The Hummingbird Dagger
1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn't think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family's manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.

The Hummingbird Dagger Details

TitleThe Hummingbird Dagger
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 16th, 2019
PublisherSwoon Reads
ISBN-139781250174895
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Romance, Fiction, Historical Romance, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Regency

The Hummingbird Dagger Review

  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve enjoyed all of the Cindy’s previous books and considering the murder aspect of this one, I was all in. Sadly, I’m wondering if 3 stars is too high of a rating. I liked Beth and James well enough. It’s an interesting set up and I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow as they leaned on each other. Caroline was a lovely friend and I liked how supportive and accepting she was. The characters were easy to root for, yet also a little flat. Plot wise it was a struggle. It was quite boring and fel I’ve enjoyed all of the Cindy’s previous books and considering the murder aspect of this one, I was all in. Sadly, I’m wondering if 3 stars is too high of a rating. I liked Beth and James well enough. It’s an interesting set up and I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow as they leaned on each other. Caroline was a lovely friend and I liked how supportive and accepting she was. The characters were easy to root for, yet also a little flat. Plot wise it was a struggle. It was quite boring and felt longer than it should have been. This was the slowest of slow build ups and the reveals don’t really start until near the very end. A big issue was the formatting of the e-arc. There wasn’t any sort of page break or show of POV switch...and there were several jumps in each chapter. Overall, I liked the idea, but this story felt really drawn out. And even though there were loads of things happening, it lacked the tension a plot like this should have.**Huge thanks to Swoon Reads for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    Yaaaasss, OF COURSE I want to read Cindy Anstey's next book???? DUHHHH???? 😍😍😍😍
  • Jessie_Book
    January 1, 1970
    This book starts with a bang and the rest is basically a whimper. If your into flat characters sitting around talking to each other the way I imagine robots do this is the book for you. There is no emotion on a single page. None of the characters have chemistry together making every conversation painfully boring to read. The brother of the main guy in the book was the only interesting one but thats not saying much, I can't even remember his name. There is a mystery element that is kind on intere This book starts with a bang and the rest is basically a whimper. If your into flat characters sitting around talking to each other the way I imagine robots do this is the book for you. There is no emotion on a single page. None of the characters have chemistry together making every conversation painfully boring to read. The brother of the main guy in the book was the only interesting one but thats not saying much, I can't even remember his name. There is a mystery element that is kind on interesting but they don't do much with it. If you have to choose between watching paint dry and reading this book I would recommend the paint.
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  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Cindy Anstey's latest novel The Hummingbird Dagger caught my attention when I saw it described as Regency literature for YA.  You all may remember I decided to give the YA genre a fair shot last year and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.So when I saw a book written in the style of Jane Austen full of mystery, mistaken identity, and an MC in grave danger who has lost her memory, I was all in.The new Lord James Ellerby is stunned to witness his young brother Walter racing carelessly into t Cindy Anstey's latest novel The Hummingbird Dagger caught my attention when I saw it described as Regency literature for YA.  You all may remember I decided to give the YA genre a fair shot last year and was pleasantly surprised by what I found.So when I saw a book written in the style of Jane Austen full of mystery, mistaken identity, and an MC in grave danger who has lost her memory, I was all in.The new Lord James Ellerby is stunned to witness his young brother Walter racing carelessly into the path of an oncoming carriage near Hardwick Manor.  The carriage accident leaves a young woman injured.Lord Ellerby finds the situation curious and instead of leaving the lady to continue on her journey, he brings her to his manor to be seen by the local physician.Upon waking, the woman finds she has no memory of who she is or why she was traveling by carriage.  She suffers the same terrifying nightmare each night, about a dagger shaped like a hummingbird dripping in blood.Lord Ellerby's sister Caroline believes the unidentified woman to be a lady and believes her family will soon come to find her."'Her people will inquire after her, James.' Caroline said, as if reading his mind. 'I think we will be surprised by her circumstances. Her voice and manner seem educated. She might even be a gentleman's daughter.' No bonnet or gloves, a torn gown and filthy hands,  traveling alone. This did not sound like any lady James knew.  Still, he did find her direct gaze intriguing; it was almost a challenge. Yes, there something about her, something . . . interesting." *While waiting for her memories to return, the Ellerby family calls the young lady Beth and she becomes Caroline's companion for the time being.Beth's identity becomes more confusing when a man arrives in town claiming that he is her brother.  