From Publishers Weekly
Readers who hope to recapture, if only briefly, the pleasure of reading Jane Austen for the first time will welcome Barron's eighth Jane Austen mystery, set in the summer of 1809. Jane and her mother have just settled at Chawton Cottage, the country house that will be Jane's last home, when she's surprised by the delivery of a bequest from the late Lord Harold Trowbridge, who was murdered at the end of Jane and the Ghosts of Netley
(2003). No sooner has Jane established that the Bengal chest is filled with his lordship's personal papers than she discovers the mutilated body of a laborer in the cottage's cellar. Jane once again turns sleuth, investigating not only the murder but also rival claims to two different estates in the neighborhood, a bank robbery and a local man's disappearance. The author expertly weaves the tale's disparate elements, sympathetically sketching in such secondary characters as Jane's mother and brother Henry, on both of whom she casts an ironic eye. As usual, Barron has masterfully imitated Austen's voice.
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Barron's eighth Jane Austen mystery finds Jane mourning the death of the man she loved, the gentleman rogue, Lord Harold Trowbridge. Jane and her mother have just arrived at their new residence, Chawton Cottage, when Jane is greeted with two surprises: Lord Harold has willed her a box containing his personal correspondence, and the body of one Shafto French is lying in Chawton's cellar. Both discoveries bring trouble to Jane's door, not the least of which is resentment from Lord Harold's family, who object to Jane being given the papers. Jane can't help but be curious about the papers and the murder, leading her to read the former and attempt to solve the latter. Other problems loom as well: a local man named Jack Hinton thinks the deed to Chawton Cottage should be his. Barron's latest, featuring plenty of drawing-room intrigue and long-buried family secrets, will continue to please both historical-mystery readers and the ever-going Austen fan club. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved