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Murder Most Austen    by Tracy Kiely order for
Murder Most Austen
by Tracy Kiely
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I tend to avoid the proliferation of Jane Austen mystery (and fantasy) spin-offs, but this one (fourth in a cozy mystery series) is too much fun to miss. Janeite Elizabeth Parker is on her way to the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath with her flamboyant aunt Winnie. On the plane they overhear the obnoxious Professor Richard Baines declaim his latest bizarre theory on how Jane Austen died. They are not impressed!

They are clearly not the only ones as the man is murdered after the Festival begins but before he has given his paper, claiming that Jane Austen died as a result of syphilis. And Cora, a good friend of aunt Winnie's, is the chief suspect, so of course she and Elizabeth investigate. There are plenty of suspects - from enraged Janeites to family members in need of an inheritance - and murder motivations abound. Also, the first corpse is not the only one.

Naturally, Elizabeth ends up in great danger, confronting the surprising killer with a sword no less! I enjoyed Murder Most Austen for the mystery; the Austen quotes that begin each chapter; and especially for the pleasure of seeing Bath through Elizabeth's unrepentedly Anglophile eyes.

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