Jane and the Canterbury Tale: Being A Jane Austen Mystery Paperback – Aug 30 2011
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Stephanie Barron’s beloved Being A Jane Austen Mystery series is . . .
“[Stephanie] Barron’s ability to capture Austen’s tone helps make this series one of the more literary and enjoyable.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Wonderful . . . echoing the rhythms of the Austen novels with uncanny ease.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A genteelly jolly series.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Splendid fun!”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Charming, literate and unequaled.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
STEPHANIE BARRON is Senior Curator and Head of the Department of Modern Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In the fall of 1813, while visiting her wealthy, widowed brother Edward at his grand estate in Kent, Jane attends a wedding at the neighboring Chilham Castle. Joined that day in connubial bliss are the beautiful young widow, Adelaide Fiske, and the dashing Captain Andrew McCallister. Jane's young niece Fanny Austen-Knight is also in attendance being courted by a queue of eager Beaux. While locals John Plumptre, James Wildman and George Finch-Hatton watch her dance the scandalous waltz with visiting dandy Julian Thane, a footman delivers a curious gift to the bride, a silken reticule that she accepts with some trepidation. Inside are dried brown beans. Jane is quick to observe that the bride's reaction must have some hidden meaning.
The following morning a man is found dead upon the pilgrim's path on the Godmersham estate near the ancient parish church dedicated to St Lawrence the Martyr. At first it is thought that he was felled by a stray hunting shot by one of the young local men out for a mornings sport of pheasant, but Jane sees the signs of an entirely different transgression. Her brother Edward, First Magistrate for Canterbury, is called to the scene and concurs that this was no hunting accident. The corner arrives to offer his assessment and soon discoveres that the deceased is none other than Curzon Fiske, the thought to be dead first husband of the recently married Adelaide, who after abandoning his wife in a flight from his creditors, departed for India four years prior and died there. Inside the depths of his coat pocket was a stained note with St Lawrence Church written upon it and one dried brown bean - an ominous tamarind seed.
As the mystery swiftly unfolds we are privy to an interesting collection of characters who each have their own tale to tell: a grieving widower, a young girl experiencing romance and heartbreak, an odious clergyman, a Bond Street Beau, a loose maid, a callous and calculating mother, and our adventurous detective Jane Austen, ever observant, always witty, relaying all of their stories in her journal and cleverly solving the crime.
Each chapter is epigraphed by pertinent quotes from Chaucer's tale and every word of this novel is a treasure. Barron is a Nonpareil in channeling my dear Jane. After eleven novels I never doubt her historical detail or unerring voice. This may be the last in the series, and I am sorely grieved at the loss. JANE AND THE CANTERBURY TALE is engaging, rich and dramatic. The ending is a shock, but not nearly as devastating as the possibility of the demise of this series.
Laurel Ann, Austenprose
Edward leads the investigation into the murder of a "dead man". However, it is Jane who finds clues while pondering why the first spouse came to the wedding of his wife to another man, but said nothing but he left something behind for his widow. While Edward frets one of his friends is the killer, the culprit observes Jane getting close to solving the Canterbury Tale homicide.
The latest Jane Austen mystery (see Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron) is a great entry that combines a strong amateur sleuth with insight into the relationships between the extended Austen family members. Part of the fun in this wonderful series is trying to match up the support characters with the novels. The story line is fast-paced from the moment a stunned bride learns of a strange commoner visiting her nuptials and never slows down until Jane and the killer confront one another.
If you're a fan of the series, you should enjoy this. If you haven't read any before, you will be entertained by this, but might benefit from reading the earlier books first, since relationships and characters develop over course of the series.
I'm grateful to Ms. Barron for this terrific series, well written and eminently entertaining.
"I shall chuse to take that as a compliment." p. 55 Fanny Austen-Knight to Jane Austen in Jane and the Canterbury Tale
And this quote is an apt description of the Jane Austen as described by Stephanie Barron in the latest of her brilliant historical mystery series featuring the famous author as sharp-eyed and even sharper witted detective solving ticklish murders that baffle everyone else. The series is written in such a way that it is faithful to the timeline of Jane's life and the real people that moved through it. When fiction meets the authentic, it fits together seamlessly into a cohesive story that is believable. Well...perhaps her penchant for being a magnet for murder might be a bit excessive, but I find myself not minding that at all.
I have been a fan of this series since the beginning and I get so excited when each new installment makes its appearance. This particular segment returns to the home of Jane's brother Edward, Godmersham Park in Kent, as the setting for the story. It is part of a series and would best be read in the series order, but in a pinch it could be read out of order.
Jane is on a visit to her brother and her niece, Fanny. While she's there, they attend the wedding of some people associated with Edward's nearest neighbor. Things get interesting when the bride's ne'er do well dead husband is discovered to have returned from the dead only to be found murdered on The Pilgrim's Way that runs through Edward's property. Edward is the magistrate charged to investigate and he requests Jane's help in untangling this nasty murder that involves people he considers friends and close acquaintance.
The plot was a slow-paced twisty type that laid out the facts, the set of characters/suspects, teased out the character's personalities, and presented just a bit more of Jane's life at the time. It's always interesting how there are several inexplicable little mysteries going on that may or may not have any bearing on the main mystery just like there are so many suspects that its tough to settle on a solution prior to the reveal.
I was impressed with the depth to which the character's were drawn. Even the unlikeable ones or ones that seem almost background are more than 2-D. Many were so sympathetic that I was on pins and needles that one of my favorites would be the culprit.
The historical background is one of the big draws for me to this series. All the little details from the time period from the speech, to the activities, to the description of things like carriages or clothes, household life and social norms. There are nifty footnotes sprinkled through to explain further or show when an actual letter gets quoted.
All in all, this was another sparkling one from this series and I look forward to what comes next. Those who enjoy historical mysteries and particularly those who are Austenesque fans should give this series a try.