In the fourth of the Travelling Matchmaker series of books, Miss Hannah Pym, now no longer a housekeeper but a gentlewoman of means seems rather tired of her previous matchmaking journeys. In fact it seems rather a quiet journey for Hannah but then someone comes to take one of the female passengers off the travelling stage, Beatrice of the title of the novel , in rather odd circumstances was she kidnapped or did she willingly go with the man not much happens Hannah ponders? Then Hannah gets left behind and is rescued by Lord Munro.
However things do not quieten down when Hannah gets to Brighton, with her footman Benjamin. Who has suddenly found his voice and is rather forthright in his opinions and does not understand the appropriate etiquette for a footman. Then through strange and dubious means establishes his mistress in a suitable dwelling and provides for her when Lord Munro promises to honour his pledge to take her to the ball where the Prince of Wales will be in attendance. Brighton society is suspicious of Miss Hannah Pym, her position and background and so visitors are a plenty including Beatrice with her problems. As society does what it does best and snubs Hannah, she can only see the way out. And that is to do a bit of matchmaking for Beatrice and get her out of the position she has got herself into and at the same time solve Hannah’s own problems.
These are short stories which are a great bit of escapism, with a little bit of romance, a bit of excitement and a bit of history. In this book we learn with Hannah all about bathing machines and the joy of being free from your ‘stays’ although the freedom is short lived as adventure awaits Hannah as her next trips is to Dover.
The cynic in me realises that these other novels by M.C. Beaton have been reissued to cash in on the success of Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth. The cynic in me also realises that I have succumbed to that marketing as well. I have the other two to read to complete this set and then I suppose I can succumb to more cynicism and read the reissues of the Edwardian Murder Mystery Series which were originally with the Matchmaker series published under one pseudonym Marion Chesney. Also from her website, The Six Sisters looks to have been republished with new covers and released in 2012. More series to get involved in.