It is thanks to the kindness and protection of the Ellerbys that she isn't sent away with the man, who quickly disappears."Beth was almost certain that her past was painful---the circumstances of her arrival shouted of danger, disaster, and ruin. Her nightmares reinforced that foreboding. Yes, something had happened. Were her injuries all a result of the carriage accident or something else?" *With the death of a young maid in the manor, a failed attempt to grab Beth and Caroline on horseback, and eventually an attempt on her life, Beth realizes the intent is not to recapture her but to kill her."A proper lady was not hounded; a sensible woman did not travel alone. She might regain her memories and wish to God that she hadn't.  The longer she had no name, the longer she endangered the family." *James and Caroline will not give up on finding Beth's real identity and who and why someone wants her dead.  They soon find that someone is willing to risk everything for a vote in the House of Lords and Beth may not be the only lady in danger.The Hummingbird Dagger is heavy on mystery but light on action.  Most of the story is simply conversations about discoveries made by the characters, who never fully develop.This will be a fun book for readers who enjoy Regency, mystery, and/or historical fiction.  It's listed as YA but it doesn't quite fit in the genre in my opinion.Thanks to Swoon Reads and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  The Hummingbird Dagger is scheduled for release on April 16, 2019.*Quotes included are from a digital advance reader copy and are subject to change upon final publication.For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com
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  • Kayla Brunson
    January 1, 1970
    I have been “reading” this book for about three weeks now. I have dropped and picked this book up quite a few times. I think it’s about time to call it quits and DNF. I read up to about 48% of the book and NOTHING was happening. It was just a ton of dialogue. I did like the idea of the book and love a good Regency novel, but the execution wasn’t very good for me. Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    After seeing the cover and synopsis on NetGalley, I couldn't request the book fast enough. Despite the interesting beginning, the rest of the book fell flat. The storyline itself was slow paced and uneventful. Furthermore, I found myself mostly unattached to any of the characters. The constant abrupt changes in scene/time was never denoted and proved confusing and eventually frustrating. (Even if this was due to early review status, it should not have been presented this way.) Sadly, this isn't After seeing the cover and synopsis on NetGalley, I couldn't request the book fast enough. Despite the interesting beginning, the rest of the book fell flat. The storyline itself was slow paced and uneventful. Furthermore, I found myself mostly unattached to any of the characters. The constant abrupt changes in scene/time was never denoted and proved confusing and eventually frustrating. (Even if this was due to early review status, it should not have been presented this way.) Sadly, this isn't one I'd recommend to my historical mystery friends. If this hadn't been a review copy, I probably would have DNFed it. Thank you to NetGalley and Swoon Reads for my advanced review copy.
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  • Bitchin' Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Oh man, I finished this days ago and forgot to update the status. It was an interesting story. Reads like a murder mystery written in the same style as Austen, Bronte, and their contemporaries. It was slow to start, but by the halfway mark it really picked up.
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  • Becca | Pages & Postcards
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know much about this book but that cover *gasp*
  • Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
    January 1, 1970
    Whenever I hear an announcement for a new Cindy Anstey book, I get excited. She usually has the perfect blend of mystery, intrigue, and YA regency romance. Unfortunately, The Hummingbird Dagger missed the mark for me. Plot-wise, this book was kind of all over the place. The first half seemed to drag on, alternating between Beth being in danger and the characters trying to conduct a surreptitious search to figure out her identity. Overall, it felt repetitive. The ending was my favorite part, ever Whenever I hear an announcement for a new Cindy Anstey book, I get excited. She usually has the perfect blend of mystery, intrigue, and YA regency romance. Unfortunately, The Hummingbird Dagger missed the mark for me. Plot-wise, this book was kind of all over the place. The first half seemed to drag on, alternating between Beth being in danger and the characters trying to conduct a surreptitious search to figure out her identity. Overall, it felt repetitive. The ending was my favorite part, everything came together nicely and the action flowed smoothly. But it all happened rather quickly. I would have preferred the reveals to have been spread out a bit more to increase the tension in the rest of the book. I also found it hard to connect with the characters. I liked Beth, Caroline, and James but never really felt like I knew them. They just didn’t jump off the page like Anstey’s characters usually do. Plus the dialogue wasn’t quite as witty or funny. I think The Hummingbird Dagger had an intriguing premise but ultimately didn’t quite live up to it. I’m definitely still going to pick up Anstey’s books in the future though!*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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  • Sami
    January 1, 1970
    A heart-racing Regency mystery with memory loss, kidnappings, and, of course, a breathtaking romance. Anstey has hit her stride in the Regency rom-com genre, so this change of pace into the slightly macabre was a pleasant and welcome surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed every twist, turn, and scandalous forehead kiss in this daring addition to Antsey's repertoire.
