Book Review: Jane and the Man of the Cloth (Jane Austen Mysteries #2)
Hello again bookworms!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. This is WAY outside Jonny’s comfort zone, and you’d be right in thinking that.
This book review of Jane and the Man of the Cloth by Stephanie Barron is a special group read for my reader’s advisory class. Other people pick this book and we all have to read along whether we like what they pick or not.
I’ve always had an aversion to anything Jane Austen. Romanticism as a style of writing just doesn’t appeal to me, like at all. But in the name of broadening my horizons, this ginger gave it the ole college try!
Will I love it? Will I hate it? On to the review!
For everyone who loves Jane Austen…the second tantalizing mystery in a new series that transforms the beloved author into a dazzling sleuth!
Jane and her family are looking forward to a peaceful holiday in the seaside village of Lyme Regis. Yet on the outskirts of town an overturned carriage forces the shaken travelers to take refuge at a nearby manor house. And it is there that Jane meets the darkly forbidding yet strangely attractive Mr. Geoffrey Sidmouth. What murky secrets does the brooding Mr. Sidmouth seek to hide? Jane suspects the worst—but her attention is swiftly diverted when a man is discovered hanged from a makeshift gibbet by the sea. The worthies of Lyme are certain his death is the work of “the Reverend,” the ringleader of the midnight smuggling trade whose identity is the town’s paramount mystery. Now, it falls to Jane to entrap and expose the notorious Reverend…even if the evidence points to the last person on earth she wants to suspect…a man who already may have won her heart.
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Having had an aversion to anything related to Jane Austen for most of my life, I fully expected to greatly dislike this novel. While I still do not care for romanticism as a style of writing, I did see some value in this work.
We follow along Jane Austen and her family as they make a trip towards the seaside village of Lyme. But on the way rampant weather endears Jane and her family to the care of a mysterious Mr. Sidmouth. Once safely in Lyme several days later, Jane and family begin to enjoy their holiday, but it comes to a swift end when a man’s body is found nearby. Can Jane find the murderer of this man or is she just wasting her blissful days away from home?
Several things intrigued me with this novel. I’ve never read a novel about Jane Austen, so it was good to finally meet this famed woman and what her disposition was. She was intelligent and could easily rival her male counterparts. She’s something of an oddity in these times, as most other women don’t possess her cerebral skills to put clues together and solve the injustices of man.
I liked that there was an element of mystery throughout this novel that moved it along, and a much more subtle element of romance. I also favored the stormy temperament of this seaside village and how ominous it was in relation to some of the discoveries Jane made along the way. The weather itself seemed to sympathize with her plight.
There were some things I didn’t like. As I said before Jane is an intelligent woman, but most other females we encounter along the way weren’t as three-dimensional. It would have been refreshing to see another woman on Jane’s level.
I wish the mystery would’ve moved at a faster pace. The beginning felt slow and dragged after a while. Also, I feel that anyone not accustomed to Austen’s style of writing may be confused and have a hard time at reading this. The writing is flowing and pretty, but borderlines on purple prose and can lack clarity and directness. Some times I couldn’t figure out what someone was referring to and simply had to move on.
Overall, this was an intriguing fictional account of Jane Austen’s adventures, and though I will most likely not give this specific type of novelization another try I think lovers of Jane Austen’s work that want more mystery than romance might enjoy this.
That’s A Wrap!
Well that’s it for this book review. I hope you enjoyed it!
Have you read this book? Are there other similar books you’ve read that you simply have to gush about? Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to start a conversation!
Have a great day!