Friday, November 24, 2006

Jane Austen and the Man of the Cloth

Being the second Jane Austen mystery

Stephanie Barron has developed a charming premise for a mystery series: follow Jane Austen though her well-documented life, and fill in the blanks with a murder and an opportunity for Miss Austen to discover the truth and bring the true criminals to justice.

Having read both the first (JA and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor) and the second, I can say that they are pleasant and well written. The author manages to avoid making Jane Austen too modern, for the most part, and she carefully follows the real timeline of Jane's life, adding an element of realism to a decided fantasy. But she is no Jane Austen, and must unavoidably suffer by comparison.

If you like Jane Austen, you could well like this series. If you don't, hmm, well, you could still like it if you like your mysteries in a historical setting. But do read them in order; there is a certain continuity that helps.


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