Barron's second Jane Austen mystery (folling Jane and the Unpleasantness, LJ 4/1/96) takes place in the English seaside resort of Lyme Regis. This time, Jane's memoirs recount her romance with a clergyman under circumstance that call upon her sleuthing abilities. Historical fiction at its best.
Nothing is what it seems to be in this wickedly amusing mystery from the author of How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams. Whether the action marches along in a stately country home or spins off in the bustling streets of London, there is no letup in the story's wit, charm and intrigue. Flora Hutchins has grown up at once-magnificent, 12th-century Gossinger Hall under the loving care of her grandfather, the meticulous head butler, known for his scrupulous handling of the family silver. But imagine the consternation that ensues when the elderly Sir Henry Gossinger (recently married to the distinctly lower-class Mabel Bowser) announces that he intends to leave Gossinger Hall to this treasured servant. Mabel is moved to nasty thoughts, a cousin is outraged and, when the butler's body is found head-down in a medieval toilet, it sets off a sharply etched chain of events that includes Flora being exiled to London‘her flat paid for by Sir Henry and Mabel. Questions abound: Who is the mysterious woman shadowing Flora? What is the importance of a long-missing 18th-century tea strainer? And above all, why was the estate to be left to the butler? Flora and Vivian, Sir Henry's seemingly worthless nephew, seek solutions and form an endearing bond. Cannell sorts through all ancient and modern enigmas, fashioning a sterling cast for a royal romp. (Jan.)
"Playful and populated with droll characters who will steal your heart. A totally charming book." "--Tulsa World" "Delightful!" "--Nashville Banner" "Wickedly amusing." "--Publishers Weekly"