Anna Dean (born 1956) is a British novelist and short story writer. She is the author of the Dido Kent series of mystery novels.
In Gentleman of Fortune, the main character, Miss Dido Kent is 35, without fortune and unmarried. Due to her situation, she spends her time assisting various relatives in unpaid roles. The story begins in Richmond in 1806 where she is on holiday at her cousin Flora's home. She feels rather bored but when her quiet holiday with her cousin Flora is disturbed by the suspicious death of a neighbour, Miss Dido finds herself at the center of an unusual investigation.
The doctor for the old wealthy lady announces she died from an overdose of a sleeping opiate. Immediate suspicion falls on the victim's nephew who will inherit her fortune. Flora doesn't believe it to be true and implores Miss Dido to find the truth. Miss Dido is intrigued by the rumours and, at Flora's behest, starts a little investigation of her own. And as she does so, she brings more to light than even she could have imagined.
I found the character of Miss Dido very interesting. The style of the storytelling reminded me of the golden age characters such as Miss Marple. Dido is smart, literate and a sharp observer. The story is also very well written. Anna Dean portrays a vivid picture of rural England, its natural attractions, and the lifestyle. She has built on the legacy of authors such as Agatha Christie to create some great historical plots with well-developed twists.
I enjoyed this book a lot and recommend it to the readers who enjoy historical mysteries or like authors such as Agatha Christie. The book deserves a 5 out of 5 stars ranking. Amazon link to the book: Gentleman of Fortune