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Publisher's Summary

The 18th century novelist-of-manners-turned-sleuth returns to delight readers with another nimble-witted investigation of mayhem in the pastoral landscape of rural England. When Jane's gentleman friend Lord Trowbridge sends her, in the utmost secrecy, to retrieve a parcel hidden amidst the ruins of Netley Abbey, Jane finds not only the parcel but also a dying man. When events take a regrettably sinister turn, only Jane is clever enough to pursue the miscreant. Stephanie Barron's series masterfully evokes Jane Austen's witty style, the intricacies of manners in this genteel era, and the rich tapestry of gossip in a milieu of carefully nuanced social relationships. The classic murder mystery meets its match in a plucky heroine who layers Austen's sense and sensibility on top of an inquisitive nature and a natural resolve.
©2003 Stephanie Barron; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A wonderfully intricate plot full of espionage and intrigue." (Publishers Weekly)
"First-rate....Barron writes a lively adventure that puts warm flesh on historical bones. The nice thing is she does so in a literary style that would not put Jane Austen's nose out of joint." (The New York Times Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Shaddi on 07-04-05

Quite enjoyable.

This series by Stephanie Barron has a little of everything for Jane Austen fans: historical fiction, mystery and fluid prose. Kate Reading is a great narrator for this series.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sanny on 03-16-05

An echo of Austen

The book is written in Jane Austen's style, and the author has a wonderful ear for Austen's voice. Those, like me, who can practically chant from Austen's works, may find the author's periodic "lifting" of Austen's own phrases and words a bit jarring. It's strange to hear the phrases out of context, when they are so familiar in their original novels. However, the plot is engaging, and the main character well developed. That Kate Reading, a frequent narrator of Austen's own works, is the narrator of this work is an extra treat. Her voice gives the work the perfect Austenization!

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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