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Murder Most Persuasive: A Mystery (Elizabeth Parker Mysteries) Hardcover – August 30, 2011
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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.
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I really enjoy how Ms. Kiely makes this cozy-whodunnit-murder-mystery fun and humourous while dealing with the heavy subject of murder. The victims are rather unlikable and although you don't wish for them to die you don't get gut wrenching, grief inducing feeling that you get with other mystery/suspense novels. In this book, as with her other books I was surprised by the final turn of events. The nods to Jane Austen and other literature add another dose of fun into the stories. The main characters are likeabke but still very relatable.
I am sad that this series is only 4 books!
And I did mostly enjoy this. Main character Elizabeth Parker has aided in two previous murder investigations (see the previous books in the series) and fancies herself somewhat of an amateur detective, perhaps along the lines of Golden Age detective Adela Bradley. She is also a huge fan of Jane Austen and is always quick with a quip, providing for some of the most entertaining lines of the book. The Persuasion subplot comes in the form of her cousin Ann whose ex is now the police detective investigating the murder that is at the center of this book.
The writing style was easy and I read this book very quickly. There is a good cast of characters with distinct personalities so I never confused anyone with anyone else. Nor was I able to solve the murder with its many pieces. The threads of the mystery were a little confusing although I guess that is partly the point. There are several pieces that seem to be unconnected as the murderer seems to be trying to make them be, to cast suspicion on anyone but him/herself. I do think we could have had a few more clues about whodunnit but maybe other readers thought we were given plenty so that is simply a matter of personal preference.
Overall: I enjoyed my introduction to the world of Elizabeth Parker. I definitely want to check out the first two books as well as the fourth which sounds like it will be set in Bath at the Jane Austen Festival!