the gains that have been made.

So if you are looking for a well developed trip back in time, you want to pick up A Sense of Entitlement.  I'm certainly glad I got to meet Hattie.

NOTE: I was sent an ARC as part of this blog tour in exchange for my honest review.

As part of this blog tour, I have one copy of the print book to give away.  US address only, please.  The contest will run until 11:59 PM PDT on Thursday, June 12th.  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment telling me where you would love to spend an extended vacation like the rich get to do in this book.  The location can be real or imaginary.  Along with your comment, please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win.

However, if you'd like additional chances to win, you can follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.  You can also befriend me on Goodreads. One additional entry for each place you follow me.  Please leave an additional comment for every way you followed me including your user name on that site.

On the 13th, I will use a random number generator to pick the winner and contact them via the e-mail they gave me.  Please get back to me quickly with your address so I can forward it on and you can get your prize.

But wait - there's more.  One reader will win autographed paperback copies of all three books in the series.  This giveaway is for all the blogs on this blog tour, not just mine.  However, you can enter by filling out the Rafflecopter at the tour home page.

Good luck with both drawings.


  1. Paradise, MI...though I'd rather spend the winter there instead of the summer.

    If we're already friends on Goodreads, do we need to unfriend you and befriend you again? ;-)

    1. No. If you already follow me any of those places, just let me know so you can get your extra entry.