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  • Maggie
    January 1, 1970
    5 Stars!I loved The Hummingbird Dagger! It was filled with mystery and intrigue with great characters, and the eerie dark depths of Beth's past. This novel was not the non stop action and death like other books, but I liked that about it. The setting felt so real and true. Some reviewers thought the characters were dull, flat, and sat around in a boring way throughout the middle of the novel. I, on the other hand, did not think that at all. I found myself constantly amused and curious about the 5 Stars!I loved The Hummingbird Dagger! It was filled with mystery and intrigue with great characters, and the eerie dark depths of Beth's past. This novel was not the non stop action and death like other books, but I liked that about it. The setting felt so real and true. Some reviewers thought the characters were dull, flat, and sat around in a boring way throughout the middle of the novel. I, on the other hand, did not think that at all. I found myself constantly amused and curious about the characters and all that they did and said. I was so wrapped up in the mystery and the conversations as I tried to solve the ending before I got to it, that I didn't have the time or the mind to be bored. I loved the interaction between the Ellerby siblings, and I thought that Cindy Anstey did an excellent job with how she built the relationships between them. I've read many books where the sibling relationships are so strange and completely unrealistic, I have siblings myself so I feel comfortable with knowing the difference, but I didn't feel that way at all with the Ellerby siblings. I especially was amused by Walter and his antics, he was spot on with the whole little brother feel. I loved the growth of the characters also. I feel that out of all the characters Walter grew the most, but I saw growth and change in the others as well. I thought that each character had great depth and personality and I never found myself bored with them, and I never thought them dull. The writing was amazing! It was so sophisticated, it flowed beautifully, and it also fit so well with the time period of the novel which is hard to do I think. I loved the many British words and terms that I was unfamiliar with, though I did have to keep looking up the words and that interrupted my reading, but it was in a good way. I can definitely tell that a lot of hard work and effort went into the writing of this book, it really shows. There was not really any swearing in here, there were maybe two or three words, however they're words that match the time period. For example, at one point a character yells "hell and damnation" but those are more descriptions almost than actual swear words. The word "arse" I think was also used, but I don't think this is meant to be a swear word either. I took it as more of the proper terminology for something, like how a donkey back then was called an ass. I would recommend this book to anyone really, though the reading level is a little advanced, but if you are an advanced reader, or know someone who is, then I think that you would like it too.I really enjoyed The Hummingbird Dagger and I am so glad I stumbled upon it by accident, I had no idea that it or Cindy Anstey existed otherwise. If you're considering this book I would say give it a chance, it was really well thought out and well done. It was a little different than I am used to, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Happy reading!
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  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    I think my rating for this one is more of a 2.5 stars. I was excited to get this as a GR giveaway. I was looking forward to a fun Victorian England mystery.I loved the title.The cover is gorgeous. Turns out, those are my only favorite things about this book. The story starts off with the proverbial bang. Then slows down. Maybe speeds up... but doesn't.Maybe speeds up again... nope.It's not until about chapters 22 & 23 do things get going... (there are 24 chapters with a prologue & an epi I think my rating for this one is more of a 2.5 stars. I was excited to get this as a GR giveaway. I was looking forward to a fun Victorian England mystery.I loved the title.The cover is gorgeous. Turns out, those are my only favorite things about this book. The story starts off with the proverbial bang. Then slows down. Maybe speeds up... but doesn't.Maybe speeds up again... nope.It's not until about chapters 22 & 23 do things get going... (there are 24 chapters with a prologue & an epilogue).Ultimately, it's an almost 350 pg book, with around 50 pgs of some action and 300 pgs of (I kid you not) conversations. The book is in 3rd person with alternating POVs. I didn't count it, but James had the most page time and oddly Beth had the least (or second to least) with the shortest segments of each chapter. I think we spent more time with James' sister, Caroline, than we did with Beth when the book was supposed to be about her (Beth). There is a minor love-story between Beth and James that is secondary to the mystery. Which is great and all, but it didn't feel like a natural progression. I know I said there is about 300 pgs of conversation, but oddly Beth and James don't have enough page time together, getting to know each other, for the reader to see any chemistry between the two. They had one scene together, where it was just the two of them talking. It was 1pg and nothing personal was shared that a blossoming relationship could bond over. It kind of came off as an "insta-love" plot device that luckily wasn't heavy-handed. But it was embellished on when James' internal dialog would wax poetic about how great a person Beth is.- she has a reverence for books- she is "sunshine"- she is "laughter"- strong- independent- intelligent- lively- enthusiastic- she is traditional yet outrageous- confused yet clear-headed- fascinating... but NOT mysterious (which is funny when she's the one with amnesia so SHE is the MYSTERY of the whole book)(And the story only spans about 6 weeks, James and Beth are only in each other's presence for about 4 of those.)Mind you, we don't see any of this. We are just told this. And this rolls into the next thing. There is too much tell and not enough show.Not only are there inflated impressions with nothing on the page to back them up, but there are 2 deaths, a funeral, a break-in, spying, and some investigations that all happen off stage only to end up being the topic of one of the many conversations that happen on stage. Outside of the villains, all the characters are essentially perfect, impractically so, especially James.Except for maybe Caroline. It seemed like every time she'd turn around she was purse-ing her lips, reprimanding, chastising, and correcting all in a "frosty" voice.But not with Beth. If anything, between Caroline and James, the two were almost parental. There's even a scene where Caroline is staying up late waiting to have a conversation with James about what they are going to do about Beth. And another scene where Caroline (I kid you not) tucks Beth into bed like a child. <---described as such in the book.Which is problematic because it's not the kind of relationship dynamic I would expect or want with my new bff and my new beau.The end is tied up neatly. This doesn't usually bother me. I feel if a book were to take me on a roller coaster ride of organized chaos, then I earned and deserve the reward of a neat and satisfying ending. But, this book did none of those things and then it just came off as a little too neat. Kind of like a sitcom ending. Where everybody's happy and the villain shouts his innocence and blames it on his dead and conveniently silent cohort.There is even the group laugh at the end of the last chapter when a new character appears asking if they missed anything and Caroline pipes-up with a "nope, not a thing".It's a little sad when you get to the last page and the word of relief that pops into your head is the same exact word, the last word, in its own sentence, on its own line...Finally.
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  • Isabel Ibañez
    January 1, 1970
    What a fun, entertaining read! Spooky of course, and different from the author’s other books. I am such a sucker for mysteries, anything remotely English or resembling a Jane Austen novel. And really, that’s what this book felt like: a blend of Jane Austen, Jack the Ripper, and your favorite cozy mystery. While the cast is large, everyone felt realized and fully drawn, and I enjoyed the different POV shifts. The romance was lovely, and sweet and a perfect subplot to the darker tones of murder, m What a fun, entertaining read! Spooky of course, and different from the author’s other books. I am such a sucker for mysteries, anything remotely English or resembling a Jane Austen novel. And really, that’s what this book felt like: a blend of Jane Austen, Jack the Ripper, and your favorite cozy mystery. While the cast is large, everyone felt realized and fully drawn, and I enjoyed the different POV shifts. The romance was lovely, and sweet and a perfect subplot to the darker tones of murder, mystery and mayhem. Highly recommend!
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  • Paige Green
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received this book from Swoon Reads and Netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book Series: StandaloneRating: 1.5/5Publication Date: April 16, 2019Genre: Mystery RomanceRecommended Age: 15+ (lots of dialogue and a murder)Publisher: Swoon ReadsPages: 352Amazon LinkSynopsis: 1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn't think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family's manor t Disclaimer: I received this book from Swoon Reads and Netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.Book Series: StandaloneRating: 1.5/5Publication Date: April 16, 2019Genre: Mystery RomanceRecommended Age: 15+ (lots of dialogue and a murder)Publisher: Swoon ReadsPages: 352Amazon LinkSynopsis: 1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn't think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family's manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.Review: I felt that the characters in this book were really interesting and the premise behind the book was interesting. However, that was all I found interesting about the book. The book was really flat. It was a struggle to read the book and the plot wasn’t there. There was a mystery here and while it was interesting in theory, it felt like there was never anything done to it. The whole book felt like there was nothing done to it. There’s zero action in this book and I felt like there was nothing really making it special from any other regency novel. The characters are never fully developed and I feel like I didn’t retain anything that I read from the book. Also, this is yet ANOTHER book where you have to read the synopsis to under the book.Verdict: If you like light action and lots and lots and lots of dialogue, this is your book.
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  • Morrisa
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve ready two of Cindy Anstey’s books before, and I’m absolutely ADDICTED. I love her writing style and her choice of time period. This novel had much more mystery and brutal-ness to it than her other novels. I also flew through reading this, it took me like two or three days. When books have mysteries in them I tend to fly through like no tomorrow to try and figure everything out.My only critique regarding the plot was that there were way too many names and characters involved in the plot. Esp I’ve ready two of Cindy Anstey’s books before, and I’m absolutely ADDICTED. I love her writing style and her choice of time period. This novel had much more mystery and brutal-ness to it than her other novels. I also flew through reading this, it took me like two or three days. When books have mysteries in them I tend to fly through like no tomorrow to try and figure everything out.My only critique regarding the plot was that there were way too many names and characters involved in the plot. Especially the bad guys. It was so hard following who was who and how they were all connected; I know it was part of the author trying to confuse you but the setting jumped back and forth between characters as everything unraveled and my head was spinning. And I really didn’t follow the motive behind the antagonists in this book, it was not easy to follow. My arc was also formatted in a way there were no breaks between change of setting, change of character, passage of time. I hope the finished copy isn’t formatted this way because it confused me so much!Other than the confusion, I really loved this novel. In addition to an intriguing storyline, you’ve got main and side characters voices and personalities that leap off the page. James’s brother (Walter) and sister (Caroline) were equally as enjoyable as Beth & James. They brought the story to life and also showed accurate representation of sibling relationships.The romance in this story, of course, was swoon worthy (I mean it’s not published by Swoon Reads for nothing). It’s a slow SLOW burn but I sdkfsjdfldf it was so cute, as per usual with Cindy Anstey.If you’re a fan of period dramas like Pride & Prejudice, etc, you will LOVE this book. It also has a dark twist and mystery to it alongside quirky characters and romance. I highly recommend it!
