Mrs Dew Plays Her Hand (A Christmas review)

Mrs. Drew Plays Her HandMrs. Drew Plays Her Hand by Carla Kelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The trouble with giving this one 3 stars is that I know I’m lowering it to the level of other books I’ve given the same score to. They weren’t really this good.
Unfortunately, as I’m going through Ms Kelly’s works most of them are getting 4 stars from me, which (as I grow in reviewing experience) is no longer a very common thing from me.
Mrs. Drew Plays Her Hand is a very good book, but it’s simply less good than the three others I’ve read by the same author recently. What’s a reviewer to do?
There are sections in this book that slow down the pace of the book considerably, and those are the parts that I must complain about the loudest. The characters themselves were wonderful as usual, sketched so heartwarming a manner that you almost got used to their many small habits and began expecting them through their later interactions.
Carla Kelly rejoices in human faults and follies. She makes us laugh at them and shake our heads as we see the now dear characters making mistakes that their natures made inevitable from the very beginning.
There was another problem with this story – towards the end I couldn’t understand Lord Winn’s lack of anger at something Roxanna did. When flu came suddenly on to their lands and she took over the responsibilities of his estate to spare the sick bailiff, not to mention when her children’s beloved nurse died, she should have written to him and informed him of what was going on – it was irresponsible not to!
The silliness was oddly contrary to the heroine’s character and I was almost disappointed by the easy understanding in the hero towards this piece of idiocy.
But then there is much that redeems the book. There is a marriage of convenience, but not because a scandal, or unexpected pregnancy or some other silly oft-used trope forces them to enter into one, but because of a genuine threat that could only be countered by this. I loved how well the author used the legalities of the time to make her case.
I was also unexpectedly touched by the generosity and magnanimity shown by Lord Winn towards a man who perhaps didn’t quite deserve it, but I am still happy that he received it – it was a little like a Scrooge story. Just in time for Christmas. šŸ™‚

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