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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.

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Shaddi
  • Laguna Niguel, CA, United States
  • 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Jane's great love deserves better showcase

This effort was disappointing, frustrating, and more focused on the concerns of secondary characters than on Jane. For this particular story of our heroine's life, I would have loved to spend more time examining the relationship between Jane and Lord H- such was the attention given to her somewhat problematic yet undeniable friendship with Sophia (Sofia?)

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Charlotte
  • Midland, TX, United States
  • 03-16-12

Slow in Parts but an Interesting listen

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I listened while cleaning and it made the job less tedious so it served it's purpose. This book was not as enthralling as other books, but it did entertain.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It was predictable.

What three words best describe Kate Reading’s voice?

Perfect fit overall

Was Jane and the Ghosts of Netley worth the listening time?

Yes, for the purpose I was listening. I don't know if it would be the same if I listened to it while driving. It was sleepy in parts.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Leslie
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 02-16-12

disappointment

What would have made Jane and the Ghosts of Netley better?

A little more action, a lot less History lessons.

Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Reading’s performances?

no, thanks!

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Strong female character. Unsure, did not finish, too tedious.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Michael
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 01-24-12

The emancipated pre-victorian woman--unchaperoned

Would you listen to Jane and the Ghosts of Netley again? Why?

This was a wonderful listen. I will read another Jane Austen novel, and then I will listen to this

What about Kate Reading’s performance did you like?

She helped the reader understand how much like Mrs. Bennet the Jane's mother was. What an insufferable woman.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were two parts that made me hold my breath. When the partly completed ship was destroyed--oh my. The second was when her

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Put me to sleep

Would you try another book from Stephanie Barron and/or Kate Reading?

I could not finish this book, it was so predictable and boring. I certainly am loath to try another of this ilk.

Any additional comments?

I was extremely disappointed with this book. I love Victorian-style themes but this one unfortunately was a bust.