Sunday, September 18, 2011

Latest Jane

Jane and the Canterbury Tale
Stephanie Barron

As promised just finished the latest in the Jane Austen detective series. As with previous books, it is delightful but a bittersweet pleasure for Jane fans, see, knowing that Jane, 38 in this story, has only a short time left but some of her most brilliant novels ahead of her. In the story, Jane is working on Emma, possibly my favorite of her novels.

What is so sweet and wonderful in these novels is how Barron mixes the known facts and Austen's letters with well-drawn fiction. Many of the witty and wise lines are from the novels themselves. In this one she is visiting her brother Edward and his mature and headstrong daughter Fanny at his house near Canterbury. Fanny being something of an inspiration for Emma.

It is true and widely acknowledged that Jane knew more about the world she lived in than makes it into her novels due to her many brothers (Frank and Charles both became admirals and Henry married a French countess) and her travels and sojourns in places like Bath, Southhampton, London, Brighton, and Lyme Regis.

See some of my earlier posts on this wonderful series by clicking on the Jane Austen label.

Murder ensues- and the plot is as twisty and satisfying as one could wish. It is maybe a little slow in some of the sections. I did also pretty much guess the solution but that is not really the point! I have to say I really love the earlier ones in which Jane assisted her friend and mentor Lord Harold round up Boney's spies but this one was still a pleasure to read.

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