Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations

cover

****Jane and the Wandering Eye

Being the Third Jane Austen Mystery

by Stephanie Barron

Reviewed August 2, 2005.
Bantam Books, New York, 1998.  262 pages.
Available at Ramstein Library.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#2, Mystery)

Here’s a nice classic cozy mystery—with Jane Austen as the detective.  The book begins with a crowded costume party.  Guests are disguised, and the stately home is crowded.  While an actor is giving a monologue from MacBeth, another guest is stabbed.  When the body is discovered, Lord Kinsfell is holding the bloody knife.  He insists that he discovered the death himself and was trying to help, but things look black against him, since he had an argument with the victim not long before.

Add to the complications a secret passage and a mysterious painting of a woman’s eye, and you have a mystery worthy of the sharpness and intelligence of Jane Austen.  Stephanie Barron includes footnotes about customs in Jane Austen’s time, and even provides a sinister explanation for the death of Jane’s friend, which happened in this time period.  She uses actual historical figures and customs of the day—like having ones eye painted, or playing charades.

This series is great fun, and I especially liked this book.

Review of other Jane Austen Mysteries:
Jane and the Man of the Cloth
Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
Jane and the Ghosts of Netley

Reviews of books by Jane Austen:
Pride and Prejudice
Northanger Abbey


Reviews of other books related to Jane Austen:
Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, edited by Jennifer Crusie
A Jane Austen Education, by William Deresiewicz
Sense and Sensibility, by Joanna Trollope
Northanger Abbey, by Val McDermid
Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith
An Assembly Such As This:  Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Book 1, by Pamela Aidan
Duty and Desire:  Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Book 2, by Pamela Aidan
These Three Remain:  Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Book 3, by Pamela Aidan
Austenland, by Shannon Hale
Midnight in Austenland, by Shannnon Hale
Jane Austen in Scarsdale, by Paula Marantz Cohen
Death Comes to Pemberley, by P. D. James
Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen, by Fay Weldon
Pride and Prescience, by Carrie A. Bebris
Suspense and Sensibility, by Carrie A. Bebris
North by Northanger, by Carrie A. Bebris
The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler
For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund
Keeping the Castle, by Patrice Kindl
First Impressions, by Marilyn Sachs

Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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