Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Jane and the Barque of Frailty by Stephanie Barron: This is the most recent Jane Austen mystery (the first is Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor), and it seems open for Barron to write a few more. I had been hoarding this a bit, afraid it was definitely the last (Barron has written a non-Jane book, A Flaw in the Blood, and I thought she was moving on). In this one, a Russian princess is found with her throat cut, on the doorstep of a prominent figure in London. The later books get more poignant if you know Jane Austen's biography at all (and I suspect most people reading these are Austen fans). I enjoyed this entry, though there was the minor annoyance of Barron cramming in as much Regency slang as she could. I'm not sure what sent her on that kick, as I don't remember it being intrusive in previous books. But that's a small issue, and does not overshadow the strong writing, intricate mystery, well-drawn characters, and period feel.