Still in my Jane Austen addiction, and really enjoying Stephanie Barron’s Jane Mysteries. Jane the the Prisoner of Wool House, Being the Sixth Jane Austen Mystery, is another excellent one. This time, we are in Southampton, and Jane’s brother, Frank, a post captain in the Royal Navy, is a key figure – and Wool House is where the navy keeps it prisoners. Frank’s best friend, another captain, is due to be hanged, with Frank receiving the captaincy of that ship. And a French prisoner may hold the key to his guilt or innocence.
So much great history in here – the Napoleonic wars, the colonization of India, England’s intricate class rules, and the very authentic voice of Jane as she works her way through all the intricate parts of this mystery. Plus the intricate household relationships – Jane’s mother and sister, her sister-in-law and occasional glimpses / mentions of brothers, their families, friends of rank and those without rank. And of much rowing over the ocean, with a very large amount of dampness all around.
This is a very fast paced mystery, even thought Britain’s strictures sometimes have Jane watching the clock and noting how much time she has been kept out of the action. Her mind, of course, has been going full speed ahead at all times. And all the pieces of the mystery fall into place, fairly satisfactorily.