Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron by Stephanie Barron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jane Austen is back to sleuthing in Stephanie Barron's latest mystery. This time Jane's sister-in-law Eliza has just died of what seems to be breast cancer, so Jane accompanies her brother Henry to Brighton to flee the overwhelming melancholy of his house in London. En route to Brighton, the duo rescue a teenage girl tied up in a carriage. She's been abducted by Lord Byron, the famous poet who has become obsessed with her. Jane and Henry return her to her father, General Twining, and go on about their business. But Miss Twining is a magnet for trouble, and soon Jane is immersed with trying to figure out who did what to whom, why, when, and how.
I love how Barron creates these novels that fit within the timeline and documented events of Jane Austen's life. Did Jane ever go to Brighton? Did she ever meet Lord Byron? No one knows, but she could have done so, according to the gaps in her chronology.
I also love Barron's portrayal of Jane's secret delight as people praise Pride and Prejudice in front of her, unaware of the author's identity. :)
For readers' advisors: story doorway mostly, but also setting and a bit of character
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