15 March 2005

Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House by Stephanie Barron

Unabridged Fiction. Audiobook from Books on Tape. Published in 2002. Purchased at Audible.com

My mom got me started on these "Jane Austen as a detective" books and I have read several of them in the past year or so. This is the first that I have listened to as an audiobook though.

The stories are quite enjoyable for a Jane Austen fan. The author does a good job of sneaking phrases in from Jane Austen's many books. I do doubt fairly seriously that the Jane Austen of these novels bears much resemblance to the actual Jane Austen, but that does not lessen the enjoyment of the books. The author has been very careful to include details that fit with certain aspects of Jane's life, and at the beginning of the book we are told that the books actually come from diaries belonging to Jane Austen that were found in someone's attic in the US. Of course, that is not true, but was a clever thing for Stephanie Barron to think up and use as the supposed basis for her stories.

Publisher's summary:
Jane Austen, novelist and private investigator, is back on another case, this one involving the Royal Navy. Her brother Frank's friend, Tom Seagrave, is in the brig, accused by his first mate of stabbing a French captain after the captain surrendered. Tom denies the charges, but his dagger was found in the French captain's chest. To clear up this mystery, Jane agrees to go to the Wool House, a building where French prisoners are jailed. Risking infection, she nurses the French ship's crew, and gets an account from the ship's surgeon that exonerates Tom. But at that moment, the first mate is killed, and Tom is now doubly under suspicion. Who could want to send him to the gallows?

To buy from amazon.co.uk, click here: Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House
from amazon.com, click here: Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House

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