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33 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 good solid stars from me
When I read the first Jane Austen Mystery (Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor) I knew that I had found a series which would keep me interested and reading as long as the author continued writing. I liked this second installment of this series and actually prefer to rate it a 4.5 star book.

The writing is still very well done and it must be quite a...
Published on August 11, 2006 by J. Lesley

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad Kindle edition full of typos
This is an engaging mystery and a fun series with Jane Austen as sleuth. The historical backdrop of smuggling along the English coast is interesting and the author keeps you guessing as to who the culprit is up to the end.

My complaint is with the Kindle edition of the book. The process used to create the digital format of this book is extremely poor. I've read...
Published on August 14, 2010 by jmkdiva


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 good solid stars from me, August 11, 2006
When I read the first Jane Austen Mystery (Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor) I knew that I had found a series which would keep me interested and reading as long as the author continued writing. I liked this second installment of this series and actually prefer to rate it a 4.5 star book.

The writing is still very well done and it must be quite a challenge for this author to block out the modern day style of speech and produce readable prose from another time period. Unfortunately, because the speech patterns were so very different during Jane Austen's lifetime some of the sentences in these books just go on and on and on. I understand that it is realistic, but I also know that I found myself feeling that perhaps Ms Barron could have shortened up some of the sentence structure. Often it seemed forced and did not flow naturally. Ms Barron is not Jane Austen. I'll bet she even knows this without any of us telling her. What she is though is a very talented writer and I greatly admire and appreciate her willingness to tackle something as difficult as these books to give so many people so much pleasure. Having said that, I will have to admit that the novel bogged down in the middle for me. Ms Barron had so very much going on in this book with so many characters and they all had to be kept fresh and moving along toward a conclusion. I had a choice of three villians. One Jane became romantically attracted to. One died. Guess what, tag you're it! The bad guy was the only one left. I really never believed that Jane would have been attracted to a murdering smuggler, therefore, I actually only had two villians to choose between.

I don't think I have ever read a book where so many people were so wet and cold so often as in this book. (We are in the midst of a very dry summer and I found myself distracted by thoughts that I coveted some of that stormy, wet, cool weather!) It really did make me wonder how they went about drying their clothes. How long did it take a wool cloak to dry out? Lots of things distracted me from being totally concentrated on the book and especially the mystery.

There seems to be a very even split among reviews as to whether this second book is stronger or weaker than others in the series. For me, I vote weaker. I still loved it but I was easily distracted and very often wanted it to move along at a faster pace. I will be reading all the books and highly recommend that anyone even vaguely interested in Austen or her contemporaries do the same.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, bad Kindle edition full of typos, August 14, 2010
By 
jmkdiva (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This is an engaging mystery and a fun series with Jane Austen as sleuth. The historical backdrop of smuggling along the English coast is interesting and the author keeps you guessing as to who the culprit is up to the end.

My complaint is with the Kindle edition of the book. The process used to create the digital format of this book is extremely poor. I've read many Kindle editions and none of them were riddled with typos. It's clear whatever program or algorithm was used to scan this book into digital format is severely flawed. It can't interpolate the letters correctly. There are even sentences with question marks in them because the program didn't know what to put for that letter or word. Whenever a "tl" are placed together, as in the word "gentleman"--a word constantly used in this book--the Kindle edition thinks it's a "d" and spells it "gendeman". The typos, or rather misinterpolations, are so frequent that it makes reading the book very difficult and tedious. Nearly every paragraph has a mistake. The number 1 is used for a capital I, hash marks are used for a capital I--the mistakes are too numerous to list.

