It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a young Jane Austen is a formidable heroine, especially when armed with wit, determination and a faithful lapdog. Sorry – I couldn’t resist! I am a huge fan of Jane Austen’s works and still have very fond memories of reading them in my early teens, so I was very excited to hear that the lady herself was going to feature in her own series as a young investigator!
I absolutely loved everything about The Abbey Mystery from the scintillating storytelling to the fascinating depiction of Georgian high society but, most of all, for the perfect portrayal of Jane herself: more later! This is a fast-paced, exciting mystery that completely captured me from the opening line (how could it not!) and took me on a fascinating journey into the past, a past filled with charm, intrigue and high society shenanigans!
Thirteen-year-old Jane and her older sister, Cassandra find themselves – to the horror of their mother – in a carriage accident which has the somewhat unfortunate result for Jane that she must replace her sister as companion to Lady Cromwell at Southmoor Abbey as that family prepare to celebrate their son’s coming-of-age-party. However, Jane soon finds herself with an intriguing mystery to solve … and a rather spooky one to boot. Whilst the employees might believe that the old Abbey ruins are haunted by a ghostly monk, Jane is more level-headed and doesn’t believe in such silliness … until she sees a floating lantern! Jane is determined to unmask the ghost, but is there a greater mystery afoot? Together with her new friends, Jane finds herself untangling a web of deceit … fire, theft, false accusations, family secrets … such a clever, intriguing mystery that led me on a merry chase that utterly delighted me.
Quite simply, I adored daring detective Jane from the bottom of my heart. She has an indomitable and adventurous spirit coupled with wit, kindness and tenacity. She is a wonderful and true friend to those who need her when they are being treated unfairly. I especially enjoyed her friendship with the stableboy, Luke and the cook’s Indian daughter, Deepti and how these two help Jane in her mission to uncover hidden truths.
Jane’s clever, witty letters home to her sister Cassandra are an absolute joy to read and demonstrate her love of writing.
This story gives a brilliant insight into late eighteenth-century society with its class divisions, imperialism, high society entertainment and living as well as the feeling that change is on its way. It also shows the restrictions placed on women in a patriarchal society which makes it all the more glorious that Jane, and the other young females, in this story are strong and determined.
This is a truly delightful, exciting mystery that transported me into a richly drawn quintessentially Austen world with a remarkable young heroine who I can’t wait to meet again in her next investigation. Singular enjoyment of the highest quality!
And I’m so excited that the next book in the series, The Burglar’s Ball, is due for release this year, and here’s a sneaky peak at the cover which is absolutely stunning:
Thank you so much to Lion Hudson for inviting me to be part of this Blog Tour, and for providing me with a proof in exchange for my honest opinion.
Please do check out the other posts on this Blog Tour: