Adding ages up

Just started a Victorian-set mystery by a new-to-me author. The main character, readers are told, is “perhaps forty”. His best friend and childhood companion is a lady “just past thirty”.

That seems a little odd. Would a young boy be best friends with a girl nearly ten years younger? Later in life perhaps but as a boy?

Then readers are told that the MC’s older brother had been in love with her as a young man, after the MC left Harrow but before Oxford.

If the MC is nearly 10 years older, his older brother would be more. Would an older-than-18 year old ever be in love with an 8 year old?

Or is the narrator being tactful about a lady of a certain age?

Color me confused.

Add to that the premise of the investigation (the lady – a countess by marriage – being close with a housemaid who had left her service) and I’m at the tipping point for DNF’ing this book.

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