Call Number
Material Type
Branchport - Modeste Bedient Memorial Library 1 J M New Juvenile Fiction

On Order



This is the fourth of Michaela MacColl's 'Novels of Intrigue and Romance'. This one is centered around Jane Austen--one of the world's most beloved authors who lived in a time with particular appeal to historical fiction enthusiasts.

Author Notes

Michaela MacColl studied multidisciplinary history at Vassar College and Yale University, which turns out to be the perfect degree for writing historical fiction. She lives with her family in Connecticut.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

MacColl (The Revelation of Louisa May, 2015) delivers yet another mystery featuring historical women wordsmiths. This time, Jane Austen's family gets embroiled in an international espionage conspiracy. Jane's cousin Eliza the widow of a French count is suspected of being a French spy. Jane's older brother, working for the War Office, invites the family to his estate to interrogate Eliza. Rushing to her cousin's defense, Jane instead meets Eliza at her own estate to keep her away from prying government eyes. There she meets haughty yet intriguing Tom Lefroy, who plays Watson to her Sherlock Holmes as they investigate the murder of a mysterious man who has been stalking Eliza. Fans of Austen may be torn on this one despite the author's historical note, the book fails to capture Austen's style or her signature commentary on cultural and social conventions but it is a solid mystery with occasional references to her life. As an homage to Jane Austen, this falls flat, but as mystery and historical fiction, it makes for dynamic and engrossing reading.--Kling, Caitlin Copyright 2016 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-Nineteen-year-old Jane Austen-yes, that Jane Austen-finds herself entwined in some serious intrigue when the War Office suggests that her cousin, whose French aristocrat husband lost his head to the guillotine, might be engaged in traitorous activity against England. Jane is determined to get to the bottom of the situation, even if it means veering into unladylike territory. Adding to the drama, a gentleman studying the law has entered Jane's social circle-and all of her family members are eager to encourage a marriage match regardless of his condescending first impression. MacColl's fidelity to Austen's biography and family, with a bit of creative license woven in, results in a charming historical mystery. Her playfulness with Austen's voice is a delight, and she peppers the story with hints at characters and plot points from the author's oeuvre-nothing that distracts from the narrative, but tidbits that serve as inside jokes to readers who have already dived into her works. These elements more than make up for a somewhat rushed conclusion. Readers whose interest in Austen is piqued will enjoy the biographical back matter. VERDICT A solid addition for fans of cozy mysteries and literary reimaginings.-Amy Koester, Skokie Public Library, IL © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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