I give the mystery itself 3 stars. It was enjoyable. I give the Kindle edition 1 star and recommend anyone interested in this title buy the actual book so that you can enjoy the story without constantly being wrenched out of it by typos. I'm leery of buying any more of this series in Kindle form in case the problem is the fault of the program the publisher chose to use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, those rogues . . ., July 6, 2000
By 
kellytwo "kellytwo" (cleveland hts, ohio) - See all my reviews
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen had a special fondness for scoundrels and scallawags. How else explain her fully-realized portraits of Wickham (in Pride and Prejudice) or Willoughby (in Sense and Sensibility) or Frank Churchill (in Emma)? These rascals are, in many ways, the most interesting characters in her books.
Now comes the sleuth alter-ego of Jane in her second adventure, and in her journals, she makes no secret of her attraction for the man who is also, apparently, the head of the local smuggling band and known as The Reverend, rather than Captain Fielding, the upright Revenue spy.
En route to their holiday stay in Lyme Regis from their home in Bath, the Reverend Henry Austen and his wife, plus their two daughters, Cassandra and Jane, are considerably shaken up when their hired carriage overturns within a few miles of their destination. Cassandra suffers the most serious injury, and needs immediate attention. In the driving rain, Jane and the postboy set out on foot for the nearest habitat -- High Down the home of Geoffrey Sidmouth. After an initial not-at-all-welcoming greeting, Sidmouth makes himself, his staff and his home available. It is some three days later that the Austens are able to journey on to Winds, their hired cottage in Lyme.
Jane's writer's curiosity stands her in good stead as she sorts through the various miscellaneous characters rampant in Lyme, ranging from visiting second-rate nobility to smugglers, from retired Naval captains to French emigrees.
Ms. Barron's masterful technique in editing the pseudo-Jane's early diaries and journals is witty, pungent, and to the point. Any reader of either mysteries or Regencies, or even 'literature' will delight in this new look at our most famous woman author. Any reader of Jane Austen's books will easily recognize events and characters she later put to good use in those volumes bearing her own name.
I particularly like the listing of resource materials used by the 'editor' - they frequently send me haring off in enjoyable new directions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and fun!, November 9, 1999
By A Customer
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I discovered this series quite by accident when browsing through the bookstore, and I'm so glad I did! What a novel (no pun intended!) idea, to take Jane Austen and place her in the role of sleuth, complete with wonderful Regency England settings and history. Footnotes at the bottom of almost every other page educate the reader on items that might be unfamiliar, such as the name of a popular dance or the reason behind a particular social custom, and these little tidbits are almost as enjoyable as the story itself. I was a little wary at first before I read the first installment (Scargrave Manor), but was soon swept away. I didn't find this second book boring in any way, though I noticed some others did. I enjoyed the setting - a seaside town where the Austens are vacationing, the characters - including Jane's sister Cassandra and scandalous sister-in-law Eliza, and Barron's writing is wonderful. She does a fantastic job of echoing Austen's style, as well as the times, while modernizing it enough for the contemporary reader to thoroughly enjoy. Now, I'm just waiting for the series to come out in Audiobook format! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first in the series, August 1, 2002
By 
Helena S (Ottawa, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
I very much enjoyed reading this novel and thought that it was better than the first in the series. Some of Jane's actions are perhaps not realistic for an unmarried woman in the early 19th century, but remember this is fiction and as such meant to entertain, which this book definitely does! Lord Trowbridge's presence is delightful as always, and he and Jane make a good detective pair.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Fun Read from Stephanie Barron, February 2, 2001
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Having really enjoyed the first and third books in this series, I did groan when this installment began with scenes that seemed shamelessly stolen from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, but Barron's plotting and intriguing characters quickly won me over. These novels are meant for light reading; readers who really know Austen's works and the time period well will catch Ms. Barron in some errors, but these do not spoil the fun of the adventures or the attempts to figure out "who done it" before our heroine does. I actually laughed aloud with delight when I reached this novel's climax! Overall, I think this installment is the best of the three I have read so far. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series, and I think most fans of Austen and mystery novels will certainly enjoy them.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great light reading, December 27, 2001
By A Customer
I chose to comment on this book because it is my particular favorite in the series, though I much enjoyed all the others. I have read and re-read all of the "real" Jane Austen novels with much delight (except Mansfield Park, which was peculiarly hard going). IMHO the reviewers who compare Ms. Barron's "Jane" with the "real" Jane Austen, are missing the point. The "Jane as detective" works by Ms. Barron are truly "entertainments," the delightful results of a fanciful and imaginative reconstruction of history as it might have been, with humor and astute social observation to the fore. Whether or not Ms. Barron's novels depict the "real" Jane, I will leave to readers to judge, but for my own part, Ms. Barron's "Jane" is every bit as lovable as Emma (my favorite heroine), and reading the Barron series left me wanting to reread all of my favorite Austen novels, with the added resolve of trying to slog my way through Mansfield Park.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor Kindle edition - Please hire some proofreaders., July 5, 2009
By 
DMR (Montrose, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is less a review of the book itself (I liked it very much) but rather a review of the Kindle version of the book. I am not sure who is responsible for the "Kindle-izing" of a written work: the publishers or Amazon, but whoever was responsible for this one should be ashamed. There are so many typos and mistakes, it is difficult to read. I imagine the text was scanned in some way; there are strangely consistent mistakes throughout the electronic version. For example "gentleman" is consistently "gendeman". In fact every work in which "tl" is present is misspelled. Rather than "settling", it says "setdeing". "Gently" is "Gendey". There are many other errors as well, at least one on every page.

