Reviews for New Countess
Booklist Reviews 2013 October #2
Weldon concludes her excellent Dilberne Court trilogy as Lord Robert and Lady Isobel prepare for a visit from King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. As the frenzied preparations by both family and staff members shift into high gear, things are not running as smoothly as they ought to be on either the domestic front or in the financial arena. Fraught with multiple plotlines that bridge the gap between the servants and the served, the entire affair is delightfully Downtonish. Weldon, the writer of the pilot episode of the original Upstairs, Downstairs, has dipped her toes into the Edwardian pool before, with great results; this time she dives right in and readers--especially those who have already enjoyed the exploits of the Dilberne dynasty in Habits of the House and Long Live the King--will be eager to plunge in, too.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: By publishing all three books in this delightful Edwardian trilogy within the same calendar year, Weldon has deftly capitalized on the Downton Abbey momentum. Expect historical-fiction fans to be poised and ready for the grand finale. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2013 November #1
Weldon (Long Live the King, 2013, etc.) completes her Edwardian trilogy, a lightweight amalgam of Downton Abbey and her own Upstairs Downstairs, as Lord and Lady Dilberne prepare for a visit from King Edward VII. Three years have passed since the last installment. Edward, now king, has invited himself and his entourage, including his mistress, to the Dilberne estate for a hunting weekend, much to Lady Isobel Dilberne's chagrin. Since Lord Robert is actively involved in the government now, not to mention with his new mistress, she is the one who is burdened with installing new plumbing and heating and completely redecorating their large but antiquated home. At the moment, son Arthur, the car enthusiast, is living at the estate with his wife, Minnie, and their two young sons. Arthur married Chicago-born Minnie for love, not the money she stands to inherit from her rich but crude Irish-American parents, and despite knowing she was an "experienced" bride. But, devoted to his auto manufacturing company that has yet to produce a commercially viable vehicle, Arthur now takes Minnie for granted. Lonely, homesick for the United States and oppressed by Lady Isobel's interference in her children's upbringing, Minnie assumes the worst when she walks in on Arthur with a female journalist in an apparent state of undress. Minnie decamps to stay with Arthur's sister Rosina. Recently returned from Australia a wealthy widow, with her finished manuscript on the sexual habits of the Aborigines ready to publish, Rosina has joined the literary and sexually liberated set on Fleet Street, Weldon's satiric swipe at the Bloomsbury crowd. Will Minnie succumb to the temptations of Fleet Street or reunite with Arthur? Will Rosina find passion with her editor's sister? Will Lady Isobel become romantically involved with the handsome, much younger police inspector assigned to arrange security in preparation for the royal visit? Will that visit end in triumph or disaster or both? Funnier and nastier than the two earlier volumes but still lukewarm and without much fizz. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2013 July #1
Grand of Weldon to have dreamed up an Edwardian-era story that has held fans in between bouts of Downton Abbey. Here she wraps up the trilogy with Lord Robert and Lady Isobel Dilberne's household preparing for a visit from Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. With a reading group guide. [Page 55]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal Express Reviews
In the final volume of her Dilberne trilogy (Habits of the House; Long Live the King), Weldon keeps the action churning. It's 1903, and Lord Robert's invitation to King Edward VII to hunt at Dilberne Court sends Lady Isobel into a frenzy of redecoration and worry about where to house the king and his married mistress. Meanwhile, daughter Rosina returns from Australia as a wealthy widow and lodges in Fleet Street with old friends she hopes can help publish her book on the sexual habits of aboriginals. Son and heir Arthur devotes his time and attention to cars, neglecting his wife, Minnie, who frets about the strict upbringing of their sons by aged, rigid Nanny. Lies and misunderstandings lead to Arthur's threat to divorce Minnie, and she plots to take her sons home to Chicago. The servants speculate endlessly about the possible liaisons of their employers, including Isobel's involvement with the inspector arranging security for the royal visit. Although Weldon wraps up many loose ends with a 1906 funeral and wedding that set both Arthur and Rosina on new paths, there are enough plotlines left for possible sequels featuring the next generation. Verdict Because antagonisms and relationships developed among characters in the first two volumes propel the plot, this book will appeal mainly to readers interested in finishing the trilogy. Libraries can gauge past interest among their users and purchase accordingly. [See Prepub Alert, 6/3/13.]--Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Mankato (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.