Review: Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely

15 Oct

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This book is light, fluffy fun!

Synopsis via Goodreads:

A dedicated Anglophile and Janeite, Elizabeth Parker is hoping the trip to the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath will distract her from her lack of a job and her uncertain future with her boyfriend, Peter.

On the plane ride to England, she and Aunt Winnie meet Professor Richard Baines, a self-proclaimed expert on all things Austen. His outlandish claims that within each Austen novel there is a sordid secondary story is second only to his odious theory on the true cause of Austen’s death. When Baines is found stabbed to death in his Mr. Darcy costume during the costume ball, it appears that Baines’s theories have finally pushed one Austen fan too far. But Aunt Winnie’s friend becomes the prime suspect, so Aunt Winnie enlists Elizabeth to find the  professor’s real killer. With an ex-wife, a scheming daughter-in-law, and a trophy wife, not to mention a festival’s worth of die-hard Austen fans, there are  no shortage of suspects.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book about a murder at a gathering of Jane Austen fans. It was such a fun setup, and I like the character of Elizabeth Parker and her Aunt Winnie.

Thinking back on it, the secondary characters were a bit weak, and the mystery was typical for a cozy mystery, where the mystery itself isn’t the strength of the book.

In this case, the book works because of the setting, which is all about Austen. I think the costume ball was my favorite part, even if dire events ensued.

If I think of the people as part of the setting, the lack of depth isn’t as important, because they certainly do add to the image of where this is taking place. This is particularly true of the victim, a fellow with reprehensible views of Austen’s books, who planned to increase to scope of his creative interpretations. He framed the events at the conference in such an interesting way, livening up what could have been a stodgy affair for the attendees and for the reader.

Elizabeth is a solid character, using the events of this book (and the previous one as well) to reflect on her choices and figure out what direction to take her life.  She doesn’t come to many conclusions, but that’s pretty realistic.

I came into this series at book 3, and I don’t think starting here at book 4 will be an issue.  If you think the setup sounds like fun, pick up this book. If it doesn’t grab you, I’m guessing you’ll be happier picking up something else.

I received this book for review. 


Posted by on October 15, 2012 in books, reviews


Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “Review: Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely

  1. Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

    October 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Sounds like one I wouldn’t mind checking out some day!


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