Author: Claudia Gray

Genre: Historical Fiction | Mystery & Thrillers

Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

Book Description: A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst. 

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Such a fun book especially for fans of Jane Austen. Claudia Gray writes a clever story in the vain of Agatha Christie of who killed Austen’s most notorious villain, Mr. Wickham.

Gray brings together all of the main characters from her major novels for a month long house party at the Knightly’s. The attention to detail of the proper ages when they meet approx 23 years after the Darcy’s marry is magnificent. We get an interconnected story of how everyone knows each other or at least another couple in the party. When Mr. Wickham shows up uninvited to do what he does best, blackmail the Knightly’s, he finds he is associated with almost everyone at the table at no one is happy.

Of course, Wickham is found murdered which starts off a closed door mystery, where Frank Churchill is running the investigation and two of the younger characters introduced in this book help behind the scenes.

You absolutely do not need to know any Jane Austen to enjoy this book, as Gray gives just enough background to make this enjoyable, but Austen fans will love it all the more. This was a fun romp for me. If you are looking for a light cozy mystery, this one is for you.

Thank you NetGalley and Vintage for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by:Lauren A.

You really can say I am an obsessed reader as I read 200-300 books per year. I love Literary Fiction, Memoirs (I don't really care what kind), Mysteries and Thrillers. Once in awhile I will thrown in some YA and Romance. When I am not reading, I am a Sales Engineer for a software company, and I take care of my three cats with my husband. I love music, which my college degree is in. Looking forward to share my thoughts on all things reading.

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