Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen by Lindsay Ashford

I really liked The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen! I love Jane Austen and her work but I don't know much about her personal life, so I didn't have any preconceived notions about Jane's family. Please keep in mind that this is a fictional story based on letters and diaries.

Written from the point of view of Anne Sharp, who worked as a governess for the children of Jane Austen's brother Edward. It was there that Jane and Anne became lifelong friends. Anne began to suspect Henry Austen of having an affair with Edward's wife Elizabeth. Everybody liked Henry, he was a very charming, easy to get along with kind of guy, but he was also very manipulating. There were other odd things going on in the family, but was Anne reading too much into what she saw?

I kept trying to figure out if this was all just Anne's active imagination or was it really happening. I loved trying to figure it out. It all came together at the end.

I liked learning about the family and trying to put the pieces together of what was going on. Also, did Jane write her family members into her stories?

Lindsay Ashford is a contemporary crime/mystery novelist and has a degree in criminology. When she moved to Chawton, the village where Jane had lived, she began to investigate Jane’s death.

Buy a copy of The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen here.

Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Hi Candy. I had an opportunity to meet Lindsay Graham at an author's tea in Fort Worth during the AGM. She is very modest about her accomplishments, including being the first woman to graduate from Queen's College, Cambridge, in its 550-year history. She also has a degree in criminology. Her husband is the chief executive of the Chawton Library, so Lindsay had access to all the papers on the site (where she lives). I'm currently reading this book, and your review wants me to hurry it along. Thanks, Candy.

  2. Based on your review, I'm going to read the book! Thanks, Candy!

  3. Hi Mary, Wow! That's amazing about her being the first woman to graduate from Queen's College! I did sit in on her session at the AGM, it was fascinating! She presented some pretty strong evidence to support her theory.

    Hi Susan, I hope you like it as much as I did!

  4. I have not read this yet and I'm not extremely familiar with the Jane letters, but I like the idea of intrigue (fictitiously of course) in the family and that the narrator knows them well, but is not one of them.

    Thanks for the review! I plan to read this after all that I have heard about it.


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