Jane and the Madness of Lord Byron: Being a Jane Austen Mystery

Stephanie Barron, Bantam, $15 paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-553-38670-7
In Barron's superb 10th Jane Austen mystery (after 2006's Jane and the Barque of Frailty), the death of a beloved relative prompts the author of Pride and Prejudice and her brother Henry to journey to Brighton in the spring of 1813 in the hope of raising their spirits. En route, Jane and Henry rescue a girl of about 15, Catherine Twining, whom they find with wrists bound with what looks like a gentleman's cravat in a chaise outside an inn. Within days, Catherine turns up dead in Lord Byron's bed at the King's Arms in Brighton, though the poet claims innocence. Gossipy detail concerning Byron and Lady Caroline Lamb seasons the plot, whose pace never feels rushed despite the short time frame. Barron's ability to capture Austen's tone ("one tires of nothing so quickly as benevolence") helps make this series one of the more literary and enjoyable of the pseudo-Austen oeuvre. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/23/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 254 pages - 978-0-553-90780-3
Paperback - 507 pages - 978-1-4104-3370-1
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