Jane and the Man of the Cloth

Jane and the Man of the Cloth

Being the Second Jane Austen Mystery

Book - 1997
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After her brilliant detective debut inJane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor, there can be no doubt that Jane Austen would have made a remarkable sleuth. And so, with great aplomb, Stephanie Barron reveals the next superb Jane Austen Mystery... Jane Austen and her family are looking forward to a peaceful late-summer holiday in the seaside village of Lyme Regis. But on the road thither, a fearful storm and an overturned carriage lead the shaken travelers to seek refuge at High Down Grange. And there, in a dismal manor house wrapt in an air of malevolent neglect, Jane meets the darkly forbidding yet strangely attractive master of High Down Grange, Mr. Geoffrey Sidmouth. What murky secrets does the brooding Mr. Sidmouth hope to preserve behind his fierce glower? And who is the exceedingly lovely young woman dressed in peasant garb who shares his home? Once settled in town, Jane seeks to learn the answers. Yet common gossip is soon forgotten when a man is found hanged from a makeshift gibbet by the sea. Only the day before, Jane had observed this same man in a heated exchange with Mr. Sidmouth. Still, the worthies of Lyme are certain the labourer's death is the work of "the Reverend," the notorious ringleader of the midnight smuggling trade. The Reverend's identity is the paramount mystery of Lyme Regis.  And Jane, who can never resist a puzzle, is determined to solve this one. But to her dismay, she must soon admit that she harbours a strange sensibility for a man who could very well be a murderer. And then a second mysterious death draws her into a perilous scheme to entrap and expose Geoffrey Sidmouth. From the drawing- rooms of the cultured and the devious to secret caverns and coarse haunts, her mission will take her far from a lady's proper venue...until even so canny a student of character and valiant adventurer must ask herself: "Is the prize worth the risk--to my heart as well as my person?" Stylish, suspenseful, and wickedly diverting,Jane and the Man of the Clothdelves deep into the foibles, passions, and ruthless machinations that lurk within the most polite society.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, [1997]
Copyright Date: ℗♭1997
ISBN: 9780553102031
Branch Call Number: F
Characteristics: ix, 274 pages ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Jane & the man of the cloth


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Jan 17, 2019

This series definitely scratched the JAFF mystery itch. I appreciate the amount of red herrings and merry leaps to conclusion that this story included- I guessed the true guilty party only a paragraph or two before Jane did (always nice when a mystery is as smart as you are). I also appreciate the authentic Jane Austen voice that Barron applies. It really does feel like Jane herself, with her own wit and self-knowledge, but Barron doesn't shy away from the realities of Jane's life as a single 'spinster' (except, of course, the constant intrigues Jane finds herself thrown into). This one can be read as a standalone (maybe all of the novels in the series can?), so if you like cozy mysteries, historical fiction, and the Regency period, I recommend it.

Aug 08, 2012

Fun for Austen Addicts. The Jane Austen Mysteries by Stephanie Barron place Jane at the role of detective in a well-imitated Austen voice. The books are annotated--most of which place accurate historical context, some of which are fabircated in order to secure the author's story. Jane and the Man of the Cloth finds Jane in Lyme, amidst covert business practices, misplaced affections, and even murder. Barron has done her historical research while providing a fun page-turner of what might have been.

Feb 02, 2012

Decent enough mysteries (if not terribly sophisticated). Very good attempt at replicating Austen's style, and also good scholarship and background to support the conceit that these are "lost works."


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