Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor

1996, 1997 Bantam edition
Stephanie Barron
Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor
Bought new for $5.99
Worn paperback

The first in the Jane Austen Mystery series, this pretends to be a heavily footnoted reproduction of recently discovered journals of Austen's.  The footnotes are easily the weakest aspect, although not the only flaw.  I found the classism annoying, and ironically much stronger than anything in Austen's writing.  I never quite bought "Jane" as Austen, but if you can get past that, and just see it as a very early 19th century mystery (set the winter of 1802-03), it's not bad.  The plot twists are fairly well done and there's a good mix of characters.  The settings, mostly the manor but also in London, add to the drama.

I liked the book enough to go on to read a few of the sequels, so Jane and the Man of the Cloth will be coming up in 1997....

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