Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stephanie Barron - Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor

When Jane Austen visits her friend Isobel Payne, Countess of Scargrave, she witnesses a tragedy set to destroy several lives. Isobel's husband, the Earl of Scargrave, dies of a mysterious and agonizing ailment, but with this the newly married Isobel's misfortune is not meant to end. Isobel receives a letter accusing her and the Earl's nephew of adultery and murder. Afraid that the letter will expose her to the worst sort of scandal, Jane is asked to help solve the mystery of both the author of the letter and the death of the Earl. Not long after agreeing to help, Jane finds herself in a dangerous investigation.

I have to admit at first I had big problems with the language, the series being set in the early 18th century. Reading was slow, exhausting and at times even annoying. But after about 2/3 I had finally gotten used to the language and flew right through the last 100 pages.
But this sure didn't diminish the mystery. Jane's snooping around was wonderful as it didn't seem overly staged. Barron set up some wonderful red herrings and clues.
I especially enjoyed the author's using Jane Austen's letters to her sister. It gave the whole book a special feeling.

Rating: B+


  1. Oh, good, I'm glad to hear a good review of this since I recently mooched it.

  2. I sure hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did! I already plan to read the 2nd book, actually. Another buddy read ;-)