Jane Austen’s Lost Letters: A Josie Prescott Antiques Mystery

Jane K. Cleland. Minotaur, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-77938-0
Early in Cleland’s beguiling 14th Josie Prescott Antiques mystery (after 2020’s Hidden Treasures), Josie finds an older woman, Veronica Sutton, waiting for her outside her shop, Prescott’s Antiques and Auctions, in Rocky Point, N.H. Veronica, who claims she was a good friend of Josie’s late father, hands her a package, then abruptly drives away. Inside the package is a box containing a handwritten note to Josie from her father and two letters, one dated 1811, the other 1814, signed by Jane Austen. Between filming her TV show about antiques, running her business, and hiring consultants to authenticate the letters, Josie tries to learn what she can about Veronica, someone she never heard her father mention. The murder of a consultant during the filming of a show puts Josie’s reputation and possibly her life in jeopardy. Newcomers may have trouble keeping track of the many series regulars, but their characters all ring true. Cleland maintains tension from the opening pages right up to the surprise conclusion. Miss Austen would approve. Agent: Cristina Concepcion, Don Congdon Assoc. (Dec.)
Reviewed on : 09/24/2021
Release date: 12/14/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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