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
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****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


Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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