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Murder Most Persuasive: A Mystery Hardcover – August 30, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st Printing edition (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312699417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312699413
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Kiely's well-paced...third contemporary mystery featuring Jane Austen fan Elizabeth Parker takes its inspiration from Persuasion...Janeites will enjoy tracking the parallels."--Publishers Weekly

"Austen lovers everywhere will delight in Tracy Kiely's humorous twist on Persuasion, cheering on clever sleuth Elizabeth Parker as she puzzles through a mystery that would intrigue even Jane herself."--Marilyn Brant, author of According to Jane and A Summer in Europe

About the Author

Tracy Kiely, a Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist, is a self-proclaimed Anglophile who grew up reading Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. She lives with her husband and three children in Severna Park, Maryland.

More About the Author

Tracy Kiely graduated from Trinity College in 1990 with a degree in English. This accomplishment, however, merely seemed to prompt most job interviewers to ask "how fast can you type?" Her standard answer of "not so fast" usually put an end to further questions.

She was eventually hired by the American Urological Association (AUA), who were kind enough to overlook the whole typing thing, mainly because they knew just what kind of stuff she'd be typing. Beggars can't be choosers, you know. After several years, Tracy left the AUA taking with her a trove of anecdotal stories that would eventually result in her banishment from polite society.

That's when she thought writing a novel might be a good idea.

Tracy's first novel, Murder at Longbourn, is a mystery set in Cape Cod, and combines her love of the classic English country house murder and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

Most will be pleased to note that it contains no anecdotal stories of urological conditions.

Tracy's second novel, Murder on the Bride's Side, takes place in Richmond, Virginia and focuses on certain elements of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

The third in the series, Murder Most Persuasive, was a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, and parallels certain aspects of Persuasion.

The fourth in the series, Murder Most Austen, takes place in Bath England during the annual Jane Austen Festival. As with the other books, it also contains winks at the reader who loves Jane Austen.

Tracy currently lives in Maryland with her husband, Matt, and their three children.

Customer Reviews

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Popular Discussion Topics

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Angela Reads on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was skeptical when I picked up this book. It's advertised as a cozy murder mystery in the style of Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love Jane Austen, but imitations of her work sometimes fall flat for me. Well, this book was a pleasant surprise.

Elizabeth Parker is a modern day woman who loves to quote Jane Austen in every situation. She's also notorious for trying to solve mysteries...any mysteries that cross her path. A body is found under a swimming pool - a pool that used to belong to her great uncle. Her family is suspected, and Elizabeth rushes to defend her loved ones.

There's also a huge case of sibling rivalry, and an old romance rekindled when Detective Joe Muldoon shows up to investigate the body.

Those who are familiar with Persuasion will find the romance in this book rather predictable, but the mystery element was new, and kept me guessing. This isn't "great literature", but it was a charming book and a great comfort read.

This book is third in a series, I believe, but I felt it stood on its own quite well. Recommended for those who like cozy mysteries, comfort reads, and Jane Austen.

(I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marlyn on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Martin Reynolds sold his vacation home in Maryland shortly before he died, with the proceeds to be divided between his three children. When the new owners begin renovations, they find a body buried underneath the pool, which turns out have been the former fiancé of Martin's daughter Reggie. Michael Barrow had disappeared the day after Reggie broke off their engagement, along with a million dollars from the Reynold's family business, where he worked. It was assumed that he'd absconded with the money upon realizing that he'd no longer have a job.

The book is written from the point of view of Elizabeth Parker, Martin's niece. Elizabeth is very, very fond of Jane Austen. She and her Aunt Winnie (Martin's sister) are given to inserting quotes from the Austen oeuvre into their daily conversation. Elizabeth also has a reputation in the family as a detective, having "assisted" the police on two earlier murder investigations involving the family.

The detective assigned to the case is Joe Muldoon, who happened to be involved with Martin's other daughter Ann, years earlier. Their relationship was quashed by Ann's aunt Laura, who thought that Joe wasn't good enough for her niece.

This nod to Austen's Persuasion, which one might expect to be awkward or heavy-handed, is actually quite seamless and slips into the plot quite comfortably. Also, the idea of a young woman being discouraged from marrying a man she loves because of his "prospects" is not at all far-fetched in conjunction with a high-society family from the East Coast.

Like Austen, Kiely is snarkily funny. Her Elizabeth is underemployed and has little on which to use her intellect and wit, and so interferes in police investigations and mocks whenever she can. This reviewer will definitely be searching for the previous titles in this series!

*Many thanks to Library Thing's Early Reviewers program for the Advance Reading Copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Meredith VINE VOICE on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It seems like Elizabeth Parker, my favorite Austen-Inspired sleuth, has once again stumbled upon a murder mystery! Just days after Uncle Marty's death, someone unearthed a surprising family skeleton - literally! It looks like the new homeowners of Uncle Marty's house in St. Michaels found the body of ex-fiancée and ex-employee Michael Barrow buried under their in-ground pool. The last time the Reynolds family saw Michael Barrow was eight years ago, just before he ended his engagement with cousin Reggie and embezzled over a million dollars from the family business.

Poor Ann Reynolds, Elizabeth's cousin, is emotionally and physically exhausted by all the events that have proceeded her father's death. With two sisters who are narcissistic and irresponsible and a step-mother who has immediately absconded to a spa retreat, Ann is left with the responsibility of sorting through her father's belongings, cataloging items in her father's will, and planning a ridiculous memorial party that her step-mother insists on throwing. Add to that a murder investigation that names her as the prime suspect! Can it get any worse?!?

Oh yes it can...The murder investigation is being headed up by none other than the man Ann was persuaded to break up with eight years ago, Detective Joe Muldoon!

Murder Most Persuasive is the perfect blend of romance, suspense, humor, and Jane Austen. I am a huge fan of this mystery series by Tracy Kiely, and I just adore her characters and the Austen parallels you find in her novels. As you may have guessed, Murder Most Persuasive relates to and contains many parallels with Jane Austen's Persuasion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AnneB on September 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When a family house is sold after the death of Martin Reynolds a body is found of a man thought to have stolen money from the family eight years before. It is up to Elizabeth Parker to try to solve the case and clear her family of any criminal charges. She has the help of her sister Kit and her cousin Ann to solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again. While working on finding the killer Elizabeth tries to also play matchmaker to Ann, her ex-boyfriend Detective Joe Muldoon is also on the case. Ann was persuaded by members of her family to give Joe up eight years before because he was not good enough for her.

What a fun, entertaining mystery! Elizabeth Parker is a great mystery solver, she is smart and witty and quotes Jane Austen often. I found myself laughing out loud a few times at remarks made by her or her Aunt Winnie, both have a sharp tongue and are not afraid to use it. The mystery was interesting. I had fun trying to figure out who the killer was and must admit I was totally wrong in my guess. My favortite parts of the book were the Jane Austen and Shakespeare references. The side story of Ann and Joe was also good with its obvious similarities to Anne and Captain Wentworth of Persuasion. I would recommend this to any Jane Austen fan or anyone who likes a light, fun, cozy mystery.
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