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  • Samantha Hastings
    January 1, 1970
    A young woman is injured in a carriage accident and has amnesia. She’s taken in by Lord James Ellerby and his sister Caroline. At first, they think she’s a servant, but they realize that she’s educated. Who is she really? And why was she covered with cuts and bruises? What I loved ❤🖤❤:1. The plot moves very quickly, starting with the carriage crash. The mystery unfurls piece by piece with several red herrings and false identities. 2. Beth (the name the young woman chooses) has terrible nightmare A young woman is injured in a carriage accident and has amnesia. She’s taken in by Lord James Ellerby and his sister Caroline. At first, they think she’s a servant, but they realize that she’s educated. Who is she really? And why was she covered with cuts and bruises? What I loved ❤️🖤❤️:1. The plot moves very quickly, starting with the carriage crash. The mystery unfurls piece by piece with several red herrings and false identities. 2. Beth (the name the young woman chooses) has terrible nightmares of blood and a hummingbird dagger. Her nightmares occur throughout the book and they continue to give clues about who she is and what happened to her. 3. Lord James Ellerby is a smart and sensitive hero who will make you swoon. 4. Both Caroline and Beth are brave in dangerous situations and never act like damsels in distress. I love strong female characters. 5. The side characters are well-rounded and interesting. Particularly, young Walter Ellerby and his friend Henry. Their sleuthing antics are a hoot! 6. The romance is gentle and sweet, but oh, so satisfying. An intricately crafted mystery with just the right amount of romance, a must read!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Received advance reader’s copy from publisher through Baker & Taylor book supplier. Actual rating: 2.5 starsLord James Ellerby witnesses a carriage accident and brings a severely injured young girl to his manor to heal. As she recovers and finds she has lost her memory, her behaviors offer the only clue to her identity as it shows her to be a woman of education and good upbringing. As James and his sister Caroline work to help the woman who calls herself Beth recover her memory, more and mo Received advance reader’s copy from publisher through Baker & Taylor book supplier. Actual rating: 2.5 starsLord James Ellerby witnesses a carriage accident and brings a severely injured young girl to his manor to heal. As she recovers and finds she has lost her memory, her behaviors offer the only clue to her identity as it shows her to be a woman of education and good upbringing. As James and his sister Caroline work to help the woman who calls herself Beth recover her memory, more and more ominous events occur and bring danger closer to the manor.With a creepy first chapter/page with blood dripping from a sinister beak-shaped blade, this was a story with promise. The carriage accident, mischievous younger brother, sparks between James and Beth, and Beth’s memory loss brought even more promise. The pieces were there – they just never came together all the way. I enjoyed the characters. But Daisy should have been developed much more prior to (view spoiler)[her murder (hide spoiler)] because it was hard to draw a line as to why Beth would care so much. I really liked Caroline. This gal was full of spunk that I had a hard time reconciling to the 1800 time period. And, Walter? Spoiled brat? Out of control adult? Oh – wait – he was only, what, fifteen? So, no, a rambunctious young man who I kept forgetting his age because there were some seriously adult things he did and then swung about and was an immature little brat.I really wanted to like this. Like I said, the pieces were there. But it was so disjointed and missed the glue to bring it altogether into a terrific period mystery.
