A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.
The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.
Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.
A Summer House Party. A Murder Mystery. Two Young People Investigate. I’m already in. Now add in almost ALL of Jane Austen’s leading characters! Not only I am in but I’m sure all the Jane Austen enthusiasts are dancing with glee. This was so well done!!! I love that the Darcys of Pride and Prejudice have been married 22 years when this book begins. And I love that their son has been brought in as a new character, along with Juliet Tilney, daughter of Catherine and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. I love that there is a touch of “enemies to friends” romance thrown in. And I love that this transports me back to 1820. The idea of a house party turned murder investigation–and nobody can leave–is an intriguing, Agatha Christie-style twist. The unofficial investigation done by the very proper Mr. Jonathan Darcy and the spirited Juliet Tilney is captivating to watch. This book is everything a Jane Austen devotee will love, with a touch of Agatha Christie and a dash of adventure thrown in. This is a nostalgic, intriguing, captivating, and fun collision of the worlds of Jane Austen. I hope to see a sequel.
I received a free copy of this book from Knopf Doubleday via Austenprose PR. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs.
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ABOUT JANE AUSTEN
Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 at Steventon near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. She lived with her family at Steventon until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. After his death in 1805, she moved around with her mother; in 1809, they settled in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire. Here she remained, except for a few visits to London, until in May 1817 she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor. There she died on July 18, 1817. As a girl Jane Austen wrote stories, including burlesques of popular romances. Her works were only published after much revision, four novels being published in her lifetime. These are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma(1816). Two other novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1818 with a biographical notice by her brother, Henry Austen, the first formal announcement of her authorship. Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16. She also left two earlier compositions, a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, and an unfinished novel, The Watsons. At the time of her death, she was working on a new novel, Sanditon, a fragmentary draft of which survives.
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