Woohoo! So I set myself the goal of finishing these books by the end of June and I did it Yipee! Why did I do this? Because I took these on holiday with me last year and I didn't get round to reading them and there was no way I was going to have them glaring at me from the shelf when I got back from this years holiday. So, there you have my reason.
I was going through my wrap-up post for The Travelling Matchmaker series and I've found my thoughts for these books are pretty much the same.
There were two that I really enjoyed, Plain Jane and The Adventuress but the rest I found a bit so-so and could have left unfinished but I was too stubborn to not finish the series.
I think it all boiled down to me not liking the recurring characters enough. Lizzie the scullery maid was really the only member of the staff that I cared for and wanted to see happy.
They are stuck in a miserable position with low wages and not enough fuel or food in winter because the agent of the owner of the house is basically blackmailing them into remaining by saying he will not give them references if they leave.
Now, I didn't really understand why they remained in such a horrible situation. There had to have been a way around it but instead at the beginning of every book we got told how miserable the previous winter had been. Although in all fairness that wasn't always the case.
A pet peeve for this book was that the same information about the staff would be regurgitated in the first two chapters at some point in most of the books. This works lovely in that you can pick up any of the books, in any order and be told everything you need to know. But when it came to reading then in a row I was getting a wee bit annoyed.
These are great books to read if you are looking for something to get through in one night.
I think I did do the books a disservice by reading them one after another, so with the next Beaton series I will make an effort to spread them out a bit more.
On a good note to leave on I will say that I LOVED the introduction to the chapters. Poetry from Byron and other artists of the time on their observations of Society and the Season were wonderful to read and I will be trying to hunt down some collections of those.