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  • Lauren - SERIESous Books
    January 1, 1970
    **I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is a voluntary review; all opinions are my own and not influenced by my source.**I was really excited to see what Cindy Anstey would do with a slightly darker novel...and I was certainly NOT disappointed! It has all the charm of her previous novels with the right dash of suspense and mystery to keep you hooked.It is very reminiscent of Victorian era murder mysteries. It's a lot of dialogue at times but I enjoyed the banter b **I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. This is a voluntary review; all opinions are my own and not influenced by my source.**I was really excited to see what Cindy Anstey would do with a slightly darker novel...and I was certainly NOT disappointed! It has all the charm of her previous novels with the right dash of suspense and mystery to keep you hooked.It is very reminiscent of Victorian era murder mysteries. It's a lot of dialogue at times but I enjoyed the banter between the characters and found it to be engaging. The story really starts with a bang and then you slowly rebuild everything to the climax. I liked that it wasn't predictable and it had some layers to it because it made the reading experience richer.The characters were great and fairly well developed; I would have liked a little more from the characters but they worked well for the story. While this story perhaps lacked the playfulness of Anstey's other works given its murder-suspense plotline, it didn't lack the charm she brings to her characters. And I loved the little bits of romance along the way. It was exactly what I wanted and expected for the genre. Check out more spoiler-free book and series reviews on my blog SERIESousBookReviews.com as well as read book series recaps! Full Review: https://wp.me/p7hLUw-2SWActual Rating: 4/5
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  • Dayle (the literary llama)
    January 1, 1970
    An entertaining read with a nice plot that became better and better as the book went on, though the beginning was a little slow. The only standout character, however, was the younger brother, Walter. The rest of the main characters were just average and bland. They didn’t have any unique characteristics or mannerisms, leaving an underdeveloped feeling to them. Any quirks of speech or appearance all went to the secondary characters.The mysteries were compelling, though, and kept me reading and in An entertaining read with a nice plot that became better and better as the book went on, though the beginning was a little slow. The only standout character, however, was the younger brother, Walter. The rest of the main characters were just average and bland. They didn’t have any unique characteristics or mannerisms, leaving an underdeveloped feeling to them. Any quirks of speech or appearance all went to the secondary characters.The mysteries were compelling, though, and kept me reading and interested. Overall, it was a quick and fun diversion that I enjoyed.
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  • Jenny
    January 1, 1970
    More of a mystery, and much less light hearted than her other stuff. It feels like it was a rushed writing - characters were sometimes inconsistent. (For example, Caroline is described as unconventional and odd but we never really see that) Mostly it went fairly slowly, although overall an interesting mystery.3 stars
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Although I appreciated the shift in genre, this was not my favorite of Ms. Anstey's work. Bits of it are awfully repetitive (and often not in a way that propels the plot) and the writing is awkward in places. The cover is fabu, the plot is interesting and the characters (at least the ones who are supposed to be likeable) are likeable. It's worth a read for young adults who like historical fiction and mystery.
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  • Lisa Mandina
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe 3.5 stars. Full review to come.
  • Erin Arkin
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come
  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Mystery*Rating* 3.5*Thoughts*The Hummingbird Dagger, by author Cindy Anstey, is a young adult mystery standalone that takes place in 1833 England. Historians call it the Regency Era. The story follows members of the Ellerby household (Lord James, Caroline, and younger brother Walter), after they find an unconscious young woman after a carriage accident, and decide that they will take her in and help discover her who she is, and why she doesn't have any memo *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Mystery*Rating* 3.5*Thoughts*The Hummingbird Dagger, by author Cindy Anstey, is a young adult mystery standalone that takes place in 1833 England. Historians call it the Regency Era. The story follows members of the Ellerby household (Lord James, Caroline, and younger brother Walter), after they find an unconscious young woman after a carriage accident, and decide that they will take her in and help discover her who she is, and why she doesn't have any memories before the crash.*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked the idea of The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey. It seemed like it would be a mix between a Jane Austen novel and a suspenseful murder mystery. I was even more excited by the intense look of the cover. The title's font and the silhouettes make you want to dive right in!I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review of the book. It will be coming out in April of this year but you can preorder the book already here.A terrible carriage accident brings an unconscious youn I really liked the idea of The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey. It seemed like it would be a mix between a Jane Austen novel and a suspenseful murder mystery. I was even more excited by the intense look of the cover. The title's font and the silhouettes make you want to dive right in!I received an ARC through Netgalley for an honest review of the book. It will be coming out in April of this year but you can preorder the book already here.A terrible carriage accident brings an unconscious young woman to Hardwick Manor where young Lord James Ellerby promises to care for her. When she awakens, she has no memory of who she is or where she came from.She ends up calling her self Beth. The only clue to her circumstance and identity is a recurring nightmare she has about a hummingbird with blood dripping from its beak.James and his sister, Caroline, try to help Beth solve the mystery of her identity. Throughout the novel the suspense and danger escalate, threatening Beth and the Ellerby family.The premise promises a blend of romance, danger, and mystery. However, I don't really feel like I got it. I would probably give this book 3 out of 5 stars.It begins with a very exciting start--the accident that leaves Beth unconscious and the aftermath of that. But from there, for the next 2/3 of the novel, I find that it become more of a Jane Austen novel where all they do is sit around and talk. There is a lot of discussion and any action that there is, seems to be written in a slow way that doesn't draw the reader in.Once you get to the ending though and the mystery is resolved, I was happy with the way it ended. There were twists and turns that made it interesting again but in the middle of the novel, it would be easy to give up on the book for lack of interest.I also found that at some points the novel was hard to follow. I was reading a Kindle version which means the formatting is not the same as it is in a paper copy and sometimes this formatting meant that there would be a jump in time. Sometimes it wasn't well indicated with a new chapter or a division so it was hard to tell when the perspective changed or something happened.I also found that there were a lot of characters--including side characters--with different names. Sometimes people are called by titles and last names (like Lord Ellerby) and then sometimes by their first names (like James) which made it hard to keep track of at times. And spoiler alert, some of the characters change names halfway through the novel which makes it all the more confusing.I generally liked the novel and was glad that I stuck through it through all the boring parts. But it wasn't as amazing and suspenseful and full of action as I had hoped. I recommend it if you love the Victorian era or Jane Austen novels as something with a little more action.
