Sunday, May 29, 2011
Jane and the Man of the Cloth by Stephanie Barron
"Jane and her family are looking forward to a peaceful holiday in the seaside village of Lyme Regis. Yet on the outskirts of town an overturned carriage forces the shaken travelers to take refuge at a nearby manor house. And it is there that Jane meets the darkly forbidding yet strangely attractive Mr. Geoffrey Sidmouth. What murky secrets does the brooding Mr. Sidmouth seek to hide? Jane suspects the worst--but her attention is swiftly diverted when a man is discovered hanged from a makeshift gibbet by the sea. The worthies of Lyme are certain his death is the work of "the Reverend," the ringleader of the midnight smuggling trade whose identity is the town's paramount mystery. Now it falls to Jane to entrap and expose the notorious Reverend--even if the evidence points to the last person on earth she wants to suspect--a man who already may have won her heart."
(from the publisher)
Jane and the Man of the Cloth (there's a play on words here) is a delightful cozy mystery from the very talented Stephanie Barron, with all the period details and manners of speech that you find in Jane Austen's writing. It's so very realistic in style and substance that I have to keep reminding myself that this is not actually written by Austen, nor is it an actual account of what happened to her during her lifetime! Barron does base her fictional mysteries on some authentic material gleaned from Austen's letters and known facts about her life, so this makes the stories seem as if they truly are a peek inside Jane's innermost thoughts and feelings in journal form. For anyone who enjoys Austen-inspired works written in true Austen style with mystery and adventure, the Jane Austen-as-sleuth collection is highly recommended. Barron creates Austen as a self-assured sleuth with wit and charm guaranteed to make you want to curl up with a cup of tea. I especially enjoyed this adventure with smugglers, contraband, midnight spying in secret caves, and Jane's tender hearted affection for a gentleman...or is he a rogue?
To read about the historical background and letters Barron used to create Jane and the Man of the Cloth, visit Stephanie Barron's website here.
This book completes the third book I've read for Being a Jane Austen Mystery Reading Challenge 2011 sponsored by Austenprose.
Title: Jane and the Man of the Cloth
Author: Stephanie Barron
genre: historical mystery