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Jane and the Ghosts of Netley Mass Market Paperback – April 27, 2004


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Jane and the Ghosts of Netley + Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House (Jane Austen Mystery) + Jane and the Stillroom Maid: Being the Fifth Jane Austen Mystery (Being A Jane Austen Mystery)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (April 27, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553584065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553584066
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the autumn of 1808, Barron's seventh Jane Austen mystery (after 2002's Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House) offers a wonderfully intricate plot full of espionage and intrigue. While admiring the romantic ruins of Netley Abbey on the Southampton coast, the author and sleuth receives a summons from Lord Harold Trowbridge, who asks her to gain the confidence of a suspected French agent, Sophia Challoner, who's taken up residence at Netley Lodge near the ruins. On meeting Sophia, Jane is skeptical that the attractive widow is "the Peninsula's most potent weapon" against the British forces there. When an enemy of England sets fire to a frigate moored at Southampton Water, home of the Royal Navy, and cuts the throat of its shipwright, Jane begins to have doubts that could put herself-or someone close to her-in deadly peril. Barron effortlessly works in such actual history as the machinations surrounding Mrs. Fitzherbert, the Prince Regent's morganatic wife, and the issue of Catholic Emancipation, along with the domestic arrangements of the Austen household at a time of great family sadness and upheaval. Brief editor's notes unobtrusively elucidate such matters as mourning practices of the day. The Austen voice, both humorous and fanciful, with shades of Northanger Abbey, rings true as always. Once again Barron shows why she leads the pack of neo-Jane Austens, which includes Emma Tennant, Julia Barrett and Elizabeth Aston.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-This seventh Austen outing finds the writer and sometime detective recruited once again by Lord Harold Trowbridge. England is fighting France, and he has set Jane to spy on a new neighbor, Sophia Challoner, whom he suspects of spying for Napoleon. Due to a fortuitous riding accident, Jane befriends the woman and her companion, a mysterious young American. Suddenly, a covert and violent war erupts in the quiet seaside community when a ship of the line is torched and the shipwright, killed. Aside from the well-plotted story, Barron imparts details of 19th-century England: what was fashionable and forbidden, the importance religion played in the politics, and how women fared in a decidedly male-dominated society. In footnotes, she deftly explains unfamiliar terms and historical information not easily woven into the narrative. Teens will be captivated by this adventurous detective story filled with intrigue, romance, and the unique and resourceful heroine.
Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

STEPHANIE BARRON

Stephanie Barron is a graduate of Princeton and Stanford, where she studied history. She is perhaps best known for the critically-acclaimed Jane Austen Mystery Series, in which the intrepid and witty author of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE details her secret detective career in Regency England. JANE AND THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, the twelfth Austen mystery, is forthcoming from Soho October 28, 2014. A former intelligence analyst for the CIA, Stephanie--who also writes under the name Francine Mathews--drew on her experience in the field of espionage for such novels as JACK 1939, which The New Yorker described as "the most deliciously high-concept thriller imaginable." She lives and works in Denver, CO.

Customer Reviews

This book is the best of the entire series.
D. Hoskins
She's true to Austen's writing style, the customs and manners of her day, and also brings in a sense of the political history of that time.
dolphin
There are deft twists throughout this well-plotted book, and a very moving, poignant ending to the story.
SDRTX

