The Abbey Mystery is a perfect mix of classic Austen style and a Nancy Drew mystery. As a huge fan of both, I was thoroughly charmed from the very first page, laughing to myself at Julia Golding’s earnest girl detective and clever turn of phrase.
It’s 1789 and thirteen year old Jane Austen is the heroine of her very own Gothic tale. As a young girl in the 18th century, Jane is of no earthly use to anyone. She’s isn’t as pretty as her older sister and has none of the rights or privileges of her brothers. Her fierce independence and love of language cause her to rebel against what is expected of her, much to her mother’s frustration, and find adventure wherever she goes.
After an “unfortunate accident”, Jane finds herself in the middle of intrigue and a mystery worthy of any of the novels she will one day go on to write. She is sent to Southmoor Abbey to act as a companion for Lady Cromwell. While she’s there, she witnesses family conflict, a ghost among the ruins and a terrible crime. With her new friends, she does all she can to solve the mystery and reveal the truth. In the process, she proves that she definitely is someone to be reckoned with.
The Abbey Mystery was inspired by Jane Austen’s actual novel, Northanger Abbey. Readers familiar with the story will be delighted by the similarities drawn out through the mystery. Links to the East India Company and a family brought over from India to serve and protect the Cromwell family adds another dimension to the story. It challenges prejudices of the time period and portrays the Indian culture in a powerful light.
Jane Austen was a woman ahead of her time, proving just how much a clever girl can achieve – whether society is ready for it or not! In The Abbey Mystery, Jane is a heroine for the next generation. Her story is the perfect introduction to the world of Jane Austen novels for new readers as well as a deliciously nostalgic journey for those who are already long-time fans. I truly hope that this book is the first of a series of wonderful mysteries.
Thank you to Lion Hudson Ltd for this fantastic book!
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