Original Language: English
Publisher: Bantam Books
Publication Date: 1996
Page Count: 289 For everyone who loves Jane Austen...a marvelously entertaining new series that turns the incomparable author into an extraordinary sleuth!
From the Inside Cover: On a visit to the estate of her friend, the young and beautiful Isobel Payne, Countess of Scargrave, Jane bears witness to a tragedy. Isobel's husband--a gentleman of mature years--is felled by a mysterious and agonizing ailment. The Earl's death seems a cruel blow of fate for the newly married Isobel. Yet the bereaved widow soon finds that it's only the beginning of her misfortune...as she receives a sinister missive accusing her and the Earl's nephew of adultery--and murder. Desperately afraid that the letter will expose her to the worst sort of scandal, Isobel begs Jane for help. And Jane finds herself embroiled in a perilous investigation that will soon have her following a trail of clues that leads all the way to Newgate Prison and the House of Lords--a trail that may well place Jane's own person in the gravest jeopardy.
Quote: "There is something so INEVITABLE about seven-and-twenty; it is decidedly on the wrong side of the decade for a lady, particularly an unmarried one."
— Stephanie Barron (Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave ManorT
My Review: This is the first in the series of Jane Austen Mysteries, and done with Jane as the narrator. Jane visits her friend Isobel Payne in Hertfordshire after Jane's broken engagement to Mr Bigg-Wither. Jane is unaware that a murder will take place and she will be asked to help Isobel clear her name.
Unfortunately this was not one of my favorite books. I love a good mystery and historical fiction, but this story did not flow smoothly for me. I found myself going back and forth trying to keep the characters straight in my mind, and bogged down with some of the verbiage in this novel. The one thing I liked were the footnotes. They really helped with the clarity.
Because I love the Jane Austen era I think I may change this challenge and read more of the modern day Jane Austen such as Austerland, Mr Darcy Takes A Wife and Mr. & Mrs. Darcy. I am giving this book a C-