Archive for 'Barron, Stephanie'
This book was a delightful surprise. I must admit that I was a little leery of a historical mystery featuring author Jane Austen. I have read other historical mysteries based upon real people that I didnâ€™t find tremendously successful â€“ but this one was very good. To begin with, Barron has populated her book with characters from Janeâ€™s life, set it in a town (and house) where she lived, and then added a little fictional flair for a plot suited to the time period. I think that it is the fact that she keeps to the dictates of Janeâ€™s real life that give this book integrity.
The writing style is also evocative of an earlier time, but updated so that the modern reader gets a taste of prose, but isnâ€™t bogged down by it. And while artistic license must be taken to flesh out characters, the author uses Janeâ€™s life as a guide. At the time this book is set, Jane was a spinster of 34 who, along with her mother and another unmarried sister, was obliged to live off the generosity of her brothers. The author explores what this situation means, both socially and emotionally, for the women and how they cope with it. And their relocation to a new house of her brotherâ€™s choosing is an integral part of the plot.
The interesting fictional twist involves a chest full of letters and journals that Jane is left by a friend (or more?) who appears in earlier books. These letters are reputed to contain the secrets accumulated in the adventurous life of a nobleman who knows where all his fellows sowed their wild oats and, as such, this chest of letters is much sought after by people who want to keep things quiet.
Favorite character? Janeâ€™s mother. She grouses about her situation in life and is still trying to find husbands for her remaining daughters.
Did I guess it? No. But I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series. If you are tired of present day mysteries and need to step back to a more relaxing time, pick up this book and enjoy some horse and buggy travel.
Mystery Book Reviews by Reviewed By Liz.com Â©2006