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Jane And The Man Of The Cloth

Updated on May 27, 2014

The Second Jane Austen Mystery

Jane Austen chose the Dorset town of Lyme Regis for a pivotal passage in her final novel Persuasion and her affection for this area shines clearly in that posthumous publication.

Austen scholars and avid readers alike have long been frustrated by the lack of knowledge about this period in Jane's life but, finally at long last, her extraordinary experiences in Lyme can now be shared with the world!

Thanks to the "discovery" of the Austen Journals, unearthed in the basement of an old house, we now learn what really happened to Jane in that late summer of 1804.

The Plot

Jane and her family are travelling to Lyme Regis when a great storm brings down a mighty oak tree and the Austen carriage is overturned. Cassandra is injured and Jane sets out in the darkness and rain to seek help. A light shows through the trees and, after much scrabbling through mud and briars, Jane arrives at a large gloomy building guarded by unkempt dogs of wild and savage appearance.

It is a dismal manor house whose master is brusque to the point of rudeness.

A lanthorn held high revealed a gentleman's face - though a countenance most harshly drawn, under a windswept mop of black hair. The Master of High Downs I presumed; and masterly enough with his dark brows heavy and knit, his eyes glowing and fierce, and his nose as sharply hooked as a bird of prey's. A man of middlish age, perhaps five and thirty, arrayed in knee breeches and a white shirt quite open at the collar.

The family party is finally ensconced in their rented cottage by the sea, but the attractions of the local Dances are overshadowed by menacing events - a local ne'er-do-well is found hanged on the town quay - then another murder. There is much talk of rum and silk for the remote village has become a destination for mysterious figures smuggling luxury goods from a Napoleonic France at war with England.

Jane investigates again, determined to prove, one way or the other, just what is happening in the seaside town. Her sleuthing abilities are brought to good use as she unravels the puzzles of human relationships and ominous events But what is the involvement of the handsome, sardonic Sidmouth? It seems the evidence points to the last person on earth she wants to suspect...a man who already may have won her heart.

And your finer sensibilities? All o'erthrown, by a man with a golden tongue and a mocking glance?

To sum up

For everyone who loves Jane Austen...the second tantalizing mystery which transforms the beloved author into a dazzling sleuth! . A mystery for our sharp-tongued heroine to solve and, perhaps, an affair of the heart to confuse her keen detecting abilities.

Worthy of its origins, this book is a superior Regency novel, combined with a genteel detective. Dorothy Sayers meets Georgette Heyer blended with a dash of mannered Jane Austen.

Delightful! Highly recommended.

Get your copy!

Stephanie Barron delivers another rousing adventure, this time set in one of Austen's favorite locations, the seacoast town of Lyme.

Jane and the Man of the Cloth: Being the Second Jane Austen Mystery (Being A Jane Austen Mystery)
Jane and the Man of the Cloth: Being the Second Jane Austen Mystery (Being A Jane Austen Mystery)

A delightful, fanciful and imaginative reconstruction of history as it could have been.

Prettily narrated, in true Austen style


Jane Austen

Jane Austen (1775 to 1817). wrote novels which are highly prized for their humour, but possess underlying serious qualities.

The plots, while fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security,

Austen was heavily influenced by Samuel Johnson, and like his works, her writing was concerned with moral issues.

The Cobb

The Cobb, Lyme Regis, the setting where Louisa Musgrove sustains a concussion in a fall brought about by her own impetuous behaviour in Persuasion.

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    • procrastinator lm profile image

      procrastinator lm 5 years ago

      Very nice review, now I have to buy this book! Thank you!

    • profile image

      CannyGranny 5 years ago

      Who would ever have thought it was possible to emulate the Jane Austen style so well?

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 6 years ago

      My daughter loves Jane Austen. I'll have to tell her about this book. Shoot, I might even read it if I can tear myself away from Squidoo.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      My daughter and I love Jane Austen, and this sounds like a perfect read for us. Thanks for the great introduction!

    • Kyecerulian profile image

      Kyecerulian 7 years ago

      Nice review and a great looking lens!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      I'm going to need to get myself a copy of these novels by Stephanie Barron, they sound like an enjoyable read for Jane Austen fans. Thanks for the review!