This is the eleventh of Stephanie Barron’s mysteries featuring Jane Austen as the detective. These books are meticulous – carefully placed where Jane actually was during the months and year of the setting, often bringing in historic figures, and remaining true to the ethos of Edwardian England – the early 1800s.
This mystery is set in Kent, where her brother Edward’s beautiful home, Godmersham Park, was actually located, very near the actual road which pilgrims to Canterbury traveled then and still, and which Chaucer re-created so brilliantly for us all those long years ago. The action in the book goes back and forth, between Godmersham and a neighborly manor house, Chillham, with the road to Canterbury in between.
The book opens with a wedding, from which proceeds all the problems, confusion and deaths which it becomes Jane’s task to solve. This is a wonderful soap opera and horror story of a novel, which is at one and the same time an excellent mystery. I’ll not give you more information – it is too much fun to dive into this book – and the entire series – for yourself.
There is not much more yet to go of Jane before I reach an end. There is also a Christmas Jane mystery – The 12 Days of Christmas, which I read several years ago, before my Jane addiction struck with full force, that I plan to read again this Christmas. And the most recent mysterious Jane has just been published – Jane and the Waterloo Map, based on an event right after the Battle of Waterloo. I’m going to dig into it later on this evening, right after I finish Persuasion, the third of Jane’s 6 novels. I will have finished the other three before Thanksgiving, or perhaps Halloween. And then what will I do? Perhaps I’ll read Curtis Sittenfeld’s Elegible for the 4th time!