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I can't figure out why Romance has such a bad rep, because it's the romance between Jane and Lord Harold that makes this book compelling, especially if, like me, you've come to care for these characters (maybe too much--sniffle!) The rest of the plot was plenty entertaining, but it's the personal stuff that really drew me in. The ending is abrupt, to say the least, so I recommend that anyone who hasn't read it yet should buy the paperback edition instead of a used hardcover. The paperback contains the first chapter of the next book in the series, which serves as a good (and I think necessary) epilogue to this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This mystery, the seventh in Barron's series, focuses mostly on Jane and the Gentleman Rogue, as they both try to solve crimes that signal the destruction of England at the hands of the French conspirators. A killer is loose, slashing throats and causing havoc while Jane and Lord Harold try to track down not only the killer, but the whereabouts of one of Lord Harold's old loves who plays a dangerous role in this story. This book is great - Barron carefully weaves a relationship between Jane and Lord Harold without getting sappy or too romantic. It's a quick, exciting read - but warning: if you are a big fan of this series, you'll be shocked with Barron's ending, wondering where the series could possibly go next!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Fletcher Adolph on October 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the seventh in a series of mysteries featuring Jane Austen as sleuth. As in the previous six, the historical background of this book has been meticulously researched. Previously the speech, social customs, dress and day-to-day lives of the period had been carefully researched. Increasingly however the national history, notably the war against the French, has been brought to the forefront and in this book the espionage and naval history of the period are featured.
In addition to the meticulous research the setting, especially the ruins of Netley Abbey and the tunnels beneath it are well drawn and effective. The characterization is good and the developing relationship between Jane and Lord Harold Trowbridge intrigued even a curmudgeon like me.
So why did I find the book tedious? It plodded from one none-too-exciting drama to the next with murders, arson and vicious personal attacks following unsatisfactorily along. Perhaps Jane was just a little too far out of her element. Perhaps her social awareness and the nuances that are her strength were just lost in what might have been an action-packed spy story.
Should there be other books in the series I hope Jane will return to the drawing rooms and ballrooms where her talents can flourish in greater congruence with the plot and the action of the story.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Not since the third book, Jane and the Wandering Eye have I been so taken with a Jane Austen Mystery. I read it in one day & now, having finished it, I am to put it in Austen terms, "distraught" by the ending. Unless Ms. Barron inteads to use soap opera theatrics to resurrect the dead I cannot see how her next book can be nearly as engaging. I will, nevertheless, anxiously await it's debut.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SDRTX on October 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Jane Austen is back in her seventh crime-solving adventure. Lord Harold Trowridge, the man of Jane's heart, calls on Jane to help seek out a traitor to the crown. She must befriend a beautiful widow with rumored ties to Bonaparte. Once Jane makes Sophia Challoner's acquaintance, it is hard for Jane to conceive that Sophia has anything to do with the murder and mayhem that is taking place in and about Netley Lodge.
Stephanie Barron has made Jane a likable and clever heroine that chafes against the rules of society that bind her. Jane is still writing her novels, but there is little evidence of it in this story. Jane is too busy hunting for traitors to actually write. Barron evokes the Regency time period nicely, interspersing historical facts throughout the book. Many facts are highlighted as footnotes on the page they appear. Barron writes these stories in a style similar to the writing of the Regency period further bringing in an authentic sense of time and place. There are deft twists throughout this well-plotted book, and a very moving, poignant ending to the story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Miss Meg on January 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Barron is amazingly thrilling in this the 7th book in the Jane Austen Mystery series. Throughout the series we've gained glimpses of Jane's life and how dull it is without a mystery to solve and without a certain Gentleman Rouge to liven things up.

This book was wonderful, containing delightful dialogue between Jane and her Rouge, interesting characters in Orlando, Sophia Challoner, Mr. Ord, the man in black and ties to reality in Mrs. Fitzherbert. Set against the background of the mysterious Netley Abbey, calling to mind Austen's Northanger Abbey, along with the tensions of stopping further mischief from occurring that would injure the Crown's attempts to keep the Monster in check. Tightly wound from beginning until the end, this one is one of the best in the series.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is such a great series. Stephanie Barron captures Austen's technique better than any other imitator,, and her books are interesting in their own right, being the rather extraordinary adventures of a Georgian spinster.

It is the autumn of 1808 in Southampton, where Jane and her mother and friend currently reside. Jane's sister-in-law Elizabeth has just died and the family is in mourning. Nearby the impressive ruins of Netley Abbey casts a sinister air over events as a mysterious, and perhaps treasonous, widow moves into the local manse and befriends Jane, who likes the woman despite Lord Harold Trowbridge's cautions. Yes, dear Lord Harold figures prominently in this story, which I always enjoy.

SO, the story is fun, the history is interesting to Anglophiles, and Barron's writing is superb. What's not to enjoy?
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