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  • Allyson
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointing. Sadly missing the playfulness of Anstey's previous works. The Hummingbird Dagger suffers from a surfeit of stiltedness, along with flat, uninspired characters. The constant jumps between POV are unsettling, to say the least.Provided with a free e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 since Math. The Hummingbird Dagger is a Regency-esque YA novel. It pretty much has all of the tropes you would expect a novel set in this era to have. But, for whatever reason, this novel fell really flat to me. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge Austen fan (le gasp and whatnot, I know), but I just didn't really enjoy this read.I think part of my issue with the book isn't with the writing/author as muc I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 since Math. The Hummingbird Dagger is a Regency-esque YA novel. It pretty much has all of the tropes you would expect a novel set in this era to have. But, for whatever reason, this novel fell really flat to me. Maybe it's because I'm not a huge Austen fan (le gasp and whatnot, I know), but I just didn't really enjoy this read.I think part of my issue with the book isn't with the writing/author as much as it's an issue with the formatting. On my copy for my eReader, there was no indication of when there was a scene/narration/setting change. It was just *boom* and now it's two minutes/hours/years later, and, as I reader, I was left reeling and scrambling to figure out when, exactly, the change had occurred and how the change influenced the plot. There were some points where, even upon multiple re-reads of the same chapter, I still couldn't figure out what was going on.My other main issue with this book is that the characters just aren't interesting. You can swap them out for any other character in a Regency story, and I don't think I would notice a change. There's nothing memorable about them or, in some cases, remotely likable about them. I didn't find myself rooting for any one particular person or anything; I honestly wasn't that invested.If you're a fan of Regency books, then maybe give this a go. Otherwise, if you're like me and looking for a fun, quick romp through a genre, I'd pass on this and go find something else.
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book. Only that I requested a copy from the Goodreads giveaway without much research and actually won. I was a bit surprised when it arrived and it was a young adult pub In compliance with FTC guidelines------I received this book free from a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The content of this review is not influenced by that fact. The feelings expressed are solely mine. I sincerely appreciate the chance to read and review this book.I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book. Only that I requested a copy from the Goodreads giveaway without much research and actually won. I was a bit surprised when it arrived and it was a young adult publication. I admit I was a bit hesitant to begin. But I always try to honor my commitments and I had committed to read and review. I'm glad I did!! I really liked this regency romance/ mystery. The only thing "young" about it was the characters. If not for that it certainly would have been marketed mainstream.