My experience with Kindle books has been positive up until now; those books with typographical errors tend to be the free editions "transferred into an electronic format by a team of volunteers" - and you get what you pay for. However, this book was not free - I paid the same amount as I probably would have paid for a paperback, and I can't believe that the same number of errors would have crept into a printed version.

Amazon, if you want the Kindle to truly take off, these are the kind of issues you need to resolve.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather Ponderous, July 8, 2004
By 
m-lee "free_fall" (Downey, CA United States) - See all my reviews
The author is still struggling with the right touch of lightness Ms Austen stroked over her characters. The mystery is too slowly revealed as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars! Jane Austen Found a Mystery in Lyme!, August 19, 2011
The Being A Jane Austen Mystery Series by Stephanie Barron is a brilliant series of novels that features our beloved Jane Austen being thrust into the midst of mystery, murder and mayhem. In each novel Jane Austen uses her astute observational skills, keen understanding of human nature, and fierce determination to solve various mysteries. Each novel follows the time line of Jane Austen's career and accurately portrays true events and people from her life. This second book takes place in the year 1804 (two years after Jane Austen's last adventure in Scargrave). In this novel Mr. and Mrs. Austen travel to Lyme Regis with their two daughters on an extended holiday. Instead of strolling along The Cobb, frequenting the shops on Broad Street, and writing a few chapters in her new manuscript, our beloved author/Regency sleuth becomes embroiled in another mystery and spends her holiday traipsing about caves, visiting prisoners in the Lyme gaol, and gathering clues about a mysterious band of smugglers!

Having read several novels from Stephanie Barron's excellent Being a Jane Austen Mystery Series there are three elements that I have found to be synonymous in all her novels. One is her exemplary emulation of Jane Austen's voice. Stephanie Barron's voice for Jane Austen is the perfect blend of intelligence, impertinence, and sarcasm. I know we have no way of knowing how accurate Stephanie Barron is in her portrayal, but my guess is she is pretty darn close!

Another element in Ms. Barron's novels I always admire is the Regency atmosphere she envelopes you in with her story. With footnotes and vivid descriptions of dress, locations, and traditions it is clearly evident that Ms. Barron painstakingly researches every aspect of her novels.

The final element that occurs in every Stephanie Barron mystery is the harmonious meld of fact and fiction. Where fitting, Ms. Barron uses real events and people in her novels. Some of the facts in Jane and Man of the Cloth are that Jane Austen and her family really did travel to Bath in the summer of 1804, Cassandra really did stay with Henry and Eliza who traveled to Weymouth and Ibthorpe, and Jane really did encounter a Miss Armstrong, a Mr. Crawford, the Honorable Barnwalls, the servants Jenny and James, and a gentleman dubbed Le Chevalier during her stay in the summer of 1804.

Jane and the Man of the Cloth was a delightful blend of history, mystery, biography, and fiction. I enjoyed all the enlightening details about the practices of smuggling and loved that the mystery was such a difficult one for me to solve! I liked it a tad bit more than the other two Stephanie Barron mysteries I read (Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor and Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron) because of the smidgen of romance Ms. Barron gave to our beloved author. If there was one thing I would wish this series had more of, it would be romance! If you like historical mysteries and greatly admire Jane Austen, this series is for you!

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Jane and the Man of the Cloth (Jane Austen Mystery)
Jane and the Man of the Cloth (Jane Austen Mystery) by Stephanie Barron (Hardcover - January 1, 1997)
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