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Publisher's Summary

Jane Austen is enjoying August, 1806, among Derbyshire's craggy peaks, sparkling streams, and cavernous gorges. That is, until she discovers the corpse of a young gentleman whose blond curls and delicate features suggest the face of an angel.

More shocking still is the coroner's revelation: the deceased is no man but a maidservant, clad in the garb of her master, Mr. Charles Danforth of Penfolds Hall. Tess Arnold had ruled the stillroom at Penfolds for many years, until she was labeled a witch and dismissed for indiscretion. Was Tess the prey of a madman loose in the hills, or perchance the cast-off impediment to a gentleman's marriage?

As usual, Jane's acute perception and her nose for trouble place her supremely at risk, from a killer who may strike as violently by day as he once did by night.

©2000 Stephanie Barron (P)2000 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Jane Austen as sleuth continues to delight." (Publishers Weekly)
"Another first-rate addition to the series." (Christian Science Monitor)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Will the real Jane Austen please stand up?

Stephanie Barron has created a delightful series of mysteries with a most excellent (and plausible) explanation of how she acquired the long-lost manuscripts of Jane Austen. Her skills with style and language are marvelous. Kate Reading provides great pleasure for the listener. I heartily recommend this!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • John S.
  • Seattle, WA United States
  • 01-07-18

Good series introduction

Being a fan of Regency-era mysteries, as well as Kate Reading's narration, I decided to try the first available audiobook in the series. Turned out a smart move! Not being a Jane-ite, I suppose I'm spared the inevitable comparison with her work and life details. Biggest takeaway for me was seeing her as rather an extrovert, when somehow I'd felt her as more reclusive? As far as book itself is concerned, my only real issue was that I had trouble keeping straight who was who among the upper class characters at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not the best in the series

With the conceit of retelling Jane Austen's diaries, the author walks a line between telling an interesting mystery and being historically accurate. The book seems overly concerned with historical accuracy to the determent of the story. I haven't listened to earlier books in the series, but this installment spends very little time on the character of Jane or her family. Jane is there to follow the plot, which is told to the listener in large infodumps and results in very flat characters. Sections detailing the historical background of minor side characters and footnotes on changes to architecture over time do nothing to add excitement. I found this book boring and do not recommend it. I do recommend the 12th book in the series, Jane and the 12 Days of Christmas. Many of the issues in this book have been corrected by that title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • Newbury Park, CA United States
  • 07-27-18

Excellent!

Great story, and well performed! If only the rest of the series was available. :(

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant working out story from history

Stephanie Barron brilliantly creates a captivating story from history and Jane Austin's life. She incorporates excerpts from a stillroom maid's book to add to the intrigue