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    See the full review here.Sometimes you just need a nice historical romance to curl up with and forget about all the bad things in life.England! 1833! William IV is king! Pelerines, low waistlines and giant sleeves are all the rage! There’s imperialism! Debates to abolish slavery throughout the Empire! Everybody had tuberculosis! 20-year-old Lord James Ellerby is still reeling from the accident that killed his father a year prior, and struggling with all the responsibilities that come with being See the full review here.Sometimes you just need a nice historical romance to curl up with and forget about all the bad things in life.England! 1833! William IV is king! Pelerines, low waistlines and giant sleeves are all the rage! There’s imperialism! Debates to abolish slavery throughout the Empire! Everybody had tuberculosis! 20-year-old Lord James Ellerby is still reeling from the accident that killed his father a year prior, and struggling with all the responsibilities that come with being a lord. His younger sister Caroline is smart and supportive, but his younger brother Walter, uh…well, he’s a 14-year-old boy. Namely: he’s annoying and sulky and likes to ride in his curricle in a reckless fashion.Well, one day, while being a handsome young unmarried English lord, James witnesses his dumb younger brother cause a carriage accident. Gasp! A young lady in a filthy dress is injured! James, naturally, has her brought back to his house. When the young lady wakes up, she can’t remember who she is or where she came from. All she remembers is a name: Beth. She’s not sure if it’s her name, but it’s the first name she thinks of so it sticks. Beth and the Ellerbys have a hell of a time trying to find out who she is: even though the dress she arrived in was filthy and she herself was covered in dirt and various wounds, it’s pretty clear that Beth is educated. Caroline is certain that Beth is a gentleman’s daughter, so she takes Beth on as a companion. There are few clues as to Beth’s true identity: she has no documentation on her, no letters, and no one has come asking after her. The only clue they have is Beth’s recurring nightmares of a hummingbird dagger, covered in blood. Still, James is drawn to her, and Beth is drawn to him. Because romance.Then Daisy, a maid in the Ellerby’s house, is found murdered. Two men attempt to kidnap Caroline and Beth while they’re out riding. James and Beth exchange longing glances with one another. Who is Beth? Who are these people who are after her? Why are they after her? Which waistcoat will Walter wear while searching for clues? Read The Hummingbird Dagger and find out!Seriously, The Hummingbird Dagger has everything: mystery! Intrigue! Amnesia! 1830s Dresses with sleeves so puffy, they would’ve given Anne of Green Gables a heart attack! Every now and again I need a read that is just 100% pure escapism, and The Hummingbird Dagger was just that. I loved it because it was exactly what I thought it would be - a lovely historical romance/mystery. Since this is set in mid-19th century England, the romance is mostly holy shit their hands almost touched and oh my God he went to her room if anyone sees him her reputation will be ruined aaaaaaggghhh! You know, that type of drama. And I love it. This was the exact Spring read I needed in my life. It’s a pretty quick read, and if you’re in the mood for some 19th century romance with some mystery, then go for it. The story starts out a bit slow, but it picks up as it goes along and there’s plenty of excitement towards the end. I’m always in the mood for stuff set in the 1830s. Mainly because of the fashion. I mean, seriously, look at those sleeves!
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  • Amy A
    January 1, 1970
    When his brother causes a carriage accident near his estate, James Ellerby, does what any good person would do: he takes the only injured passenger, a young lady, to his home to recuperate. But as the lady begins to awaken so does the realization that she cannot remember who she is or the circumstances the put her on the carriage to wherever it was going. Beth (the only name that came to mind when asked) is terrified of what happened to her before she wound up on the Ellerby estate. The replayin When his brother causes a carriage accident near his estate, James Ellerby, does what any good person would do: he takes the only injured passenger, a young lady, to his home to recuperate. But as the lady begins to awaken so does the realization that she cannot remember who she is or the circumstances the put her on the carriage to wherever it was going. Beth (the only name that came to mind when asked) is terrified of what happened to her before she wound up on the Ellerby estate. The replaying of the same nightmare over and over again - a dagger in the shape of a hummingbird, dripping blood - each time she closes her eyes for sleep doesn't help either, but it's the only clue she has in figuring out who she is. With the help of James and his brother and sister, Walter & Caroline respectively, Beth will begin to unravel the secrets her mind is keeping from her. As bad things begin to happen around them, they better work quickly, because it's clear that someone is bent on silencing Beth for good. I think that Cindy Anstey really hits the right balance with the mystery / thriller this time around. Her previous books touched upon this same formula, but for my tastes was a little too light on the thrills and chills. Here, however, Cindy Anstey is on the right path and I hope her next book(s) continue on in this manner. Even though the intrigue pulled me into the story, it started out a bit slow as all the pieces and players are built up. I ended up setting the book aside for a little bit and coming back to it later, but once I did, the mystery itself kept me guessing and the twists and turns were plausible yet unpredictable as well. There were a few times where a momentum would be going strong and then a perspective or scene would change and slow things back down again, but overall I think this is my favorite story of Cindy Anstey's to date. I liked the slightly darker tone than of her previous books. Of course it wouldn't be a Cindy Anstey book if there wasn't some romance thrown in with the regency. I felt like the connection between James and Beth is definitely relegated to a second-tier story thread. I did like that the mystery was given precedence because well...I think that's pretty easy to figure out. It did mean that the depth of the growing relationship between James and Beth wasn't explored too much, but I was ok with that. It was subtle and sweet, yet undeniable. I really think it you have never read Cindy Anstey before The Hummingbird Dagger is a great place to start, just know it's a change in tone and far more focused on the mystery / thriller aspect of the story than her previous titles. For me this was very nearly perfect. If not for the moments where the pacing slowed too much, this could have easily gotten five star from me. *ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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