Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery (Jane Austen Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1996
|New from||Used from|
Up to 50% off select books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The first in the series, this book introduces Jane-as-sleuth along with the cast of supporting characters. Barron is true to Austen's character and life (as much as we know of it, anyway) and has written a solid mystery also. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I'm not such a purist that I take deep, personal offense at Stephanie Barron's decision to interpolate quotes from Jane Austen's novels into these books, as though Jane was thinking them up at the moment or recording them in her letters and diary. (Some other reviewers thought this "borrowing" an unpardonable breach of copyright, if not moral probity). And you more than get the idea that our famous Darcy was based upon Lord Fitzroy Payne, the (unconsummated) love interest of the Countess of Scargrave. (Though he never was so tactless as to insult Isobel Scargrave's appearance.)
Jane isn't quite the infallibe Miss Marple--she puts many pieces of the puzzle together, but doesn't quite get it right til the very end, when the would-be murderer saves her life.
I really wish that PBS Mystery would produce this series. If it was well done, what a following it would have!Read more ›
That said, once you put out of your mind the Austen connection, and just enjoy it as a light, historical mystery, it stacks up pretty well. I enjoyed the book enough to now buy and read the others in the series.
I am not a Regency scholar. I have however read many works of "Regency" authors and felt bludgeoned by the text. Not with Barron. The words "bright" and "sparkling" come to mind (blasphemy?!). I was comfortable with the voice given to JA...it did not jar; rather it felt as I would imagine her in writing to her sister or her nieces.
I also am comfortable with Jane's behavior, which was questioned by other reviewers stressing her refinement, etc. That's as may be, but she proves in her writings to have a sarcastic bent and is frequently snarky. By her very nature as a published authoress, she pushed the Regency non-envelope. Retreating from a failed betrothal and called upon to defend the friend who took her in, I can see her rising to the occasion (though perhaps not wishing her name to attach to it.)
The mystery was satisfying enough to serve...I had only nailed it within about 50%. I especially liked the expansion (through footnotes) of some key concepts.
I'll make sure to read the rest, though I will say I hope the author does not continue to cast JA as an unrealized angel for all future cads and wastrels. She does not benefit from the tragic cast and it does not ring true.
In addition, the mystery is a good one, interesting and plausible. Personally I liked the footnotes, which are neither idiotic nor ubiquitous, as some have stated; there are approximately 40 notes, which are generally brief, informative and interesting -- and easily ignored if one so chooses.
I thought the one weakness of the novel was Isobel, Jane's friend and the accused murderess in whose interest Jane acts. She pouts and whines and is inconstant -- certainly not the kind of person one would imagine appealing to Jane. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will definitely read others in the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ms. Barron has crafted an exquisite masterpiece! I am amazed at Miss Jane Austen's sleuthing skills. I was kept guessing until the end. I highly recommend this book.Published 18 days ago by Caryl Kane
The story is fine. I was impressed that it was authentically written from Jane Austen's journals. Unfortunately, that was what made it a slower read for me. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Lori Groudas
It was very interesting and filled with several twists and turns.Published 29 days ago by NAUGirl 279
Barron's charm is that she writes with the wit and acerbity of Jane Austin herself. It is as if we were translated into the 19th century. A considerable pleasure.Published 1 month ago by Katharine G. Young
The action and dialogue were not only appropriate but fascinating. It is so refreshing to read something without curse words or blatant sex yet with a great plot and characters I... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I wish this were more like Jane...the writing is very boring. I threw the book out.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful series based on a fictional Jane Austen. The author had a bit of a slow start but I'm glad I stuck with the series because the writing improved quite a bit after the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by mccormick